Patent Defendant Allowed Discovery of Non-Accused Products

What is the permissible scope of discovery related to a defendants’ non-accused products in a patent case? In Positive Techs., Inc. v. Sony Elecs., Inc., No.: 11-cv-2226 SI (KAW) (N.D. Cal. Feb 26, 2013), the defendants were denied a protective order after the plaintiff sought discovery related to non-accused products; the plaintiff contended that the […]

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Further Clarification on Indirect Divided and Joint Infringement

Holding that a district court improperly applied the doctrine of joint patent infringement with respect to indirect infringement, while agreeing with the lower court’s reasoning concerning direct infringement, the Federal Circuit has vacated a summary judgment of non-infringement. Move, Inc. v. Re-Max Int’l., Inc., No. 2012-1342 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 4, 2013). Claim 1 of U.S. Patent […]

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Patent Plaintiff Sanctioned Under Rule 11

The Northern District of Illinois has sanctioned a patent plaintiff that refused to withdraw a complaint of patent infringement, and did not perform an investigation, even after the defendant gave clear notice that its business method was different than the claimed business method. Smart Options, LLC v. Jump Rope, Inc., No. 12 C 2498 (N.D. […]

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Federal Circuit Reaffirms Software Means-Plus-Function Requirements

In keeping with other cases discussed by this blog addressing whether software “means” recited in patent claims have been adequately disclosed, the Federal Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s invalidation of patent claims for indefiniteness because the patent specification did not disclose an algorithm to support the recited means. Function Media, L.L.C. v. Google Inc., […]

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Functional Language Can Have Patentable Weight

The Federal Circuit has held that functional language in a software claim should be given patentable weight.  In re Jasinski, No. 2012-1482 (Feb. 15, 2013). Accordingly, the Court reversed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s rejection of claims as allegedly anticipated.  If applied to claims in other software patents and patent applications, this decision, although […]

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Means-Plus-Function Claims Indefinite Without Supporting Algorithm

If a claimed means requires programming to carry out a specified function, then a patent specification must disclose an algorithm to support the claimed means. Absent such disclosure, means-plus-function claim elements are indefinite, and render a patent claim invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112, according to the court in Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola Inc., No. […]

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“Substantially Centered” Not Indefinite in Patent Claim

The phrase “substantially centered” does not render a patent claim indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, according to the court in the ongoing Apple-Samsung patent litigation. Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., No.: 11-CV-01846-LHK (Jan 29, 2013, N.D. Cal.). At issue was claim 50 of U.S. Patent No. 7,864,163 (reproduced in full at the end of […]

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No Patentable Subject Matter in Gift Card Patent Claims

Patent claims drawn to “a method of exchanging a gift card” failed to recite patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101, according to the court in Cardpool, Inc. v. Plastic Jungle, No. C 12-04182 WHA (N.D. Cal. Jan. 22, 2013). Therefore, the court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint for patent […]

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Federal Circuit Holds E-Commerce Claims Obvious

The Federal Circuit has held claims of three e-commerce patents invalid on grounds of obviousness. Soverain Software, LLC v. Newegg, Inc., No. 2011-1009 (Fed. Cir. Jan 22, 2013). The court, in an opinion authored by Judge Newman, reversed the holding of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that claims of United States […]

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