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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Section 337 “Domestic Industry” Requirement Satisfied by Licensing

Patent licensing activities in the U.S. satisfy the “domestic industry” requirement of 13 U.S.C. 1337(a), the Federal Circuit has reaffirmed. Interdigital Communications, LLC v. ITC, No. 2010-1093 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 10, 2013). Nokia, the accused importer of infringing devices in an International Trade Commission proceeding, had petitioned for a rehearing, either by the panel or en banc, […]

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Adequacy of Patent Infringement Contentions

A patent plaintiff’s infringement contentions were inadequate in multiple respects in Pagemelding, Inc. v. Espn, Inc., No. C 11-06263 WHA (N.D. Cal. Jan. 4, 2013). Although the court denied the defendant’s motion for the sanction of dismissal, the court did order the plaintiff to supplement its infringement contentions in certain respects, and further held that in other […]

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