Common Meaning Given to Claim Language Using Terms of Art

A question of infringement turned on the meaning of “gateway” in the phrase “intelligent gateway” in a patent claim.  The Federal Circuit agreed that a district court was entitled to consult technical dictionaries and use commonly understood meanings of the word to construe the claim.  Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court’s claim construction, and […]

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Patent-Eligibility Ruling on Data Encryption Claims

In an opinion authored by Federal Circuit Senior Judge Bryson, an Eastern District of Texas court has denied a motion for summary judgment that patent claims directed to a method for transmitting encrypted data are ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  TQP Development, LLC. v. Intuit, Inc., N0. 2:12-CV-180-WCB (E.D. Texas Feb. […]

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Third Party Affirmative Defenses to Software Copyright Infringement

A license, either express or implied, may be an affirmative defense to software copyright infringement.  However, a recent case, brought by Oracle against a vendor who had provided services to Oracle’s customer, illustrates the limits of these defenses.  Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc., No. 2:10-CV-00106-LRH-PAL (D. Nev. Feb 13, 2014).  Perhaps more importantly, […]

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Reasonable Steps Protect Software Trade Secrets

A software owner must take steps to preserve trade secrets in software, but those steps need only be reasonable, rather than including every conceivable action.  That is the lesson from PQ Labs, Inc. v. Qi, No. 12-0450 CW (N.D. Cal., Jan 29, 2014), denying the defendants summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claim brought under the […]

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Federal Circuit Holds Medical Diagnostic Method Not Patent-Eligible

Patent claims directed to “guiding the selection of a treatment regimen for a patient with a known disease or medical condition” were held not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 by a unanimous Federal Circuit panel.  SmartGene, Inc. v. Advanced Biological Laboratories, S.A., No. 2013-1186 (Jan. 24, 2014). All claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,081,786 […]

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Does a “Covered Business Method” Patent Review Warrant a Stay of Litigation?

A court in the Eastern District of Texas has declined to stay litigation where the United States Patent and Trademark Office is conducting a “Covered Business Method” review of the patent-in-suit under Section 18 of the America Invents Act.  VirtualAgility, Inc. v. Salesforce.com, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-00011-JRG (E.D. Texas Jan. 9, 2014). The court […]

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When Is a Document Publicly Available (and Therefore Prior Art)?

A document can qualify as “prior art” under 35 U.S.C. § 102 even when the document is what one might charitably describe as barely publicly available, and even when the document is incomplete. In re Enhanced Security Research LLC, No. 2013-1114 (Fed. Cir. Jan 13, 2014).  In this case, a divided Federal Circuit panel upheld […]

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When are Hardware AND Software Required to Infringe Patent Claims?

A district court properly construed patent claims as requiring both hardware and software, and properly granted summary judgment of non-infringement where the defendants’ products used  potentially infringing hardware, but did not license or use software that would have been necessary to complete the infringement.  Nazomi Communications, Inc. v. Nokia Corp., No. 2013-1165 (Fed. Cir. Jan. […]

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Another Rule 12 Holding that Patent Claims Are Invalid Under Section 101

A district court has held invalid patent claims directed to “facilitating evaluation, in connection with the procurement or delivery of products or services, in a context of at least one of (i) a financial transaction and (ii) operation of an enterprise.”  Lumen View Technology LLC v. Findthebest.com, Inc., No. 13 CIV. 3599 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y. Nov. […]

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Claims Directed to Controlling a Multiple-Computer System Held Not Patent-Eligible

A Rule 12b(b)(6) motion alleging a failure to assert infringement of patentable subject matter has been granted where the asserted patent claimed a method for triggering an event in a system that includes multiple computers.  UbiComm, LLC v. Zappos IP, Inc., Civil Action No. 13-1029-RGA (D. Del. Nov. 13, 2013). The only independent claim of […]

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