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USPTO’s New Deferred Subject Matter Eligibility Response Pilot Program

January 21, 2022 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Meena Seralathan

Recently, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published a notice informing the public that it will be implementing a pilot program (called the Deferred Subject Matter Eligibility Response Pilot Program, or the “DSMER Pilot Program”) to determine the value of allowing applicants to defer responding to 35 USC § 101 rejections (commonly known as “101 rejections” or “Alice rejections”). The Program is only available for certain applications, and certain procedures are required for participation; however, the Program has the potential to encourage more efficient patent prosecution. Below we answer some questions patent applicants are likely to have about the Program.
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Earlier this month, in Novartis Pharms. Corp., Inc. v. Accord Healthcare, Inc., et al., No. 2021-1070, the Federal Circuit issued a helpful decision concerning the not-often-discussed written description requirement. The panel specifically addressed whether sufficient written description can exist for claim limitations that are not explicitly or directly disclosed in the specification (including negative claim limitations). This new ruling provides patent owners with a useful guide for successfully navigating similar written description challenges in patent infringement cases. For example, Patent Owners seeking to combat written description requirement challenges should proffer expert witnesses who can clearly articulate how they understand the patent description in relation to the claims and what portions of that description support the same.
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Entire Market Value Rule Strikes Again in WDTX

January 19, 2022 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Marguerite McConihe, Robert Sweeney

On January 3, 2022, Magistrate Judge Susan Hightower granted a defendant’s motion to exclude an expert’s damages theory for violating the entire market value rule, reminding plaintiffs everywhere to use caution when applying the sales of an entire product as a royalty base.
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Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Hatch-Waxman Defendants for Lack of Venue and Failure to State a Claim

November 12, 2021 | Blog | By Adam Samansky, Peter Cuomo, Joe Rutkowski

On November 5, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Celgene Corp. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Case No. 21-1154, affirmed a decision from the District Court of New Jersey dismissing a suit brought by Celgene Corporation (“Celgene”) under Rule 12(b)(6) for improper venue as to defendants Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“MPI”) and Mylan Inc. and for the failure to state a claim against defendant Mylan N.V. Celgene had brought suit after MPI submitted an ANDA seeking approval to market a generic version of the drug Pomalyst used to treat multiple myeloma. In assessing venue, the court held that it was MPI’s ANDA submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), and not the sending of a notice letter to Celgene in New Jersey, that was the artificial act of infringement pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act. The district court thus held, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, that venue in New Jersey was improper.
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Federal Circuit Clarifies that Willful Infringement Does Not Require Egregious Conduct

October 26, 2021 | Blog | By Adam Samansky, Peter Cuomo, Joe Rutkowski

On September 28, 2021, in a precedential opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in SRI Int’l, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., Nos. 2020-1685, -1704, clarified its decision from a prior appeal in the same case to hold that a finding of willful infringement requires only deliberate or intentional infringement, not egregious, wanton, malicious, or bad-faith infringement conduct.
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Invalidity of Terminal Patents Not Tied to Disclaimed Patent-in-Suit’s Expiration

October 6, 2021 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Courtney Herndon

In an interesting recent case of first impression, Judge Albright in the Western District of Texas denied a motion for judgement on the pleadings filed by Defendants Google and YouTube because the asserted patent was terminally disclaimed to two other patents that had been invalidated prior to its issuance. In VideoShare, LLC v. Google, LLC, 6:19-cv-663 (W.D. Tex. Sept. 29, 2021) (Albright, J.), the Court rejected the argument that the invalidation of the terminal patents was the “expiration” of the terminal patents, and that the asserted U.S. Patent No. 10,362,341 (“the ’341 patent”) was therefore also necessarily expired because it allegedly shares the expiration date of the terminal patents. Judge Albright concluded that, to the contrary, the prior finding of invalidity of the terminal patents had no impact on the expiry of the terminally-disclaimed ’341 patent.
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Custom Servers Pin Netflix In the Eastern District of Texas

September 30, 2021 | Blog | By Daniel Weinger, Jessica Perry

Patent owners searching for an appropriate venue for cases against alleged infringers may be able to point to the activity of an infringer’s agents, based on a new decision from the Eastern District of Texas. In recommending denial of a Netflix motion to dismiss, Magistrate Judge Payne explained that the nature and extent of Netflix’s relationship with internet service providers (“ISPs”) within the district gives rise to proper venue as a regular and established place of business of Netflix.
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In what appears to be a case of first impression, on August 23, 2021 U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied a biosimilar applicant’s motion to dismiss a patent infringement suit brought under the Biosimilar Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”) against a foreign parent corporation that did not file or sign the relevant abbreviated Biologics License Application (“aBLA”).
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Genus Claims: Foiled again by Written Description

September 16, 2021 | Blog | By Thomas Wintner

In late August of 2021, the Federal Circuit reversed a jury verdict of $1.2 billion in favor of Juno Therapeutics and Sloan Kettering Institute because the jury’s finding that four of the asserted patent claims did not lack adequate written description under 35 U.S.C. § 112 was not supported by substantial evidence.
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US Open for FRAND Business: The Fifth Circuit Vindicates Ericsson, Finding that Ericsson’s Offers were FRAND

September 3, 2021 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Daniel Weinger, Meena Seralathan

The United States FRAND jurisprudence had a recent watershed moment in a decision that is sure to reverberate through the standard essential patent (SEP) world, and specifically SEP litigation in the United States. Earlier this week, a Fifth Circuit panel affirmed a jury verdict that found licensing offers made by Ericsson to HTC for Ericsson’s 4G SEPs complied with Ericsson’s FRAND obligations, the first jury verdict of its kind in the United States.
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In Part II of this damages-focused series of the EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS: Intellectual Property podcast, Mintz IP attorneys Drew DeVoogd and Daniel Weinger join guest David Duski of BDO for a more detailed discussion of apportionment of damages in patent litigation.
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In this episode of the EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS: Intellectual Property podcast, Mintz IP attorneys Drew DeVoogd and Daniel Weinger welcome guest David Duski for the first of a two-part series covering patent trial damages.
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Supreme Court Hammers Final Nail in the IP Bridge v. TCL Coffin

July 2, 2021 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Daniel Weinger, Kara E. Grogan

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied TCL Communication’s certiorari petition, without comment, appealing the Federal Circuit’s ruling that the essentiality of a patent claim is a question for the jury rather than judges to resolve during claim construction.  The denial of cert by the Supreme Court cements the Federal Circuit ruling which made proving infringement of standard essential patents easier by allowing reliance on the standard to show such infringement. 
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Arthrex SCOTUS Ruling: The IPR Show Must Go On, Just with (a Bit) More Oversight

June 24, 2021 | Blog | By William Meunier, Brad M Scheller, Andrew DeVoogd

On Monday, in a highly-anticipated decision, a fractured Supreme Court issued its opinion in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, striking a portion of the America Invents Act (AIA) as unconstitutional—but providing an effectively toothless remedy.
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Amid the continuing threat to U.S. intellectual property rights posed by foreign actors, the International Trade Commission (ITC) is poised to become the latest federal agency to bolster protections for U.S. IP owners. The ITC’s broad power to exclude the importation into the U.S. of products that infringe American intellectual property now has the potential to be made even more robust through a new bill introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) on June 15, 2021, that would provide expedited relief for trade secret theft victims.
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Over the last decade, patent litigation has exploded at the International Trade Commission (“ITC”), which has caused the ITC to seek out ways to increase efficiency.  Several years ago, the ITC introduced an early 100-Day pilot program to dispose of dispositive issues early on in investigations. While now a mainstay, the 100-Day pilot program is rarely utilized. 
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The Federal Circuit Provides New Guidance for Patent Licensees Wishing to Challenge the Licensed Patent’s Validity

April 21, 2021 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Peter Cuomo, Monique Winters Macek, Mark Hammond

The Federal Circuit in Apple Inc. v. Qualcomm Incorporated handed down a decision on April 7, 2021 that provides guidance on the determination of standing for patent licensees who wish to contest the validity of a patent or patents in a licensed portfolio.
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On March 24, 2021, U.S. District Judge Colm F. Connolly of the District of Delaware, granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss claims for contributory and induced infringement and enhanced damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 because the complaint alleged knowledge of the asserted patents solely based on averments in prior original and amended complaints in the same lawsuit.
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The Federal Circuit’s recent Uniloc 2017 v. Facebook Inc. decision is a mixed bag of good and bad news for both patent owners and inter partes review petitioners.  On the plus side for patent owners (but not for petitioners), the Federal Circuit determined that the so-called “No Appeal” provision does not necessarily apply to 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(1), and, therefore, a patent owner may still appeal a Patent Trial and Appeal Board determination that a petitioner is not estopped from maintaining an IPR under § 315(e)(1). 
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