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Prior Civil Action Bars IPR - A precedential decision

September 24, 2019 | Blog | By Ken Jenkins, Gali Steinberg-Tatman

On August 29, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) designated as precedential its January 31, 2019 decision in Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Chrimar Systems, Inc.  In Cisco, the PTAB held that 35 U.S.C. § 315(a)(1) bars institution of IPR if the petitioner filed an earlier civil action, even if such action was voluntarily dismissed by the petitioner without prejudice.    
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ITC suggests 5% Threshold for Domestic Industry Assessment; order may impact tech companies

September 23, 2019 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Aarti Shah, Andrew DeVoogd, Matthew Karambelas, Nana Liu

Recently, Chief Administrative Law Judge (“CALJ”) Bullock of the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”), in Certain Carburetors and Products Containing Such Carburetors, Inv. No. 337-TA-1123, Order No. 77, suggested that “significant” or “substantial” domestic industry investments must amount to greater than 5% of domestic industry product sales in the United States. 
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Recap of Federal Register Notice on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patent Issues

September 17, 2019 | Blog | By Marc Morley, Michael Renaud, Paul Brockland

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming important across a diverse spectrum of technologies and businesses. As AI grows in importance in business and technology, so too grows the number of patent applications and the potential for uncertainty. Therefore, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) must continue to ensure the appropriate balance in the administration of our IP system.
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A recent order from International Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge Elliott provides helpful guidance regarding a common ITC discovery dispute: whether a party may withhold from discovery as work product pre-suit test results and methods where those results and methods were relied upon in forming the pleaded allegations of the complaint or to support a party’s contentions.
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In a recent initial determination, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Cheney of the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) provided useful guidance for patentees by reaffirming that there is no categorical rule that patent prosecution expenses cannot be included in the domestic industry analysis at the ITC, and also finding that complainants may rely upon expenses relating to FDA compliance to satisfy the domestic industry requirement.  
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ITC Domestic Industry Products Do Not Need to Be Commercially Available

September 3, 2019 | Blog | By Aarti Shah, Kara E. Grogan

In a recent initial determination, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Cheney of the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) held that domestic industry products do not need to be commercially available to satisfy section 337’s domestic industry requirement. 
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On July 1, 2019, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Elliot of the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a ruling indicating that it may be possible for complainants to rely on respondents’ products to satisfy the ITC’s domestic industry requirement in certain circumstances.
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The PTAB’s Precedential Opinion Panel, colloquially referred to as “the POP,” ruled that the one-year window to file inter partes review (“IPR”) petitions begins once a complaint alleging infringement is served—even if the complaint is defective.
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The August 13, 2019 decision from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in WAG Acquisition, LLC v. Multi Media LLC, Civil Action No. 2-14-cv-02340, deals a blow to a common attack on litigation funding. The decision protects the ability of plaintiffs who lack resources to enforce their patent rights by affirming that seeking funding does not necessarily harm standing.
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Alexa: What is venue?

August 23, 2019 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Serge Subach

A recent decision from the Northern District of New York provides a detailed outline for analyzing venue in patent infringement cases, and may provide facts that companies with equipment installed in other districts should understand.
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On August 13, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, in Valeant Pharmaceuticals N. Am. LLC v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 18-cv-14305, held that venue was not proper in New Jersey over Mylan in a patent infringement action arising from Mylan’s submission of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (“ANDA”) seeking approval to market a generic version of the drug, Jublia®.
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On August 9, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in Eli Lilly & Co. v. Hospira, Inc., Nos. 2018-2126, 2127, 2128, reversed in-part and affirmed in-part a district court’s determination of infringement.  The Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s finding of literal infringement but ultimately affirmed judgments of infringement based on the doctrine of equivalents.
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In a decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) issued last week, the Board confirmed that the “enhanced estoppel” provision of 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(1) applies to co-pending inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings when a final written decision issues in a first IPR. The panel flatly rejected a Petitioner’s attempt to apply the Federal Circuit’s decision in Shaw Indus. Group, Inc. v. Automated Creel Sys., Inc., 817 F.3d 1293 (Fed. Cir. 2016) to those circumstances. 
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Give and Take: IPR of Pre-AIA Patent is NOT an Unconstitutional Taking

August 9, 2019 | Blog | By Marc Morley, Jeff Giering

On July 30, 2019, the Federal Circuit held that retroactive application of IPR (inter partes review) proceedings to pre-AIA (America Invents Act) patents is not an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment (Celgene Corp. v. Peter; appeals from IPR2015-01096, IPR2015-01102, and IPR2015-01103).
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Effect of Prosecution History Estoppel on Infringement Claim under Doctrine of Equivalents

August 9, 2019 | Blog | By Marc Morley, Gali Steinberg-Tatman

The Federal Circuit in Amgen Inc. v. Coherus Biosciences Inc. affirmed a district court decision that once certain subject matter is clearly and unmistakably surrendered during prosecution, the patentee is barred from asserting an infringement claim under the doctrine of equivalents.  
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Practice Hero Patent Prosecution Mintz
Claim construction, the process by which a court interprets the scope and meaning of a patent’s claims, is a crucial part of patent litigation. In fact, claim construction can make or break a patentee’s case for infringement and/or validity.
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Last week the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) designated as precedential a decision from 2014, which found that counsel can confer with a deponent at the conclusion of cross examination and prior to redirect.  Through its designation of Focal Therapeutics, Inc. v. Senorx, Inc., IPR2014-00116, Paper 19 (P.T.A.B. July 21, 2014) as precedential, the PTAB has made clear that although counsel may not confer with a witness during the cross-examination portion of a deposition, counsel may confer with a witness after cross-examination has concluded but before the redirect portion of the deposition commences. 
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In July 2019 the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) newly designated four decisions as informative to highlight the PTAB’s general consensus on issues considered in these cases.  All four cases involve the PTAB applying the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s January 2019 guidance for determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  The decisions focus on whether claims integrate a judicial exception into a practical application so as to be subject matter eligible. 
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This past May, in a highly-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court held in Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC that a debtor’s rejection of an executory contract under Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code has the same effect as a breach of contract outside of bankruptcy.  The decision resolves an inter-circuit split on the effect of a bankrupt trademark licensor’s rejection of a trademark license, a question regarded by legal experts in the trademark community as the most significant unresolved legal issue in trademark licensing. 
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The decision whether to issue a Restriction Requirement during patent prosecution lies with the patent examiner, not the patent applicant.  A Restriction Requirement can nevertheless trigger prosecution history estoppel that limits the scope of an applicant’s issued claim.  The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in UCB, Inc. v. Watson Laboratories Inc. helps show how this situation can happen and how applicants can help prevent an examiner’s decision from adversely affecting patent scope.
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