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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) anticipates issuing the 10 millionth utility patent at some point during the summer 2018.
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District Court Grants Protection under DTSA Whistleblower Immunity for First Time

April 6, 2018 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Nick Armington

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted immunity under the whistleblower provision of the Defend Trade Secret Act in what appears to be the first decision of its kind under the new federal trade secret statute.

WesternGeco v. ION Geophysical Corp. and Lost Profit Damages under § 271(f)

April 5, 2018 | Blog | By Adam Samansky, Alexander Roan

Section 271 of Title 35 of the United States Code is the statute that codifies unlawful acts of patent infringement.  The most commonly asserted provisions are § 271(a) (direct infringement), § 271(b) (induced infringement), and § 271(c) (contributory infringement).

Patent Damages: How Many Essential Features in a Smart Phone?

March 30, 2018 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Andrew DeVoogd, Daniel Weinger

On March 20, 2018, the public version of Eastern District of Texas Magistrate Judge Roy Payne’s March 7, 2018 order tossing a $75 million jury verdict obtained by Ericsson against TCL Communication was released.

Doctrine of “Ancillary Venue” Does Not Trump TC Heartland

March 28, 2018 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Anthony Faillaci

Further to our ongoing coverage of post-TC Heartland patent litigation, in a recent development from the Northern District of Illinois, the court granted counterclaim defendants’ motion to dismiss for improper venue.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in February that it was wrong for a judge to rule that a patent was ineligible under the Alice standard because there were underlying factual disputes that could not be resolved on summary judgement.

Automated Tracking Solutions, LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company

March 5, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Adrian Kwan

Automated Tracking Solutions, LLC, (“ATS”) appealed findings of invalidity for failing to claim patent-eligible subject matter by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Establishing Obviousness: A Fundamental Case of Evidence Over Arguments

March 1, 2018 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Lily Zhang

The Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s inter partes review decision declaring various claims of patent owner Thales’ U.S. Patent No. 6,474,159 (“the ‘159 patent”) nonobvious.
Struggling to keep case law relating to subject matter eligibility organized?  In February 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released an improved Eligibility Quick Reference Sheet, providing patent practitioners with a useful tool for analyzing claims in view of 35 U.S.C. § 101 subject matter eligibility requirements.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing eCommerce Modernization (eMod), as discussed at a USPTO Patent Quality Chat webinar on February 13, 2018.

Patent Exhaustion Defense Unavailable to Reseller after Impression Products

February 22, 2018 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Alexander Roan

In an application of 2017 U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Impressions Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Intern., Inc., the Northern District California in International Fruit Genetics LLC v. Orcharddepot.com, No. 4:17-cv-02905-JSW, recently denied a motion to dismiss a claim of patent infringement by holding that the patent exhaustion doctrine did not apply to a sale of a patented product that was outside the scope of the license granted by the patent owner. 
On January 12, 2018 in Exmark Manufacturing Co. Inc., v. Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group, LLC, the Federal Circuit once again addressed the issue of apportioning damages, an area of the law that continues to evolve.  The parties in Exmark are competitors in the commercial lawn mower market.

The Medicines Company v. Hospira, Inc.

February 14, 2018 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller

The Medicines Company (“MedCo”) appealed findings of no infringement made by the United District Court for the District of Delaware. Hospira cross-appealed the district court’s finding that a distribution agreement did not constitute an invalidating “offer for sale” under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
On February 6, 2018, in Actelion v. Matal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). 

Improper Reliance on Informal “Opinion of Counsel” Part of Basis for Exceptional Case Award

February 5, 2018 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Anthony Faillaci, Chris Duerden

In Drop Stop LLC v. Jian Qing Zhu et al, 2-16-cv-07916 (CACD January 22, 2018), the Central District of California granted Plaintiff’s motion to award attorney fees due to Defendants’ exceptional litigation tactics under 35 U.S.C. § 285.
Viewpoint
Speed is almost always of the essence for the victim of trade secret misappropriation. Many companies ground their business in proprietary information that, if made public, would make the exclusive product or service those companies provide a commodity good.
In an interesting order issued recently in BroadSign International, LLC v. T-Rex Property AB, Judge Swain of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment of patent non-infringement for a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Overcoming Obviousness Rejections: Arguing Changes to Fundamental Principle of Operation

January 24, 2018 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Monique Winters Macek

When trying to overcome an obviousness rejection of a patent claim, an argument that two or more cited references cannot be combined may be used.  For example, it can be argued that the combination is improper because the modification of a reference completely changes its “fundamental principle of operation.”

Information Disclosure Statements: When and How to File?

January 24, 2018 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Elissa Kingsland

Under U.S. patent law, while there is no duty to perform a search of relevant art, inventors and those associated with filing or prosecuting patent applications as defined in 37 C.F.R. § 1.56 have a duty to disclose to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) all known prior art or other information that may be “material” in determining patentability.
The Federal Circuit’s damages apportionment jurisprudence is an ever-evolving area of the law. On January 10, 2018, a three judge panel of the Federal Circuit revisited the issue in connection with a patent covering a method for providing computer security in the case Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems, Inc.
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