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A recent order from the Northern District of California in AU Optronics Corporation America v. Vista Peak Ventures, LLC, 4:18-cv-04638 (CAND 2019-02-19) (“AU Optronics”),  provides further guidance for patent venue analysis post-TC Heartland.  Specifically, the order teaches that bringing a patent suit against only a foreign parent company while omitting its domestic subsidiary will likely not run afoul of TC Heartland’s seminal venue holding. 
Viewpoint General
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) recently issued a precedential opinion finding that a lower court had improperly incorporated an embodiment from the specification of the asserted patents into the claims.  In its decision, the CAFC reaffirmed longstanding claim construction law: the claims of a patent are interpreted in light of a specification, but not everything expressed in the specification must be read into all of the claims.
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Time-Barred IPR Petitioners Have Separate Standing to Appeal PTAB Decisions

February 12, 2019 | Blog | By John Bauer, Jeff Giering

In the February 1, 2019 decision of Mylan Pharms. Inc. v. Research Corp. Techs., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3282, __ F.3d __, 2019 WL 405682, the Federal Circuit affirmed a PTAB final written decision (FWD) holding claims of U.S. Reissue Patent 38,551 not unpatentable.  The Federal Circuit also held that time-barred petitioners who participated in an IPR as a result of joinder have standing to appeal.  In finding such standing, the Federal Circuit analyzed the interplay between 35 U.S.C. §§ 315(b), 315(c), and 319.
Viewpoint General
On February 7, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in Momenta Pharmaceuticals v. Bristol-Myers Squibb, No. 2017-1694, dismissed Momenta’s appeal of a Final Written Decision in an Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) because Momenta had terminated its potentially infringing drug development program. According to the panel, this left Momenta without a sufficiently concrete interest in the action to satisfy the standing requirements of Article III of the United States Constitution.
Viewpoint General
Recently, in ZTE (USA) Inc. v. Fundamental Innovation Int’l LLC, IPR2018-00425, Paper No. 34 (Feb. 6, 2019), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) allowed Petitioner’s motion to retroactively correct its defective IPR petition to identify a previously undisclosed real party in interest and thereby avoid a mandatory statutory bar.   
Viewpoint General

Patent Term Adjustment: The Real Meaning of Applicant Delay

February 6, 2019 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Elissa Kingsland

On January 23, 2019, the Federal Circuit decided Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. vs. Iancu and shed light on Patent Term Adjustment (PTA).  PTA was established by the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 and codified at 35 U.S.C. § 154(b), which defines three kinds of United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) delays, “A” delay, “B” delay, and “C” delay, and sets forth certain reductions from the summation of the Type A, B, and C delays.  One of these reductions relates to Applicant delays.  For an overview of PTA, see our prior articles here and here.
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Year in Review: The Most Popular Blog Posts of 2018

January 30, 2019 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

As 2019 begins and intellectual property (IP) strategies are being developed for the new year, it is a good time to reflect on what IP issues were prominent in 2018.  According to many readers, hot topics included handling IDSs and obviousness during U.S. patent prosecution, blockchain, PTAB rules, and subject matter eligibility under Section 101.
Viewpoint General

Supreme Court Holds AIA Did Not Alter the Settled Meaning of “On Sale”

January 22, 2019 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Peter Snell, Vincent Ferraro

Today the United States Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Federal Circuit and held that it remains the law under the America Invents Act (AIA) that a confidential sale to a third party can trigger the “on sale” bar to patentability.
Viewpoint General

Significant 2018 Trademark Decisions

January 9, 2019 | Blog | By Michael Graif, Rithika Kulathila

This year the Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Circuit Courts penned a number of opinions impacting trademark law.  Here are some key takeaways from the past year:
Viewpoint General

Double Check Your Filings, A Cautionary Tale at the PTAB

January 2, 2019 | Blog | By John Bauer, Vincent Ferraro, Courtney Herndon

Recently in Nuna Baby Essentials, Inc. v. Britax Child Safety, Inc., IPR2018-01683, Paper No. 11 (PTAB Dec. 18, 2018), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) denied Petitioner’s motion to excuse the late filing of exhibits to the Petition, finding that Petitioner failed to establish good cause for such late filing or that consideration of the late-filed exhibits would be in the interests of justice.
Viewpoint General
In the continuing Amgen v. Sanofi saga, Amgen has asked SCOTUS to take up the issue of written description, which is currently established by showing “whether the disclosure…reasonably conveys…that the inventor had possession of the claimed subject matter as of the filing date.” Ariad Pharms., Inc. v. Eli Lilly & Co., 598 F.3d 1336, 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2010)(en banc)(emphasis added).
Viewpoint General

Significant 2018 Patent Decisions and a Look Ahead

December 20, 2018 | Blog | By Peter Snell, Rithika Kulathila

This year the Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Federal District Courts penned a number of opinions impacting patent law.  Here are some key takeaways from the past year.
Viewpoint General

Brewery Defeats Trademark Opposition by Conservative Public Figure Phyllis Schlafly

December 18, 2018 | Blog | By Michael Graif, Tiffany Knapp

Relatives of the late conservative political activist, Phyllis Schlafly, lost their appeal to prevent the Saint Louis Brewery, LLC (“the Brewery”) from trademarking the Schlafly name in connection with various beer products on November 26, 2018. 
Viewpoint General

CAFC Affirms Prior Jury Verdict Admissible in Upholding $140M Verdict against Time Warner

December 17, 2018 | Blog | By Stephen J. Akerley, Philip C. Ducker, Adrian Kwan

On November 30, 2018, the Federal Circuit affirmed a jury verdict awarding Sprint Communications Company, LP (“Sprint”) damages in the amount of $139,800,000.00 USD against Time Warner Cable, Inc., et al., for infringing five patents directed to Voice over IP technology (“VoIP”).
Viewpoint General

ITC to Review Controversial Apple-Qualcomm Decision

December 13, 2018 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, James Wodarski, Aarti Shah, Marguerite McConihe

As anticipated https://www.mintz.com/insights-center/viewpoints/2231/2018-10-alj-pender-apple-infringes-no-exclusion-order-qualcomm, on December 12, 2018, the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a notice to review the Final Initial Determination and Recommended Determination (“FID”) issued by Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Pender in In the Matter of Certain Mobile Electronic Devices and Radio Frequency and Process Components Thereof, 337-TA-1065 (“Certain Mobile Electronic Devices”), where ALJ Pender, despite finding that a valid patent was infringed and all jurisdictional requirements met, recommended that no Limited Exclusion Order be issued against Apple because it would be contrary to the public interest.
Viewpoint General

Judge Applies WesternGeco Principles to Direct Infringement Under 35 U.S.C.§ 271(a)

November 30, 2018 | Blog | By Adam Samansky, Alexander Roan

A federal district court judge recently applied the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corporation, in which the Supreme Court held that lost profits damages could be awarded for infringement occurring under 35 U.S.C.§ 271(f), to cover damages for direct infringement occurring under 35 U.S.C.§ 271(a) (see our prior post here for an overview of the case and the issues before the Court, and here for an overview of the Court’s June opinion). 
Viewpoint General

Understanding Priority Claims for U.S. Patent Applications: Part 2

November 27, 2018 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Elissa Kingsland

This article is second in a two-part series focusing on various issues related to priority claims in U.S. patent applications.  While Part 1 is a general overview of how to make a proper priority claim, this article addresses how to make a timely post-filing priority claim in an application and how to correct an improper priority claim.  Timeliness is crucial to avoid high fees and ensure that an earlier priority date is not lost.  The procedures discussed below are post-America Invents Act (AIA) procedures applicable to applications and issued patents filed on or after March 16, 2013.
Viewpoint General

Prosecution Strategies for Avoiding Patent Eligibility Rejections for Diagnostics

November 19, 2018 | Blog | By Ken Jenkins, Jeff Giering

Under the Mayo/Alice test for patent eligibility, answering the questions of whether any particular claim is “directed to” a “judicial exception” without “significantly more” remains in many ways a substantial and unpredictable challenge for U.S. patent applicants in the diagnostic space.  In cases where the detection processes are typically deemed “routine and conventional” (e.g., PCR) and the targets are known (e.g., expression of a known gene), claims must be crafted in ways that avoid rejections for both patent eligibility and anticipation and/or obviousness over the prior art.  The recent PTAB decision in In re Srivastava et al. expressly addresses obviousness in this context, while highlighting a possible strategy for dealing with patent eligibility challenges as well (Appeal 2017-1981, Application 13/974,007, decided October 22, 2018; hereafter “In re Srivastava”).
Viewpoint General

European Patent Office Issues New Guidelines on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

November 7, 2018 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Marguerite McConihe

On November 1, 2018, the European Patent Office (“EPO”) issued new guidelines for the patentability of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning (“ML”) inventions which indicate that applications within this subject matter may be treated as largely unpatentable. The new guidelines, G-II 3.3.1, provide that AI and ML are “based on computational models and algorithms for classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction, such as neural networks, genetic algorithms, support vector machines, k-means, kernel regression and discriminant analysis.” These “computational models and algorithms” are, according to the guidelines, “per se of an abstract mathematical nature.”
Viewpoint General

§102(b) Printed Publication: Unrestricted Distribution at a Trade Show

November 5, 2018 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Serge Subach

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit opinion issued on November 1, 2018 clarifies the standard for a document to qualify as a “printed publication” under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. §102(b) and reversed an earlier Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) decision.1 Specifically, the requirement that a reference be “publicly available” is not as narrow as the PTAB had interpreted. The Court held that “the standard for public accessibility [of an alleged prior art reference] is one of reasonable diligence, to locate the information by interested members of the relevant public.”
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