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Posts by stevehansen

Software Patents Continue to Take a Beating in 2014

This has not been a good year for software patents in the United States. Since the Supreme Court issued its decision in June in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014), the Patent Office has been aggressively rejecting software patent applications and the courts have been invalidating issued software patents for lack of…

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Pitfalls in Policing Your Patent Rights

Patent holders are not obligated to police infringement or pursue infringers in order to keep their patents in force.  However, failing to address known acts of infringement can, in some cases, provide infringers with a defense called “laches” that can limit the amount of recoverable damages in an infringement lawsuit.  In addition, patent holders need…

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Procedural Mechanisms for Invalidating Patent Claims Due to Indefiniteness

One of the defenses available to an accused infringer is that the asserted patent claims are invalid for indefiniteness.  The Patent Statute requires that the claims of a patent “particularly point[] out and distinctly claim[] the subject matter which the applicant regards as his invention.”  35 U.S.C. § 112 (b) (formerly 35 U.S.C. § 112,…

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Invalidating Patent Claims For Failing to Include Required Aspects of an Invention

In last month’s blog, we discussed the Federal Circuit’s decision in X2Y Attenuators, LLC. V. International Trade Commission, a case which demonstrated how limiting descriptions of an invention in a patent specification can be used to restrict the scope of otherwise facially broad claims.  This month, in ScriptPro, LLC v. Innovation Associates, Inc.,the Federal Circuit…

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Federal Circuit’s X2Y Attenuators Decision Reinforces The Importance Of Drafting Patents For Litigation

On July 7, 2014, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in X2Y Attenuators, LLC v. International Trade Commission, which underscores the importance of carefully drafting patent applications with an eye toward litigation.  The decision also demonstrates why form often dominates over substance in patent litigation.  A copy of the opinion can be…

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Indefiniteness – Patent Claims Must “Inform Those Skilled in the Art With Reasonable Certainty” About the Scope of the Invention

In Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s holding that claims directed to a heart rate monitor were sufficiently definite to avoid invalidation and remanded the case to the Federal Circuit.  For a copy of the opinion, click here. The patent claims at issue concerned a heart monitor that includes a…

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Are Business Method Patents Dead? – Supreme Court Strikes Down Patent Claims Directed to Computerized Method of “Intermediated Settlement”

If business method patents are not dead, after this month’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, they are at least on life support. For a copy of the opinion, click here. In Alice Corp., the Supreme Court affirmed an en banc Federal Circuit holding that patent claims directed to a computerized method of…

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Inducement of Infringement Requires Proof of Direct Infringement

In Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., (for a copy of the opinion, click here) the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s holding that Limelight could be liable for actively inducing the infringement of Akamai’s patent claims even though, under the Federal Circuit’s governing standards, no party could be held liable for directly infringing the claims.  We discussed the case in…

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Defending the Patent Case – Exploiting the Tensions in Patent Law in Inventor and Expert Depositions

A company accused of patent infringement has a large variety of defenses to deploy, including the following: 1. Non-infringement (i.e., the accused product does not practice the patent claims) 2. Prior art invalidity (i.e., the patent claims are not novel or are obvious in view of the prior art) 3. The Public Use or On-Sale…

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Patenting Improved Articles That Use Proprietary 3rd Party Materials

Under U.S. law, improved articles of manufacture may be patentable if they are novel and non-obvious. Sometimes, an inventor comes up with a new article that is faster, stronger, more flexible, more rigid, lighter, etc. by using new materials to make the article. If the article has never been made with those materials, and if…

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