Posts by stevehansen

Pitfalls of Patent Cases Involving “Paradigm” or “Representative” Patents and Claims

Every patent claim in every patent is its own invention and stands on its own.  An accused infringer is liable for patent infringement if it infringes at least one patent claim in one asserted patent.  Some patent cases involve large numbers of patents and/or large numbers of asserted claims.  Patent holders are generally quite happy…

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Monetizing Your Patents – The Dangers of Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction

Now you have your shiny, new issued patent, and you want to go forth and profit from it.  To do that, you need to let all of those “infringers” (okay, “potential licensees”) know that you have a patent and that they should pay up. Not so fast.  Are you prepared to be sued by the…

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The America Invents Act: This Isn’t Your Father’s On-Sale Bar

With the implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA), the United States went from a first to invent to a first inventor to file system of determining priority of patent rights. However, that was not all that changed with the implementation of the AIA. The AIA includes some significant changes to the on-sale bar which…

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Employees Who Assign Patent Rights to Employers May Have Standing to Challenge Omission as Inventors

Employers do not automatically obtain legal ownership of the patent rights to their employees’ inventions simply because of the employer-employee relationship.  Thus, it is a standard practice to require employees to assign their patent rights to their employers in an employment agreement.  This practice raises the following question: Can an employee (or ex-employee) file an…

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En Banc Federal Circuit Clarifies Divided Infringement Rules

Last week, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the May 13, 2015 panel opinion in Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. (Fed. Cir., Slip Opinion Case No. 2019-1372, -1380, -1416, -1417) and issued a new en banc opinion.  A copy of the en banc opinion can be found here. We discussed…

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Federal Circuit Decision Concerning “Means-Plus-Function” Claiming

When drafting patent claims for a device, it is often desirable to describe the device based on how it works instead of how it is structured.  Describing a device based on how it works is often referred to as “functional claiming.”  Claims that make use of functional claiming are frequently broader in scope than those…

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Active Inducement of Infringement: A Good Faith Belief in Invalidity is Not a Defense

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., (Case No. 13-896, May 26, 2015). A copy of the slip opinion may be found here.  Active Inducement of Infringement: A Good Faith Belief in Invalidity is Not a Defense  U.S. Patent Law recognizes both direct…

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Federal Circuit Clarifies “Divided Infringement” Rules

Following a remand from the U.S. Supreme Court last June, on May 13, 2015 the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued another opinion in Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al. v. Limelight Networks, Inc.(Fed. Cir., Slip Opinion Case No. 2009-1372, May 13, 2015).  This time, the Federal circuit considered the circumstances under which a method…

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Federal Circuit Clarifies Entire Market Value Rule

Determining patent infringement damages is complicated and often borders on the metaphysical.  Under U.S. law, a patent holder is entitled to damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a “reasonable royalty.”  In some cases, patent holders can establish damages through lost profits.  However, when that is not possible or…

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Heading Off Obviousness Rejections

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Clients often assume that they are entitled to a patent because no single piece of prior art shows all of their invention.  In that case the invention may be novel. However, it does not mean that it is non-obvious.  To qualify for a U.S. patent, an invention…

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