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Posts by stevehansen

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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Have Your Cake and Eat It Too – Obtaining Broad Claims That Define a Device or Apparatus Based on How it Works

Pros and Cons of Apparatus and Method of Use Claims Devices or apparatuses can often be protected by using two kinds of patent claims: apparatus and method of use claims. Each approach has its benefits and drawbacks. In general, apparatus claims expand the class of direct infringers relative to method of use claims but are…

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Are You and Your Patent Attorney Challenging Each Other?

Since we have been living with managed medical care for some time, many people have become accustomed to the idea that they need to act as their own advocate when dealing with medical professionals.  Thus, we have become more comfortable with questioning our doctor’s opinions and the bases for them and with the idea that…

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Recent Federal Circuit Decision Limits ITC Authority to Block Importation of Goods Used to Infringe U.S. Patents

Last month, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that could have a significant impact on patent owners who seek International Trade Commission (ITC) exclusion orders to block the importation of goods used to infringe their patents.  In a 2-1 decision in Suprema, Inc. v. ITC, the Court held that the ITC cannot…

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Expediting Patent Examination

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) has had a variety of procedures to enable applicants to speed up the examination of their applications.  However, they’ve generally been limited in some fashion or had burdensome requirements.  That has changed with the introduction of “Track One Prioritized Examination.” With this program, applicants can get a final…

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