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Patent Litigation

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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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 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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District Court Claim Construction Factual Findings Reviewable for “Clear Error”

The claims of a U.S. Patent define the scope of the patent holder’s right to exclude.  In its 1996 Markman decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that disputes over the meaning of claim terms are an issue of law to be decided by a judge, not by a jury.  A substantial percentage of patent verdicts are appealed…

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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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