Patent Litigation

Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories—The Unanswered Questions

As a follow-up to our original post on the Prometheus case, we did a search to see if there were other patents related to the ones struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, i.e., U.S. Patent No. 6,355,623 and 6,680,302.  These patents issued in 2002 and 2004, respectively.  In 2006 the same inventors obtained a…

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Today’s Supreme Court Decision Threatens the Patentability of Diagnostic Test Methods

If your business is based on patented diagnostic test methods, you may want to pay attention today’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.  In this case, the Court unanimously reversed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and held that patent claims directed to a method of determining whether dosage…

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Yahoo v. Facebook – Statutory Subject Matter Defense May be Key

The patent infringement lawsuit filed by Yahoo on Monday has caused quite a stir.  Not only has the timing of the suit raised eyebrows because of Facebook’s impending IPO, but so has the subject matter of the patents-in-suit.  A closer look at Yahoo’s patents reveals that the validity of many of their claims may turn…

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Patent “Trolls”: Effects of the U.S. Written Description Requirement and Continuation Practice

The emergence of so-called “patent trolls” or their less pejorative name “non-practicing entities” (NPEs) has been a controversial topic for some time now.  Those who become frequent target of NPE lawsuits are understandably hostile to NPEs or anything that increases their litigation defense costs and disrupts their business.  Conversely, however, some argue that NPEs are…

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Can I Make My Patented Product?—The Negative Monopoly Provided by Patents

  One of the most frequently misunderstood concepts in patent law is that it is a negative monopoly.  That means a patent provides a right to exclude other people from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing what the patent claims.  However, that right to exclude does not confer a right to practice the…

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Licensing Your Patents—The Dangers of Declaratory Judgment Actions

It is the great hope of most patent holders to sit back and collect royalty checks, hopefully with as little expense and difficulty as possible. Enforcing patents is difficult, time consuming, and expensive, so many patent holders hope to convince infringers to pay them for the use of their inventions without going to court. Thus,…

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How Can They Get a Patent On That?—Invalidating Patents

“How can they get a patent on that”?  This is a question I’ve heard countless times from clients after receiving a cease and desist letter threatening to sue them for patent infringement.  Patent examination is ex parte, so only the applicant and the examiner are involved.  The examiner is the gate keeper of the system…

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Recommended Reading – The Anatomy of a Patent Case

Patent litigation is unlike any other civil litigation.  Most civil litigation involves a cause of action, such as negligence or fraud, with a series of elements that must be met in order to win.  Patent litigation can be thought of in these terms, but it also involves claim construction proceedings, the doctrine of equivalents and…

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Sprechen Sie Patent? Learning How to Speak “Patent”

We have observed many instances in which clients and patent attorneys communicate with one another like “two ships passing in the night” because they operate from different paradigms when speaking about patent issues.  Such miscommunications may often go unnoticed and uncorrected.   Of course, this can result in bad business decisions and other problems depending on…

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