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  • Central District Of California Finds A Presumption Of Patent Infringement And Shifts The Burden To Defendants Pursuant To Section 295
     
    04/27/2022

    On April 7, 2022, Judge Selna of the United States District Court for the Central District of California (CDCA) granted plaintiff’s motion for a presumption of patent infringement and to shift the burden pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 295.  PureCircle USA Inc. et al v. SweeGen, Inc. et al, 8-18-cv-01679.
  • Federal Circuit Again Finds Communications Attempting To Resolve A Patent Dispute Can Be A Basis For Personal Jurisdiction In Declaratory Judgment Action
     
    04/27/2022

    On April 18, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) reversed the dismissal of a declaratory judgment action for lack of personal jurisdiction by the United States District Court for the Norther District of California (NDCA).  Apple, Inc. v. Zipit Wireless, Inc., No. 2021-1760 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 18, 2022).  The CAFC found that the NDCA erred in applying a bright-line rule that patent infringement notice letters can never form the basis for personal jurisdiction.
  • Federal Circuit Rules A “Fastening Stem” Need Not Fasten Separate Pieces
     
    04/19/2022

    On April 4, 2022, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential opinion vacating claim constructions ordered by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in No. 1:17-cv-12375-IT, Judge Indira Talwani.  Littelfuse, Inc. v.  Mersen USA EP Corp., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. April 4, 2022).  In its order, the CAFC concluded that the district court’s constructions incorrectly limited claim scope to a preferred embodiment and rendered certain dependent claims superfluous.
  • Western District Of Texas Rejects Expert’s Hypothetical Negotiation Analysis That Used The Wrong Parties
     
    03/15/2022

    On March 3, 2022, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas entered a redacted copy of its February 24, 2022 order striking plaintiff’s expert report on damages and excluding the testimony of its damages expert.  Daedalus Blue LLC v. SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd., No. 6:20-cv-00073-ADA, Dkt. No. 173 (W.D. Tex. Mar. 3, 2022).  The Court found the expert’s initial, timely-served report used the wrong parties in his hypothetical negotiation analysis and, for that reason, could not withstand defendant’s Daubert challenge.  On the other hand, the expert’s “supplemental” report re-doing his analysis with the correct parties was untimely and thus stricken.
  • Western District Of Texas Relies On Relaxed Alter Ego Theory To Deny Motion To Dismiss For Improper Venue
     
    03/08/2022

    On February 25, 2022, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (WDTX) filed a redacted copy of its February 11, 2022 order denying a motion to dismiss for improper venue.  WSOU Investments LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing & Dev. v. Canon Inc., No. 6:20-cv-00980-ADA, Dkt. No. 137 (W.D. Tex. Feb. 25, 2022).  The WDTX, applying a more relaxed burden for purposes of establishing venue through an alter ego theory, found that defendant had a regular and established place of business in the District through the office of its wholly-owned subsidiary.
  • U.S. District Court For The Eastern District Of Texas Bifurcates Trial Over Counterclaims Asserting Patent Infringement Claims Directed To Distinct Technologies
     
    03/01/2022

    On February 23, 2022, Judge Payne of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (“EDTX”) granted plaintiff’s motion to sever defendant’s counterclaims asserting patent infringement of claims directed to technologies that are distinct from those at-issue in plaintiff’s offensive case.  United Services Automobile Association v. PNC Bank, NA, 2-20-cv-00319.
  • Federal Circuit Grants Mandamus Directing Transfer From Eastern District Of Texas To Northern District Of California
     
    01/25/2022

    On January 19, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) granted mandamus directing the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) to transfer the case against petitioner to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA).  In re Netflix, Inc., No. 2022-110 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 19, 2022).  The CAFC found that Chief Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s denial of transfer under 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) was a clear abuse of discretion.
  • The District Court For The Eastern District Of Texas Denies Motion To Stay Pending Ex Parte Reexamination
     
    01/19/2022

    On January 6, 2022, Chief Judge Gilstrap of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas denied a motion to stay pending ex parte reexamination (“EPR”) of the patent asserted in the litigation, and found that defendant was relying on the EPR as part of a strategy of “examiner shopping.”  Longhorn HD LLC v. NetScout Systems, Inc., 2-20-cv-00349.
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
  • Judge Albright Of The Western District Of Texas Grants Motion To Transfer On Convenience Grounds
     
    12/21/2021

    On December 8, 2021, Judge Albright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a sealed opinion granting the defendants’ motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of Georgia.  Lynk Labs, Inc v. Home Depot USA, Inc., No. 6:21-cv-00097-ADA (W.D. Tex. Dec. 8, 2021).  A public, redacted version has since published, in which the court addresses the public and private interest convenience factors, finding that the Northern District of Georgia was a clearly more convenient forum.
  • Federal Circuit Decides IPR Petitioner’s Standing In Two Appeals, With Different Outcomes
     
    12/08/2021

    On December 1, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued two opinions related to the same inter partes review (IPR) petitioner’s standing to appeal two decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).  ModernaTx, Inc. v. Arbutus Biopharma Corp, — F.4th — (Fed. Cir. Dec. 1, 2021); ModernaTx, Inc. v. Arbutus Biopharma Corp f/k/a Protiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., — F.4th — (Fed. Cir. Dec. 1, 2021).  In the first opinion, the CAFC found that petitioner had established standing by demonstrating a sufficient risk of an infringement suit based on the patent owner’s statements and actions.  In the second opinion, the CAFC found that petitioner lacked standing at the time the appeal was filed because petitioner’s evidence of financial burden from the validity of the patent at issue was too speculative.
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
  • Eastern District Of Texas Denies Motion To Dismiss Patent Case Asserting Claims Directed To Abstract Idea
     
    11/24/2021

    On November 15, 2021, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that the asserted claims directed at data collection, storage, management, and access were abstract, but refused to dismiss the claims under the second step in the Alice analysis. Gravel Rating Systems, LLC v. McAfee, LLC, Case No. 4:21-CV-259-ALM.
  • Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal For Improper Venue And Failure To State A Claim As To Domestic And Foreign Defendants Respectively
     
    11/16/2021

    On November 5, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an order affirming a decision by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, No. 2:19-cv-05802-ES-MAH, Judge Esther Salas, dismissing a patent infringement suit for improper venue and failure to state a claim.  Celgene Corp. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Nov. 5, 2021).  In its order, the CAFC affirmed that plaintiff had not established that the domestic defendants committed acts of infringement in New Jersey or had regular and established places of business there and had not sufficiently pleaded a claim against the foreign parent defendant.
  • Federal Circuit Orders Transfer Of Another Judge Albright Case
     
    11/03/2021

    On October 19, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) granted a petition for writ of mandamus ordering the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to transfer the underlying action to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.  In re DISH Network, L.L.C., No. 2021-182 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 19, 2021).  The CAFC held that Judge Albright abused his discretion when denying DISH’s motion to transfer on convenience grounds pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
  • Federal Circuit Rejects Arguments That The USPTO Is Unconstitutionally Structured
     
    10/19/2021

    On October 13, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion rejecting a patentee’s arguments challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) structure based on its purported financial interest in instituting inter partes reviews (IPRs).  Mobility Workx, LLC v. Unified Patents, LLC, --- F.3d --- (Fed. Cir. Oct. 13, 2021).  The CAFC found that the financial interests of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) leadership and of individual administrative patent judges (APJs) were too remote to violate due process under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Tumey v. Ohio.
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
  • Federal Circuit Denies Mandamus Request Seeking To Require Service Under Hague Convention
     
    10/06/2021

    On September 10, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Nos. 6:20-cv-00952-ADA, 6:20-cv-00953-ADA, 6:20-cv-00956-ADA, 6:20-cv-00957-ADA, and 6:20-cv-00958-ADA, Judge Alan D. Albright, directing dismissal of five patent infringement actions for insufficient service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction.  In re:  ONEPLUS TECHNOLOGY (SHENZEN) CO., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Sept. 10, 2021).  In its order, the CAFC let stand Judge Albrights’s decision finding that the mandamus petitioner’s right to service only under the Hague Convention is not clear and indisputable.
  • The Federal Circuit Reverses Damages Award For Sales Of Infringing Products Prior To Actual Notice Of Infringement
     
    09/09/2021

    On September 1, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) found that the District Court for the Central District of California erred in awarding damages for sales of infringing products prior to the date that the infringer received actual notice of infringement for failure to prove its compliance with the patent marking statute.  Lubby Holdings LLC v. Henry Chung, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Sep. 1, 2021).
  • Federal Circuit Affirms Exclusion Of Damages Expert’s Royalty Rate Opinions
     
    08/31/2021

    On August 26, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued an order affirming orders from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California excluding certain opinions of plaintiff’s damages expert.  MLC Intellectual Property LLC v. Micron Technology Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. August 26, 2021).  In its decision, the CAFC let stand the district court judge’s orders precluding plaintiff’s damages expert from characterizing certain license agreements as supporting his reasonable royalty rate determination.
  • District Court Limits Expansion Of IPR Estoppel Law
     
    08/03/2021

    On July 21, 2021, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgement that its patent was not invalid due to inter partes review (“IPR”) estoppel pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2).  General Access Solutions, Ltd. v. Sprint Spectrum LLC, 2-20-cv-00007 (Robert W. Schroeder, III).
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRs
  • Federal Circuit Denies Petition To Transfer Case Out Of Western Texas
     
    07/28/2021

    On July 13, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, No. 6:20-cv-00622-ADA, Judge Alan D. Albright, directing transfer.  In re: TCO AS, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. July 13, 2021).  In its order, the CAFC let stand Judge Albright’s decision denying Petitioner’s motion to transfer.
  • Federal Circuit Finds District Court’s Element-By-Element Infringement Pleading Standard Overly Demanding
     
    07/20/2021

    On July 13, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded appellant Bot M8 LLC’s (“Bot M8”) appeal of several underlying orders related to the dismissal of its patent infringement action against Sony Corporation of America (“Sony”).  Bot M8 LLC v. Sony Corporation of America, ___ F.3d ___ (Fed. Cir. July 13, 2021).  The CAFC clarified that while a plaintiff need not plead infringement on an element-by-element basis, reciting claim elements and merely concluding that the accused products have those elements is insufficient.
  • District Of Delaware Denies Motion To Preclude Plaintiff From Asserting At Trial Patent Claims Found Unpatentable By The US Patent Office’s Patent Trial And Appeal Board
     
    07/13/2021

    On July 6, 2021, Judge Noreika of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware issued an Order denying defendant’s motion in limine to preclude plaintiff from asserting claims of a patent that were found unpatentable by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in an inter partes review.  TrustID, Inc. v. Next Caller Inc., Slip. Op. (D. Del. July 6, 2021).  The Court determined that plaintiff was not collaterally estopped.
  • District Court Awards Fees And Costs Incurred In District Court Patent Litigation, Related USPTO CBM Proceedings, And Related Appeals
     
    06/29/2021

    On June 21, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California awarded defendants’ fees and costs pursuant to 35 U.S. Code § 285 for work performed in defending against claims of patent infringement in district court, and more significantly, also awarded defendants’ fees and costs for a related appeal, the related Covered Business Method (“CBM”) proceedings, and an appeal of the CBM proceedings.  Ameranth, Inc. v. Domino's Pizza, LLC et. al., 3-12-cv-00733.
  • Internet Sales To Forum Residents Processed By Forum-Based Payment Processing Service Not Enough To Establish Personal Jurisdiction Over Retailer
     
    06/22/2021

    On June 7, 2021, Judge Christina A. Snyder of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.  Trustee of the Summers Family Trust TA Neak Products Buff WA Pty, Ltd v. National Distribution Warehouse, Inc. d/b/a Teacher's Choice, case no. 2:20-cv-10741-CAS-Ex.  Judge Snyder specifically found that plaintiff had not carried its burden to establish purposeful direction targeted at California or a nexus to a forum-related activity.
  • Western District Of Texas Grants Motion To Transfer Venue On Section 1404 Convenience Grounds
     
    06/02/2021

    On May 21, 2021, Judge Alan D. Albright of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas granted a motion to transfer venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1404.  10Tales, Inc. v. TikTok Inc., Case No. 6:20-cv-00810-ADA (W.D. Tex. May 21, 2021).  The Court found that, under Fifth Circuit precedent, the Northern District of California was a “clearly more convenient” forum.
  • Federal Circuit Finds Accused Infringer’s Reference To Covid-19 Fight Insufficient To Undo Invalidity Verdict
     
    05/18/2021

    On May 11, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued an opinion affirming a judgement of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware finding all asserted claims of appellant’s patents on DNA-sequencing technology invalid and denying appellant’s motion for a new trial.  Pac. Biosciences of Cal., Inc. v. Oxford Nanopore Techs., Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. May 11, 2021).  In its decision, the CAFC upheld a jury verdict finding the asserted claims invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112 for lack of enablement, and affirmed the district court’s decision that appellee’s opening statement respecting the impact of the trial on the fight against Covid-19 did not warrant a new trial.
  • Federal Circuit Affirms Setting Aside Patent Award Where Patentee’s President Misrepresented His Knowledge Of Material Prior Art
     
    05/11/2021

    On May 5, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) upheld a decision of the United States District Court for the Central District of California setting aside a judgment and injunction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(3).  Cap Export, LLC v. Zinus, Inc., ___ F.3d ___, (Fed. Cir. May 5, 2021).  The CAFC found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting a motion to vacate the judgment under Rule 60(b)(3) where the patentee’s president and expert witness misrepresented his knowledge of highly material prior art in his deposition.
  • Federal Circuit Grants Another Petition For Mandamus Ordering Judge To Transfer A Case Out Of The Western District Of Texas On Convenience Grounds
     
    04/28/2021

    On April 20, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued an order granting a petition for a writ of mandamus directing Judge Alan D. Albright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas (“WDTX”) to transfer a case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (“SDFL”), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).  In re TracFone Wireless, Inc., __ F. App’x __ (Fed. Cir. April 20, 2021).  The CAFC found that Judge Albright clearly abused his discretion when, in denying TracFone’s motion to transfer, he found that SDFL was not a clearly more convenient forum to litigate the case between the parties. 
  • United States District Court Finds That A Retail Store Operating Under Assumed Name Was Defendant’s Established Place of Business
     
    03/31/2021

    On March 11, 2021, Judge Alan D. Albright of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas denied defendant’s motion to dismiss for improper venue or to transfer pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404.  Precis Group, LLC, v. Tracfone Wireless, Inc., 6-20-CV-00303 (W.D. Tex. Mar. 11, 2021).  The Court found that a retail store operating in the district under an assumed name was defendant’s established place of business, and therefore sufficient to establish venue.
     
  • United States District Court Strikes Patentee’s Expert’s Testimony That Contradicted The Patentee’s Statements Made In A Vacated Reexamination Proceeding
     
    02/03/2021

    On January 21, 2021, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania adopted the report and recommendation of the special master recommending the court grant defendant’s motion to exclude options set forth in an expert report prepared on behalf of patentee-plaintiff, because those opinions were contradicted by patentee-plaintiff’s statements to the patent office made during reexamination of the at-issue patent.
     
  • Central District Of California Finds Marking Of Product Packaging Insufficient Under 35 U.S.C. § 287.
     
    01/26/2021

    On January 6, 2021, Judge James V. Selna of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted, in part, defendant Feit Electric Co., Inc.’s (“Feit”) motion for partial summary judgment related to plaintiff Zadro Prods, Inc.’s (“Zadro”) alleged failure to properly mark certain products.  Zadro Prods, Inc. v. Feit Electric Co., Inc., Case No. SACV-20-101-JVS (C.D. Cal. Jan. 6, 2021).  Judge Selna found that:  (1) Zadro’s alleged failure to disclose that it marked its products in a discovery response was not grounds for summary judgment; (2) an issue of material fact remained as to whether Zadro’s products practiced one of the patents in suit; and (3) Zadro’s marking of the packaging of its products which practiced one of the patents in suit (rather than the products themselves) was insufficient under 35 U.S.C § 287.
     
  • Judge Alsup Partially Grants Section 285 Request For Attorneys’ Fees Due To Exceptional Nature Of Case, Lamenting “Standard Patent BS By Bought-And-Paid-For Experts”
     
    01/20/2021

    On January 9, 2021, Judge Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a request for attorneys’ fees to the prevailing defendant.  Finjan, Inc. v. Juniper Network, Inc., case no. C 17-05659 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2021).  Judge Alsup found that plaintiff’s case stood out as exceptional in certain respects and, accordingly, issued a limited award for attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285.
     
  • Federal Circuit Finds Video Signal Conversion Claims Patent Ineligible
     
    12/22/2020

    On December 14, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a decision by the United States District Court for the Central District of California holding all asserted claims of appellant’s ’305 patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  Adaptive Streaming Inc. v. Netflix, Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. December 14, 2020).  The CAFC concluded that the district court correctly found that the claims were directed to an abstract idea and lacked any inventive concept, and that dismissal of appellant’s complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) was proper.
     
  • UK Defendant’s Interactive Website Insufficient To Establish Personal Jurisdiction In Texas
     
    12/15/2020

    On December 8, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) unsealed its November 30, 2020, order granting dismissal without prejudice for lack of personal jurisdiction.  TriOptima AB v. Quantile Techs. Ltd., Case No. 2:19-cv-00390-JRG, Dkt. No. 154 (E.D. Tex. Dec. 8, 2020); TriOptima AB v. Quantile Techs. Ltd., Case No. 2:19-cv-00390-JRG, Dkt. No. 149 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 30, 2020).  The EDTX found that the United Kingdom-based defendant was not subjected to specific personal jurisdiction in Texas by providing financial services that can affect Texas interests through a secure customer portal website.
     
  • Federal Circuit Denies Petition For Writ Of Mandamus Requesting It Vacate The District Court’s Spoliation-Based Sanctions Order
     
    11/10/2020

    On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) denied a petition for a writ of mandamus requesting the CAFC vacate the United States District Court for the Central District of California’s (C.D. Cal.) order granting an adverse inference instruction in connection with Ivantis Inc.’s failure to preserve relevant evidence for litigation.  In re Ivantis, Inc., F.3d __, (Fed. Cir. Nov. 3, 2020).  The CAFC found no reason to depart from the usual practice of waiting until after final judgment to review the C.D. Cal.’s order.
     
  • Federal Circuit Vacates Ruling From Bench On Patent Eligibility As Insufficient To Enable Appellate Review
     
    11/03/2020

    On October 23, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion vacating and remanding a bench ruling of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware holding all 159 claims in five asserted patents ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Realtime Data LLC v. Reduxio Systems, Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. October 23, 2020).  In its decision, the CAFC concluded that the district court’s analysis of patent eligibility under Section 101 was too cursory to allow for meaningful appellate review, and directed the district court to consider the issue further and elaborate on its reasoning.
     
  • Federal Circuit Limits Scope Of IPR Estoppel, And Vacates Claim Construction That Was Based On Expert Testimony
     
    09/29/2020

    On September 24, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion affirming-in-part, reversing-in-part, vacating, and remanding a final judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that Appellant’s patent claims are not infringed; that Cross-appellant is estopped from raising certain validity challenges based on its joinder to an inter partes review (“IPR”) before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”); and that asserted claim 6 was not improperly broadened during reexamination.  Network-1 Technologies, Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Sept. 24, 2020).  In its decision, the CAFC vacated the district court’s judgment of non-infringement as based on incorrect claim construction, vacated the district court’s judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) on validity for improperly applying statutory estoppel, and affirmed the district court’s decision with respect to improper claim broadening.
     
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
  • Northern District Of California Holds Claims Invalid, Finding Them Not Directed To A Patent-Eligible Category, And Moreover Directed To An Abstract Idea
     
    09/22/2020

    On September 10, 2020, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss allegations of patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 101.  FullView, Inc. v. Polycom, Inc., No. 18-CV-00510-EMC, 2020 WL 5430309 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 10, 2020).  The district court found that the at-issue claims were ineligible for two reasons.  First, the claims were not directed to a patent-eligible category under Section 101.  Second, the claims were directed to the abstract idea of combining multiple pictures to create one larger picture without offering an inventive concept, as required under the two-step test in Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. 208 (2014).
     
  • ITC Suspends Enforcement Of Remedial Orders Pending Appeal Of IPR Final Written Decision
     
    09/15/2020

    On September 8, 2020, the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued an opinion suspending enforcement of remedial orders pending appeal of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board’s (“PTAB”) final written decision (“FWD”) of unpatentability in a parallel inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding.  Certain Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1133, Comm’n Op. (Sept. 8, 2020); Certain Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1133, Final Determination (Aug. 20, 2020).  In its opinion, the ITC relied on its broad discretion in selecting a remedy, its recognition of the PTAB’s leading role in assessing the validity of patent claims, and Congress’s goal for IPRs to be a substitute for litigation on patent validity issues.
     
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsITCPTAB
  • Doctrine Of Equivalents Cannot Be Used To Extend Patent Claims To Cover Software Where Claims Require A Physical Component
     
    08/18/2020

    On August 3, 2020, Judge Alan Albright of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas granted defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings that plaintiff was barred from asserting infringement by defendants’ smartphone applications.  Lighthouse Consulting Group, LLC v. BB&T Corp., No. 6-19-CV-00594-ADA.
     
  • Federal Circuit Directs Transfer Of Patent Suit From Western District Of Texas To Northern District Of California
     
    08/04/2020

    On Friday, July 28, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) directed the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (W.D. Tex.) to grant Adobe Inc.’s (“Adobe”) motion to transfer pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (N.D. Cal.).  In re: Adobe Inc., F.3d __, (Fed. Cir. Jul. 28, 2020).  The CAFC found that the court (i) did not properly accord weight to convenience of the transferee forum; (ii) overlooked that the willing witness factor favored transfer; and (iii) “ran afoul of governing precedent in giving dispositive weight to its ability to more quickly schedule a trial.”  The CAFC ultimately held that “the district court’s denial of transfer here was a clear abuse of discretion.”
     
  • Federal Circuit Dismisses IPR Appeal For Petitioner’s Lack Of Article III Standing
     
    05/05/2020

    On April 23, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) dismissed an appeal of an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding for lack of Article III standing.  Argentum Pharms. LLC v. Novartis Pharms. Corp., No. 2018-2273, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Apr. 23, 2020).  The Federal Circuit found that the petitioner failed to prove that it suffered an injury in fact.
     
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
  • Federal Circuit Reverses Eastern District Of Texas Decision Holding Patent Claims Patentable Under Section 101
     
    04/21/2020

    On April 14, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued an opinion reversing a finding of patentability by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.  Ericsson Inc. v. TCL Commc’n Tech. Holdings Ltd., No. 2018-2003, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. 2020).  The CAFC first found in favor of appellant TCL on the procedural issue of whether it could decide TCL’s ineligibility argument, despite the issue not being raised below in its motion for judgment as a matter of law.  Then, on the merits, the CAFC reversed the district court’s denial of TCL’s summary judgment motion that the asserted patent claims failed the Supreme Court’s two-step Alice test, and were therefore unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. §101.
     
  • Federal Circuit Finds That 35 U.S.C. § 315(c) Does Not Permit New-Party Or New-Issue Joinder In IPR Proceedings
     
    04/02/2020

    On March 18, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) erred in allowing same-party and new-issue joinder in inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings.  Facebook, Inc. v. Windy City Innovations, Inc., Nos. 2018-1400, 2018-1401, 2018-1402, 2018-1403, 2018-1537, 2018-1540, 2018-1541, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Mar. 18, 2020).  The CAFC vacated the PTAB’s final written decisions with respect to the claims that were improperly added through joinder.
     
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
  • Federal Circuit Finds Presence Of Google’s Cache Servers In The Eastern District Of Texas Does Not Justify Venue
     
    02/25/2020

    On February 13, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) granted a writ of mandamus, ordering the Eastern District of Texas (“EDTX”) to dismiss or transfer the patent infringement suit filed there against Google LLC (“Google”).  In re Google LLC, No. 2019-126, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Feb, 13, 2020).  Applying In re Cray, CAFC found that the EDTX lacked venue under the 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).
     
  • Federal Circuit Finds Term Of Court-Imposed FRAND License Violated Seventh Amendment Right To A Jury Trial
     
    12/10/2019

    On December 5, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion vacating-in-part, reversing-in-part and remanding for further proceedings the decision and order of the United States District Court for the Central District of California imposing “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) rates in a binding worldwide license between an owner of certain standard-essential patents (SEPs) and a manufacturer of mobile devices that implement technology covered by the SEPs.  TCL Commc’n Tech. Holdings Limited v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, F.3d (Fed. Cir. Dec. 5, 2019).  The CAFC ruled that the district court deprived the SEP owner of its right to a jury trial when the district court decided from the bench to impose a term of the FRAND license that was—in substance—compensatory relief for the mobile phone manufacturer’s past wrongful acts.
     
  • Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB’s Finding That Claims Are Not Unpatentable As Anticipated Or Obvious
     
    10/29/2019

    On October 23, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion affirming the finding of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that Koninklijke Philips N.V.’s patent claims are not unpatentable.  Google LLC v. Koninklijke Philips N.V., __ Fed. Appx. __ (Fed. Cir. Oct. 23, 2019).  The CAFC ruled that the PTAB correctly found that Google failed to meet its burden of establishing that the claims were unpatentable as anticipated and that it was not an abuse of discretion for the PTAB to decline to consider Google’s untimely, backup obviousness argument.
     
  • Federal Circuit Finds That Patent Sublicenses Do Not Automatically Terminate Upon Termination Of The Main License Agreement
     
    10/22/2019

    On October 17, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) vacated the judgement of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware granting a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on the ground that the defendant had a valid license to the patents-in-suit.  Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Oct. 17, 2019).  The CAFC found that the license defense could not be resolved on a motion to dismiss because the license was ambiguous, and remanded to the district court. 
     
  • Federal Circuit Dismisses Appeals Challenging PTAB’s Decision To Terminate IPRs On Remand
     
    09/04/2019

    On August 29, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion dismissing three related appeals, each challenging the decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to terminate an inter partes review (IPR). Biodelivery Scis. Int’l v. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc.__ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Aug. 29, 2019).  The CAFC found that 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) bars it from reviewing the PTAB’s decision, even though the PTAB had previously issued a final written decision of patentability in each IPR.
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
  • Applying The Doctrine Of Argument-Based Estoppel, Federal Circuit Affirms District Court’s Dismissal Of Infringement Claims
     
    08/06/2019

    On July 29, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion affirming a decision of the District Court for the District of Delaware dismissing a patent-infringement complaint for failure to state a claim.  Amgen Inc. v. Computer Biosciences. Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. July 29, 2019).  The CAFC affirmed the District Court’s application of the doctrine of argument-based estoppel and held that the patent owner could not succeed on its infringement claim.
  • Applying The Doctrine Of Issue Preclusion, Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Unpatentability Finding
     
    06/04/2019

    On May 23rd, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion affirming the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s inter partes review (IPR) unpatentability decision.  Papst Licensing GmbH v. Samsung Elec. Am. Inc., __ F.3d __(Fed. Cir. May 23, 2019).  The CAFC ruled that claim-construction and prior-art rulings in an earlier IPR created issue preclusion barring the patent owner from contesting those issues in the appeal of a later IPR.
    CATEGORIES : IP Litigation ProcedureIPRsPTAB
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