Federal Circuit Finds Disclosure Of Devices At Major Industry Event Constituted “Public Use” That Barred Patenting
On February 15, 2023, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment of invalidity under the public use bar of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102(b), based on the patentee’s disclosure of devices having the patented technology at an industry event. Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc., No. 2021-2246 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 15, 2023). The Court found that the patentee had allowed sophisticated industry members to scrutinize the devices closely, such that they would have understood the invention, without any obligations of confidentiality.
District Of Delaware Determines “Translator Device” Limitations Are Subject To Means-Plus-Function Strictures And Invalidates Claims As Indefinite
On September 10, 2021, Judge Richard G. Andrews of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware issued a Memorandum Opinion on claim construction. Peloton Interactive, Inc. v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., No. 20-662-RGA, slip. op. (D. Del. Sept. 10, 2021). Judge Andrews held that certain claims of the asserted patent containing “translator device…” limitations were invalid as indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 6 because they failed to disclose corresponding structure for the claimed function.
Federal Circuit Holds “User Identification Module” Is A Means-Plus-Function Term And Invalid As Indefinite For Failing To Disclose Corresponding Structure
On March 2, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion reversing the district court’s conclusion that a claim was not invalid as indefinite. Rain Computing, Inc. v. Samsung Elecs., Am., Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Mar. 2, 2021). The CAFC held that the claim term, “user identification module,” was a means-plus-function limitation under 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 6, and invalid as indefinite for failure to disclose corresponding structure (here, an algorithm).
Northern District Of Illinois Uses Collateral Estoppel To Find Patents Invalid Based On PTAB’s Unpatentability Rulings On Similar Patents
On October 8, 2020, Judge Andrea R. Wood of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied plaintiff Think Product, Inc.’s motion to reconsider a finding of patent invalidity. Think Products, Inc. v. Acco Brands Corp. and Acco Brands, USA LLC, No. 18-cv-07506 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 8, 2020). The Court had previously granted defendants Acco Brands Corporation’s and Acco Brands, USA LLC’s motion for summary judgment invalidating two patents based on collateral estoppel arising from rulings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) invalidating for obviousness two similar patents.
Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB’s Finding That Claims Are Not Unpatentable As Anticipated Or Obvious
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.