Articles Posted in Intellectual Property

by
CenTrak’s 909 patent, entitled “Methods and Systems for Synchronized Ultrasonic Real Time Location,” relates to systems for real-time location (RTL), which allow users to locate and identify portable devices in a facility. Hospitals, for example, might use RTL systems to track equipment and patients. The asserted claims generally recite five components: ultrasonic (US) base stations; portable devices (i.e., tags); a server; radio frequency (RF) base stations; and a backbone network that connects the server with the RF base stations. In an infringement suit, the district court entered summary judgment several claims invalid for lack of written description and that other claims were not infringed. The Federal Circuit reversed, finding that genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether disclosure of the implementation details that the district court identified is necessary to satisfy the written description requirement; there is a material dispute of fact as to whether the named inventors actually possessed an ultrasonic RTL system at the time they filed their patent application or whether they were “leaving it to the industry to complete an unfinished invention.” CenTrak’s evidence raised a triable issue of fact regarding infringement. View "CenTrak, Inc. v. Sonitor Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

by
Continental’s 582, 560, 105, and 912 patents are directed to a “multilayer electrical device . . . having a tooth structure” and methods for making the same. The patents, which have since expired, are continuations of one another and thus share substantially the same specification. According to the patents, multilayer electric devices “suffer from delamination, blistering, and other reliability problems,” especially when “subjected to thermal stress.” The inventions of the patents purport to solve this problem by “forming a unique surface structure . . . comprised of teeth that are preferably angled or hooked like fangs or canine teeth to enable one layer to mechanically grip a second layer.” Continental sued. The parties stipulated to a judgment of noninfringement, based on the district court’s claim construction. The Federal Circuit vacated. The district court erred in reading a “repeated desmear process” limitation into the Category 1 Terms. View "Continental Circuits LLC v. Intel Corp." on Justia Law

by
The Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) patent, entitled “Stable Protein Formulations,” describes and claims specific fluid formulations an immunosuppressive agent used in the treatment of immune system disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. The product has the common name “abatacept” and the brand name Orencia®. Momenta sought Inter Partes Review of the Patent under the America Invents Act, 35 U.S.C. 311. Momenta was attempting to develop a biosimilar counterpart of Orencia®. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board sustained patentability of the patent claims. Momenta filed an appeal under 35 U.S.C. 319. BMS moved to dismiss for lack of standing because Momenta’s proposed product had failed its Phase 1 clinical trials and had been withdrawn. Momenta responded that it had not abandoned its intent to produce a counterpart of the Orencia® product and filed various exhibits concerning its intentions, ultimately submitting a form that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2018, indicating termination of Momenta’s collaboration agreement with respect to the development of a proposed biosimilar to ORENCIA®. Momenta did not withdraw its appeal. The Federal Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of standing as moot. The cessation of potential infringement means that Momenta no longer has the potential for injury, thereby mooting the inquiry. View "Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co." on Justia Law

by
Athena Diagnostics is the exclusive licensee of the 820 patent, covering methods for diagnosing neurological disorders by detecting antibodies to a protein called muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK), which is associated with Myasthenia gravis (MG), a neurological disorder where patients experience muscle weakness and symptoms including drooping eyelids, double vision, and slurred speech. Athena markets a test (FMUSK) that functions by evaluating those antibodies. After Mayo developed two competing tests, Athena accused Mayo of infringing its patent. The Federal Circuit affirmed that the asserted claims of the 820 patent are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 101, for claiming ineligible subject matter. The claims at issue are directed to a natural law and lack an inventive concept. View "Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC" on Justia Law

by
RCT owns the 551 patent, which discloses and claims enantiomeric compounds and pharmaceutical compositions useful in the treatment of epilepsy and other central nervous system disorders. The Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board, in an inter partes review, concluded that claims 1–13 of the patent are not unpatentable. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument that an ordinary artisan would have recognized the methoxyamino group in compound 3l (disclosed in a prior reference) to be uncommon and to have potential synthetic and stability problems and that a person of skill in the art would then have been motivated to modify compound 3l by replacing the amine of its methoxyamino group with a methylene link to yield a more stable, synthetically accessible, pharmaceutically common and acceptable moiety. The Board’s findings are supported by substantial evidence. Even if a person of skill in the art would have been motivated to modify compound 3l, the evidence suggests that compounds without a methoxyamino or nitrogen-containing group at the αcarbon had reduced activity. View "Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Research Corporation Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

by
IPS’s founder and CEO (King) and Chief Technical Officer (Schwarz) are electrical engineers. IPS manufactured multi-space parking meters. King claims he conceived the idea for a credit-card enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter in 2003, consulted with Schwarz, and decided that IPS would offer a retrofit device that replaces the internal components of an existing parking meter. IPS engaged a design firm, D+I, in 2004, providing it with King's list of desired components and functionalities. Schwarz compiled a list of electrical components and product specifications and drew a block diagram conceptualizing the electrical connections. The 054 patent issued in 2013 from a 2006 application, naming King and Schwarz as inventors. It claims a credit card-enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter that can retrofit the internal components of existing parking meters. The 310 patent issued in 2010 from a 2008 application, naming as inventors King and three D+I engineers. It claims a credit card-enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter. In 2015, IPS sued DPT for infringement. The court granted summary judgment that DPT’s Liberty® Single-Space Meter does not infringe either patent. DPT successfully petitioned the Patent and Trademark Office for inter partes review under 35 U.S.C. 102(e). The Board rejected an anticipation argument, holding that King was the sole inventor of the anticipating disclosure of the 054 patent. The Federal Circuit reversed the decision that the 310 patent claims are not unpatentable as anticipated; affirmed summary judgment of noninfringement of the 310 patent; and vacated summary judgment of noninfringement of the 054 patent; the district court erred in construing the claims too narrowly. View "Duncan Parking Technologies, Inc. v. IPS Group, Inc." on Justia Law

by
Dr. Barry’s patents, entitled “System and Method for Aligning Vertebrae in the Amelioration of Aberrant Spinal Column Deviation Conditions,” claim methods and systems for correcting spinal column anomalies, such as those due to scoliosis, by applying force to multiple vertebrae at once. Dr. Barry sued Medtronic, alleging that Medtronic induced surgeons to infringe the patents. The jury found infringement of method claims 4 and 5 of the 358 patent and system claims 2, 3, and 4 of the 121 patent, rejected Medtronic’s several invalidity defenses, and awarded damages. In post-trial rulings on the jury issues, the district court upheld the verdict, rejecting challenges as to induced infringement and associated damages for domestic conduct, invalidity of the asserted 358 patent claims under the public-use and on-sale bars, and invalidity of all asserted claims due to another’s prior invention. The district court then rejected Medtronic’s inequitable-conduct challenge and enhanced damages by 20 percent while denying attorney’s fees to Dr. Barry, The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting several arguments by Medtronics, principally concerning the public-use and on-sale statutory bars, but also concerning prior invention, inequitable conduct, and induced infringement and associated damages. View "Barry v. Medtronic, Inc." on Justia Law

by
In April 2006, Supernus filed the “100 application” In August 2010, the USPTO issued a final rejection. In February 2011, Supernus filed a request for continued examination (RCE), 35 U.S.C. 132(b). Also in April 2006, Supernus filed an international application, claiming priority from the 100 application, which was subject to opposition. Supernus notified USPTO of the opposition. In October 2011, the European Patent Office issued European Patent EP2010189. The 100 application issued in June 2014, as the 897 patent, titled “Osmotic Drug Delivery System,” reflecting a patent term adjustment (PTA), adding 1,260 days to the patent’s 20-year term. The USPTO attributed 2,321 days to USPTO delay: 1,656 days for USPTO’s failure to meet the mandated statutory response deadlines and 665 days for failure to issue the patent within three years of the application’s filing date. The USPTO reduced the PTA by 175 days to account for overlapping delays, and by 886 days for applicant delay. Of the 886 "applicant delay" days attributed, 646 days were assessed for the period Supernus did not attempt to invoke the protections of the 30-day safe harbor established by 37 C.F.R. 1.704(d)(1). Supernus argued that “37 C.F.R. 1.704(c)(8) does not govern post-RCE submissions.” The USPTO rejected a request for reconsideration. The district court granted USPTO summary judgment. The Federal Circuit reversed. The PTA went beyond the period during which the applicant failed to undertake reasonable efforts, exceeding the limitations set by the PTA statute. View "Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Iancu" on Justia Law

by
Guild makes mortgage loans and has used the mark “GUILD MORTGAGE COMPANY” since 1960. Guild was founded in California and has expanded to over 40 other states. It applied to register the mark “GUILD MORTGAGE COMPANY,” and design, in International Class 36 for “mortgage banking services, namely, origination, acquisition, servicing, securitization and brokerage of mortgage loans.” The application states that color is not claimed as a feature of the mark and that the “mark consists of the name Guild Mortgage Company with three lines shooting out above the letters I and L.” Registration was refused (15 U.S.C. 1052(d)) due to a likelihood of confusion between Guild’s mark and the mark “GUILD INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT” registered in International Class 36 for “investment advisory services,” which is owned by Guild Investment Management, Inc. a Los Angeles investment company. The Board affirmed. The Federal Circuit vacated. The Board erred by failing to address Guild’s argument and evidence related to “DuPont factor 8,” which examines the “length of time during and conditions under which there has been concurrent use without evidence of actual confusion.” Guild argued that it and Guild Investment have coexisted in business for over 40 years without any evidence of actual confusion. View "In re: Guild Mortgage Co." on Justia Law

by
UCB’s 650 patent, which covers certain chemical derivatives of 3,3- diphenylpropylamines, including a compound called fesoterodine. Fesoterodine is an antimuscarinic drug marketed as Toviaz® to treat urinary incontinence. In inter partes review, the Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board held that certain claims were not unpatentable as obvious, 35 U.S.C. 103. The Federal Circuit affirmed, first rejecting UCB’s argument that Amerigen lacked standing because the FDA will not approve Amerigen’s abbreviated new drug application until the expiration of the 650 patent in 2022, so that there was no possibility of infringement. The evidence supported the Board’s finding that the Amergen neither established a general motivation to make a 5-HMT prodrug nor proved that the specific claimed modifications would have been obvious. View "Amerigen Pharmaceuticals, Ltc. v. UCB Pharma GMBH" on Justia Law