August 2011 Patent Group Lunch

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Topics covered in this month’s presentation included:
• Federal Circuit “computer readable medium” claim eligibility
• Update on patent eligibility of isolated DNA
• USPTO’s Ombudsman Program became permanent
• USPTO just issued Patent No. 8,000,000

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August 2011 Patent Group Lunch

  1. 1. Prosecution Group Luncheon Patents August, 2011
  2. 2. The Disk is Only As Good As the Software <ul><li>CyberSource Corp. v. Retail Decisions, Inc . (Fed Cir. 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Method claim: anti-fraud process for online credit card purchases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Claim 2: a &quot;computer readable medium containing program instructions&quot; for causing a computer to perform that method </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FC: “Computer-readable medium” with ineligible process is not a patent-eligible product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Method is an unpatentable mental process standing alone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Claim 2 is &quot;nothing more than a computer readable medium containing program instructions for executing the method&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court turned away from literal statutory category </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(article of manufacture), toward &quot;underlying invention&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patentee unable to show that “computer readable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>medium” was fundamentally different from method </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. But Isolated DNA Is Eligible <ul><li>Assn. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics (FC 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>District court invalidated claims to isolated naturally-occurring DNA material </li></ul><ul><li>FC: Reversed invalidity of claims to screening cancer treatments via changes in cell growth rates </li></ul><ul><li>Reversed invalidity of claims directed to isolated DNA </li></ul><ul><li>Dissent: process of isolating genetic material does not make that material a patentable invention </li></ul><ul><li>En banc petition or petition for cert. expected </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ombudsman Program Made Permanent <ul><li>To assist applicants with issues that arise during prosecution, especially when there is a breakdown in the normal process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Status inquiries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Petitions issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To provide a channel for resolving issues that may not fit into existing channels </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.uspto.gov/patents/ombudsman.jsp </li></ul>
  5. 5. Milestones <ul><li>Patent No. 8,000,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Second Sight Medical Products </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Prosthesis </li></ul><ul><li>5 ½ years since 7,000,000 </li></ul><ul><li>(Feb. 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>6,000,000 in Dec. 1999 </li></ul>

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