August 2010 prosecution lunch patent


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For the latest in patent news, please view the PowerPoint below from our August 2010 Patent & Trademark Prosecution Group meeting. Topics covered in this month’s presentation include the Patent Office’s Interim Guidelines on patentable subject matter in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Bilski decision regarding business method patents, as well as a review of recent Federal Circuit decisions.

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August 2010 prosecution lunch patent

  1. 1. Prosecution Lunch August 2010
  2. 2. Bilski v. Kappos - USPTO Interim Guidelines <ul><li>Guidelines now provide additional factors to aid in the determination of whether a method which fails the MOT test is patentable or vice versa . </li></ul><ul><li>§101 outcomes are “not likely to change in most cases.” </li></ul><ul><li>§101 should not be relied upon to avoid a full examination under §§ 101, 102, and 112. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Bilski v. Kappos - USPTO Interim Guidelines
  4. 4. Bilski v. Kappos - USPTO Interim Guidelines
  5. 5. Bilski v. Kappos - USPTO Interim Guidelines <ul><li>If patent-eligibility not easily seen, consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recitation of machine or transformation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Particularity vs. indefiniteness; whether machine performs steps or is operated on </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application of “law of nature” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practical application, “meaningful” limits to performance of steps vs. monopolization of law, use in subjective determination </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statement of concept </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Particular solution or implementation of concept vs. statement only of problem or “disembodied” use </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Section 101 Update <ul><li>Prometheus Labs., Inc. v. Mayo Collab. Svcs. </li></ul><ul><li>District court: pre-empts all uses of a natural phenomenon, ergo invalid under 101 </li></ul><ul><li>FC reversal—treatment is transformative, so it cannot pre-empt </li></ul><ul><li>S.Ct. vacated and remanded </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post- Bilski , “machine-or-transformation” is generally indicative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is Prometheus the exception that proves the rule, where claims satisfy “machine-or-transformation,” but fail because of their preemptive nature? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Section 101 Update <ul><li>European counterparts (per Marks & Clerk) </li></ul><ul><li>Business (methods) as usual </li></ul><ul><li>Where inventive features are limited to the business method itself, likely to be rejected </li></ul><ul><li>Where the invention is in how the method is implemented (e.g. resolving technical problems in prior methods), likely to be eligible </li></ul>
  8. 8. PTO Notes <ul><li>Pilot Program for Re-examination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PTO will contact Owner to request waiver of right to file Owner’s statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If waived, then FAOM can be sent with order for re-examination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expected to eliminate several months from overall proceeding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Control of $129M of fees returned to PTO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hiring examiners and funding overtime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examination process reengineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding PCT contract work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT projects </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What’s Your Function? <ul><li>Baran v. Medical Device Tech. (FC 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Limitation: “ release means for retaining the guide in the charged position ”  </li></ul><ul><li>Fed. Cir. upheld trial court: function includes both releasing and retaining </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Claim language recites both release function and retention function, ties both to the means element </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In context, “release” is not an idle description but a vital function; instrument retains for the express purpose of release on demand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expect terms to be limiting, and eliminate unnecessary terms; avoid adjectives tied directly to “means” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Patentability of Genes Questioned <ul><li>Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. USPTO (on appeal) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial court invalidated patent under Section 101 because claimed isolated DNA is not “markedly different from “native” DNA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intervet Inc. v. Merial Limited (FC 2010) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reverses claim construction, remands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In dissent: (1) opinion does not decide whether claims are eligible subject matter, (2) sets out case that genes should not be patentable  </li></ul></ul>