July 2011 Patent Group Lunch


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Topics covered in this month’s patent prosecution presentation included:
- Discussion of inequitable conduct cases post-Therasense
- A recent claim construction case in which the Federal Circuit was somewhat in conflict over the best manner for claim construction
- The business method patent review section of the HR 1249-America Invents Act
- Recent Supreme Court cases Kappos v. Hyatt and Caraco Pharm. Labs., Ltd. v. Novo Nordisk A/S.

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July 2011 Patent Group Lunch

  1. 1. Prosecution Group Luncheon Patents July, 2011
  2. 2. Inequitable Conduct Post- Therasense <ul><li>American Calcar, Inc. v. American Honda Motor Co. (FC 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Inventors examined car navigation system having similar features </li></ul><ul><li>Background discussion of PA system left out user-interface aspect </li></ul><ul><li>FC: under “but-for” standard, materiality affirmed as to one patent </li></ul><ul><li>Re other patents: “ withheld information may be material if it would have blocked patent issuance under the PTO's preponderance of the evidence standard, giving those patents' claims their broadest reasonable construction ” </li></ul><ul><li>Remand to assess materiality under &quot;but-for&quot; test, to apply PTO evidentiary/claim scope standards </li></ul><ul><li>Remand on intent because determination relied on a sliding scale standard rejected in Therasense   </li></ul>
  3. 3. Intramural Conflict in Claim Construction <ul><li>Retractable Technologies v. Becton, Dickinson & Co. (FC 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Majority : per Phillips , look at words of the claims, specification, prosecution history, relevant extrinsic evidence; “tether the claims to what the specifications indicate the inventor actually invented”  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Claim differentiation discussed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background, summary, specification dictated a narrow construction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concurrence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Claims cannot go beyond the actual invention that entitles the inventor to a patent” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [P]urposes for which [patents] exist, including the obligation to make full disclosure of what is actually invented, and to claim that and nothing more” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dissent : “ordinary and customary meaning . . . [to one] of ordinary skill in the art at the time of the invention” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Body” has no special, technical meaning here </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use “widely accepted meaning of commonly understood words” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Strong presumption” from claim language that “body” does not include “one-piece” limitation unrebutted </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. HR 1249—America Invents Act <ul><li>To Senate Judiciary Committee (6/28) </li></ul><ul><li>Sec. 18: Business Method Patent Review </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Validity challenge available to those “sued for” or “charged with” infringement of the patent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Covered business method patent”: “method or corresponding apparatus for . . . operations used in [relation to] a financial product or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions” </li></ul><ul><li>For infringement suit on “a covered business method patent, an automated teller machine shall not be deemed to be a regular and established place of business” for venue </li></ul>
  5. 5. New Supreme Court Cases <ul><li>Kappos v. Hyatt </li></ul><ul><li>In Sec. 145 action, can applicant present new evidence that could have been presented to PTO </li></ul><ul><li>Are decisions based on such new evidence de novo </li></ul><ul><li>FC ( en banc ): sided with applicant </li></ul><ul><li>Caraco Pharm. Labs., Ltd. v. Novo Nordisk A/S </li></ul><ul><li>Counterclaim by generic mfr. against brand-name mfr. re: overbroad description of claim scope sent to FDA </li></ul><ul><li>Petitioner argued that Hatch-Waxman allows for correction of misstatements of patent scope </li></ul><ul><li>FC: H-W only allows for deleting of improperly listed patents </li></ul>