Examiner’s determination that a claim term is means-plus-function in allowing an application does not bind the Appeals Board and CAFC.

Michael Caridi | June 19, 2017

Skky, Inc. v. Mindgeek, S.A.R.I.

June 7, 2017

Before Lourie, Reyna and Wallach. Opinion by Lourie.


The CAFC held that the Board correctly interpreted the term “wireless device means” as not a means-plus-function limitation.  As a result Skky’s method claim was subject to a broader interpretation making the claim obvious over art which had been of record during prosecution of the application.

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A reference can be a background reference for evidence of motivation to combine even if not sufficient on its own to support a rejection

Bernadette McGann | June 13, 2017

Novartis Ag, Mitsubishi Parma Corp. v. Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited, Apotex Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

April 12, 2017

Before  Taranto, Chen and Stoll.  Opinion by Chen.


The CAFC held that the Board correctly used Sakai as evidence to support its motivation to combine Chiba and Aulton, even though the Board dismissed challenges of patentable based on Sakai.

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Of Closed Pods, Open Cartridges, Single-Brew Coffee Machines, and Descriptive Issues

Nicolas Seckel | June 5, 2017

Rivera v. ITC (Precedential)

May 23, 2017

Before Reyna, Linn and Chen. Opinion by Linn.


The Federal Circuit affirmed an ITC decision that the asserted patent claims are invalid for lack of written description. The patent application as filed described only a coffee machine with a cartridge adapter configured to receive a closed “pod”, not a cartridge adapter with an open filter for ground coffee. Thus, the written description did not show possession by the inventors of a genus encompassing the open-filter cartridge adapters at the initial filing date.

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Claims Directed to the Abstract Idea of Encoding/Decoding Image Data are Found Not Patent Eligible

Bill Schertler | May 22, 2017

RecogniCorp v. Nintendo

April 28, 2017

Before Lourie, Reyna and Stoll.  Opinion by Reyna.


RecogniCorp sued Nintendo in district court for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,005,303 (“ the ‘303 patent”) directed to a method and apparatus for encoding/decoding image data.  Nintendo filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, asserting that the claims were ineligible under 35 U.S.C. §101.  The district court concluded that RecogniCorp’s claims failed the Alice test, and granted Nintendo’s motion.  On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed, finding that the ‘303 patent’s claims are directed to the abstract idea of encoding and decoding image data, and the claims do not contain an inventive concept sufficient to render the claims patent eligible.

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