Written Description

Lee Wright | August 20, 2014

ScriptPro, LLC v. Innovation Associates, Inc.

August 6, 2014

Panel: Taranto, Bryson and Hughes. Opinion by Taranto

Summary:

ScriptPro sued Innovation Associates, Inc, alleging infringement of claims 1, 2, 4, and 8 of U.S. Patent No. 6,910,601. Innovation Associates counterclaimed on various grounds, including invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 112.

Shortly after suit filed, Innovation Associates initiated an inter partes reexamination of the ’601 patent at the PTO, and the district court stayed proceedings in this case to await the PTO’s determination.

The PTO completed its reexamination of the ’601 patent.  It confirmed amended claims 1 and 2 (amended in ways not relevant to this appeal).  It confirmed claim 4, formerly a dependent claim, as rewritten to be an independent claim, but not otherwise amended. And it confirmed claim 8 without amendment.  The amendments are not relevant to the issues on appeal.

Proceedings in the infringement suit resumed.

The district court granted summary judgment for Innovation Associates, holding that the asserted claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112.

The district court rested its holding on a single conclusion—that the specification describes a machine containing “sensors,” whereas the claims at issue do not claim a machine having “sensors.”

ScriptPro appealed.

The district court granted summary judgment of invalidity on the ground that the patent’s specification does not describe the subject matter of the asserted claims, which do not require sensors.  This is the only issue on appeal.

The district court agreed with Innovation Associates that the specification indisputably limits the invention to a collating unit that uses sensors to determine whether a particular holding area is full when selecting a holding area for storage of a prescription container.

The district court concluded “no reasonable jury could find that the inventors were in possession of a collating unit that operated without sensors.”

The district court decision is reversed.


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In the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, the Federal Circuit strikes down another patentee’s claims for reciting patent ineligible abstract idea

Bill Schertler | August 18, 2014

Digitech Image Technologies v. Electronics For Imaging, Inc.

July 11, 2014

Panel: Moore, Reyna, Hughes. Opinion by Reyna.

Summary

Digitech is the assignee of U.S. Patent No. 6,128,415 (the ‘415 patent) directed to a device profile for a digital image reproduction system and a method of generating a device profile in a digital image reproduction system.  Digitech sued 32 defendants for infringement in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  Several defendants filed summary judgment motions seeking to invalidate the asserted claims of the ‘415 patent under 35 U.S.C. §101.  The district court granted the defendants’ motions and found all of the asserted claims to be subject matter ineligible.  On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed.


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Somewhat unexpected results yield to strong evidence of obviousness to try

John M. Wang | August 8, 2014

Roche and Genentech v. Apotex Inc; Roche and Genentech v. Dr. Reddy’s laboratories; Roche and Genentech v. Watson etc.; Roche and Genentech v. Orchid chemicals & pharmaceuticals etc; and Genentech v. Mylan etc.

April 11, 2014

Before  Newman, Lourie, and Bryson.  Opinion by Bryson. Dissent by Newman

Summary

Plaintiff Roche appeals from the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granting the defendant generic drug companies summary judgment of invalidity of Roche’s two patents related to Boniva®, a commercial drug for the treatment of osteoporosis. CAFC affirms.


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Prima facie case of obviousness is not established solely because end point of claimed range is close to disclosed range

Yoshiya Nakamura | July 31, 2014

In re Rajen M. Patel

July 16, 2014

Panel:  O’Malley and Hughes.  Opinion by O’Malley.

Summary

PTAB affirmed Examiner’s rejections of Applicants’ claims reciting a range limitation of weight percent of a polymer component, as being obvious over a cited reference because it discloses a range whose upper limit is very close to the claimed lower limit.  Applicants appealed from the PTO decision and argued before CAFC that the PTAB erred in finding a prima facie case of obviousness where the amounts do not overlap.  CAFC agreed with the Applicants and distinguished this case from its previous cases where range overlapping at least to some degree was required to find obviousness.

出願クレームは、ポリマーの量(26 wt%以上)を記載し、先行技術はポリマーの量(25 wt%以下)を開示していた。その差は僅か1%ほどである。米国特許庁審査官はこの場合、数値は重複していないが、非常に近接しているので、それだけで自明性の存在が一応証明され(prima facie case of obviousness)、したがって、出願人が非自明性(たとえば予期せぬ効果)を証明しなければ特許されないと判断した。同特許庁審判部はこの結論を維持した。この決定を不服として出願人はCAFCに上訴し、クレームの数値範囲に「近い」という理由だけで即座に自明であるとした特許庁の判断は間違いであると主張した。CAFCは出願人の意見に同意し、特許庁の判断を覆した。本件は、先行技術の数値がクレームの数値と重複しておらず、クレームの数値へ増量するという教示が先行技術にはないことに着目し、単に数値が「近い」というだけで自明であるとしてはいけないとの判断である。特許庁のガイドラインは、数値範囲が重複していなくても、同様の特性が予期できる程度に「近い」といえる場合は一応の自明性があると説明しているが、本件はこの基準の適用範囲を制限した判決であると考えられる。


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