CAFC provides guidance on Nautilus indefiniteness standard

Nicolas Seckel | September 18, 2014

Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc. (Precedential)

September 10, 2014

Panel: Taranto and Chen. Opinion by Chen.

Summary:

The Supreme Court in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. (2014) rejected the Federal Circuit’s “insolubly ambiguous” test for indefiniteness, holding that the claim language must be capable of interpretation with “reasonable certainty” to avoid indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph (now AIA 35 U.S.C. 112(b)).

Citing to Nautilus, but weaving in its own pre-Nautilus case law, a Federal Circuit panel affirms the District Court’s pre-Nautilus holding that claims reciting the expression “in an unobtrusive manner” are invalid for indefiniteness.  Notably, the Appeals Court refuses to narrow the expression to an example of the patents’ description, in the absence of an indication in the description that the expression is defined by this example.


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EPOS Technologies v. Pegasus Technologies

Scott Daniels | September 10, 2014

September 5, 2014

Panel: Hughes and Bryson. Opinion by Hughes.

Discussion:

The Doctrine of Equivalents is applicable in cases where the accused product or process does not literally meet one or more of the limitations of the patent-in-suit.  Essentially, a court asks whether the accused product or process possesses a feature(s) which is the equivalent of the limitation(s) not literally met.


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Jurisdiction for Appeal

William Westerman | September 4, 2014

Arlington Industries, Inc. v. Bridgeport Fittings, Inc.

July 17, 2014

Panel:   Chen, Clevenger and Hughes. Opinion by Hughes.

Summary

Arlington Industries, Inc. is the owner of U. S. Patent No. 6,335,488. The ‘488 patent is directed to a method for connecting electrical cables to a junction box using electrical fittings. Arlington and Bridgeport Fittings, Inc. compete in the same industry.

Arlington sued Bridgeport in 2004 for patent infringement of the ‘488 patent. As a result, the two parties entered a settlement agreement in which Bridgeport agreed to be enjoined from making, using, or selling certain products or their “colorable imitations”.

Bridgeport redesigned its connectors in 2005 to have a frustoconical leading edge. The redesigned connectors were sold by Bridgeport as the following models: 38ASP and 38OSP.

In 2012 Arlington sought a contempt order holding that Bridgeport’s redesigned connectors violated the original agreement and the court’s order. The district court held Bridgeport in contempt in 2013, because it found the redesigned connectors were not more than “colorable imitations” of the original connectors. Furthermore, the district court also found that the redesigned connectors of Bridgeport met claim 1 of the ‘488 patent by clear and convincing evidence.

Bridgeport appealed the contempt order of the district court and the determination that the redesigned connectors were not more than “colorable limitations” of Bridgeport’s original connectors.


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When Legitimate Advocacy Crosses the Line to Inequitable Conduct

Stephen G. Adrian | August 27, 2014

Apotex Inc. and Apotex Corp. v. UCB, Inc., and Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, Inc., andSchwarz Pharma, Inc., Paddock Laboratories, LLLC, andPerrigo Company 

August 15, 2014

Panel: Reyna, Wallach, and Hughes.  Opinion by Reyna.

There is a line separating strong advocacy for your patent application and violating your duty of candor before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This precedential decision illustrates when the line is crossed to result in a finding of inequitable conduct, leading to a patent becoming unenforceable.


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