Inequitable Conduct under the Therasense Standard

Andrew Melick | October 1, 2014

American Calcar, Inc. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

September 26, 2014

Panel:  Prost, Newman and Wallach.  Opinion by Prost. Dissent by Newman.


American Calcar, Inc. (“Calcar”) sued American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (“Honda”) for infringement of fifteen patents, three of which are involved in this case. The three patents are related by a common priority application and share a common specification. The patents deal with a multimedia system for accessing vehicle information and controlling vehicle functions. The parent application disclosed and explicitly referred to a system used in the 1996 Acura RL. However, Honda alleged that Calcar deliberately withheld the 1996 Acura RL owner’s manual and photographs taken of the system that were in Calcar’s possession. The district court found the missing information to be material under the “but for” materiality standard and found that the missing information was intentionally withheld based on the “single reasonable inference” standard. The CAFC affirmed the district court’s finding.

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What Do a Resealable Cartridge for Low Pressure Liquid Chromatography and a Soda-Pop Bottle and Cap Have In Common?

Adele Critchley | September 23, 2014

Scientific Plastic Products, Inc., v. Biotage AB.

September 10, 2014

Panel:  Newman, Moore and Wallach.  Opinion by Newman. Dissent by Moore.


The CAFC affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision that all claims of the three disputed patents held by Scientific Plastic Products, Inc. (SPP) would have been obvious.

The CAFC held that the cited references, King and Strassheimer, both of which related to the sealing of a beverage container, were available as prior art against the claimed resealable cartridge for low pressure liquid chromatography (LPLC).

The CAFC held that although the cited reference Yamada failed to explicitly disclose a leakage problem, by “providing for the presence of an O-ring,” Yamada implicitly acknowledged that there is the potential for a leak. Further, the CAFC concluded that the inventors, in the patents in question, identified that the potential for leaks is a “known problem.”

Accordingly, the CAFC found adequate reason for one of ordinary skill in the art to turn to King or Strassheimer to improve the sealing arrangement set forth in Yamada.

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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.


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.


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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