Procedural Issues : CAFC Alert

Burden of persuasion in the post-MedImmune world

Stephen G. Adrian | September 27, 2012

Medtronic v. Boston Scientific Corporation, Guidant Corporation and Mirowski Family Ventures

September 18, 2012

Panel:  Lourie, Linn, Prost.  Opinion by Linn.

Summary

This decision discusses who carries the burden of persuasion in the post-MedImmune world. This question arises as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision in MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118 (2007). In MedImmune, the Supreme Court found declaratory judgment jurisdiction even though the declaratory judgment plaintiff-licensee continued to make royalty payments pursuant to a license. The Court reasoned that a licensee should not be forced to cease royalty payments and risk infringement liability before the licensee can challenge the extent of coverage of the license.

The district court entered judgment of non-infringement in favor of Medtronic and judgment of validity and enforceability in favor of Mirowski Family Ventures (MFV). MFV appeals the judgment of non-infringement and Medtronic cross appeals the district court’s claim construction.  The CAFC vacates the district court ruling and remands.


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Summary Judgment improperly granted in trade secret misappropriation case

William Westerman | September 7, 2012

Raytheon Company v. Indigo Systems Corp. and FLIR Systems, Inc.

August 1, 2012

Panel:  Linn, Dyk and O’Malley.  Opinion by Linn.

Summary

Raytheon sues Indigo for misappropriation of trade secrets in selling an infrared imaging camera to a general contractor on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.  The district court grants Indigo’s motion for summary judgment that the statute of limitations (3 years) had lapsed.  Former employees of Raytheon started up Indigo to produce infrared imaging cameras. The district court impermissibly drew inferences against the non-moving party (Raytheon) in granting the summary judgment motion.  Further, the summary judgment motion should not have been granted because Texas and California law state that the discovery rule for the statute of limitations is a question of fact and not of law.


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When should incorporation by reference language be taken care of?

Tsuyoshi Nakamura | July 11, 2012

Hollmer v. Harari

June 7, 2012

Panel:  Prost, Mayer, O’Malley.  Opinion by Prost

Summary

During the interference proceedings, Harari relied on the disclosure of 07/337,579 (‘579 application) which had been originally incorporated by the earliest 3rd great grandparent application 07/337,566 (‘566 application) of the subject application 09/310,880 (‘880 application).  The ‘566 application included the disputed incorporation statement and had been abandoned.  Two intervening applications copied the same statement and had been patented.  The subject application (‘880 application) included the copy of the statement, but Harari corrected the incorporation statement by preliminary amendment which, according to Hollmer, was new matter because it would newly introduce the disclosure of ‘579 application.  CAFC decided for Harari by applying the relaxed “reasonable examiner” standard (Harari I, 602 F.3d 1348).  However, Harari was not allowed to claim the benefit of the filing date of the ‘566 application because CAFC found that the intervening applications in the chain leading back to the earlier ‘566 application did not comply with the written description requirement due to the ambiguous incorporation statement by applying the strict “person of ordinary skill” standard.

本件は、米国特有の”incorporation by reference”プラクティスに関するものである。インターフェアレンス手続において、Harariは最先の出願(566出願)が”incorporation by reference”によって引用した米国出願(579出願)の開示内容に依存した。566出願は不十分な”incorporation by reference”の記述を含んでいたがそのまま放棄された。566出願の出願日の利益を主張する出願がその後5代に渡って続き、全ての出願は当該不十分な”incorporation by reference”の記述をコピーしていた。Harariは5代目の本願(880出願)を予備補正して”incorporation by reference”の記述を訂正したが、2代目と3代目の中間の出願はそのような訂正を経ずに特許になってしまっていた。本願に関する予備補正が新規事項の追加になるか否かの争いについて、CAFCは、ゆるやかな「審査官の観点」の基準を適用して予備補正が適切であると判断した。一方、本願が特許法第120条の利益を享受して最先の出願日に遡るためには全ての中間の出願が” written description requirement”の要件を満たす必要がある。この要件が不十分な”incorporation by reference”によって妨げられるか否かの争いについて、CAFCは、より厳しい「当業者の観点」の基準を適用して第120条の利益を認めなかった。

[実務上の指針] 最先の出願日に遡るためには、その間にある全ての中間の出願を補正して適切な”incorporation by reference”の記述を含むようにしておくことが必要。


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Presumption of validity attaches to all issued patents, even incorrectly issued patents

Andrew Melick | July 5, 2012

Sciele Pharma Inc. v. Lupin Ltd.

July 2, 2012

Panel: Lourie, Prost, Moore.  Opinion by Moore

Summary

Shionogi (new name for Sciele Pharma) obtained US Patent No. 6,866,866 (“the ‘866 patent”) which included broader claims that were intended to be cancelled in favor of narrower claims in response to a rejection.  Shionogi brought suit against Lupin for infringement of the ‘866 patent including claims that were to be cancelled.  Lupin began selling the alleged infringing product and Shionogi moved for a preliminary injunction.  The District Court granted Shionogi’s request for preliminary injunction and Lupin appealed.  On appeal, the CAFC stated that even though the ‘866 patent issued with the incorrect claims, the ‘866 patent nonetheless had a presumption of validity and that the clear and convincing evidentiary standard applied for invalidating the patent.  The CAFC also stated that there is not a heightened standard just because references were considered by the PTO.  With the proper clear and convincing evidentiary standard applied to the ‘866 patent, the CAFC stated that Lupin has raised a substantial question of invalidity, and thus, the preliminary injunction is vacated.


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Rule 4(k)(2) Personal Jurisdiction Over a Foreign Defendant

John Kong | June 13, 2012

Merial Limited v. Cipla Limited

May 31, 2012

Panel:  Lourie, Schall, and Reyna.  Opinion by Lourie.  Dissent by Schall.

Summary:

Foreign defendant Cipla chose not to respond to plaintiff Merial’s 2007 lawsuit for patent infringement because Cipla believed there was no personal jurisdiction under Georgia’s long arm statute.  The Georgia district court entered a default judgment and permanent injunction against Cipla.  During a subsequent contempt proceeding to enforce the injunction, the Georgia court found that Cipla was subject to personal jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2) instead of the Georgia long-arm statute.  Cipla’s consent to jurisdiction in another forum (the Northern District of Illinois) during the contempt proceedings did not defeat the Georgia court’s reliance on Rule 4(k)(2) because the Federal Circuit held that Cipla failed to show that jurisdiction would have been proper in that other forum at the time of filing of the complaint in Georgia, regardless of Cipla’s later consent to jurisdiction in Illinois.  This Federal Circuit decision clarifies that a foreign defendant, to defeat personal jurisdiction under Rule 4(k)(2), must not only identify another forum where suit is possible, but also show that suit is possible in that other forum at the time the suit was filed.  A later consent to jurisdiction in another forum may not be enough to defeat personal jurisdiction under Rule 4(k)(2).


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A showing of causal nexus is required between infringement and alleged harm to patentee

Kumiko Ide | May 23, 2012

Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al.

May 14, 2012

Panel:  Bryson, Prost, and O’Malley.  Opinion by Bryson.  Concurrence-in-part and dissent-in-part by O’Malley.

Summary

Apple filed suit against Samsung alleging infringement of Apple’s U.S. Design Patent Nos. D593,087 (“the D’087 patent”), D618,677 (“the D’677 patent”), D504,889 (“the D’889 patent”), and U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 (“the ’381 patent”).  Apple’s iPhone embodies the design in the D’087 patent and D’677 patent, and Apple’s iPad embodies the design in the D’889 patent.  Both iPhone and iPad embody a software feature known as the “bounce-back” feature of the ‘381 patent.  The district court denied Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction with respect to each of the accused devices and all four asserted patents.  Apple appealed.  The CAFC affirms the denial of a preliminary injunction with respect to the D’087, D’677, and ’381 patents, but vacates and reminds with respect to the D’889 patent.

アップル社は、サムスン社がアップル社の米国意匠特許第D593,087号(D’087特許)、D618,677号(D’677特許)、D504,889号(D’889特許)と米国特許第7,469,381号(’381特許)を侵害しているとして訴えた。D’087特許及びD’677特許は、アップル社のiPhoneに係わる意匠で、D’889特許は、iPadに係わる意匠である。また、’381特許は、iPhone及びiPadに係わるソフトウェアである。アップル社は、サムスン社のイ号製品について仮差し止めの申し立てをしたが、地裁はこれを却下した。控訴審でCAFCは、D’087特許、D’677特許及び’381特許に関しては地裁の判決を支持したものの、D’889特許についての判決は破棄・差し戻しした。


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If at first you don’t succeed ….

Darrin Auito | May 18, 2012

In Re Baxter International, Inc.

(Reexamination No. 90/007,751)

May 17, 2012

Panel: Newman, Lourie, Moore.  Opinion by Lourie.  Dissent by Newman

Summary

The CAFC’s decision in In re Baxter Int’l, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2012) highlights the distinction between a reexamination and a district court proceeding.  Specifically, the CAFC affirmed the Board of Patent Appeal and Interferences (“Board”) determination in a reexamination proceeding that claims 26-31 of U.S. Patent No. 5,247,434 (“the ‘434 patent”) are invalid – despite having previously held in a parallel litigation proceeding that the same claims were not invalid – because the courts and the USPTO use different standards to address validity.  However, the CAFC cautioned that had the claims been found to be invalid in the litigation proceeding after all appeals had been exhausted, then the PTO “ideally should not arrive at a different conclusion” during a parallel reexamination proceeding when presented with the same arguments.


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Supreme Court Sides with Inventors in Kappos v. Hyatt

Darrin Auito | May 16, 2012

David J. Kappos v. Gilbert P. Hyatt

April 18, 2012

Affirmed 9-0 (CAFC en banc 7-2 decision).  Opinion by Justice Thomas.  Concurring opinion by Justice Sotomayor joined by Justice Breyer.

Summary:

The Hyatt decision is a victory for patent applicants.  Any patent applicant dissatisfied with a decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (or Patent Trial and Appeal Board after enactment of the AIA) may file a civil action against the Director of the PTO in federal district court and introduce new evidence beyond what was submitted to the PTO.  The new evidence is subject to de novo review.


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In a dispute over a patent licensing agreement, CAFC refuses to deny enforcement of an arbitration clause based on a technicality

Ryan Chirnomas | March 29, 2012

Promega Corporation et al. v. Life Technologies Corporation et al.

March 28, 2012

Panel:  Newman, Dyk.  Opinion by Dyk.  Dissent by Moore.

Summary

Despite an oversight relating to transfer of a patent licensing agreement during a licensee’s merger proceedings, the Federal Circuit held that the licensee retained its right to demand arbitration in a dispute with a sub-licensee. Although the licensee ultimately did not suffer any negative legal consequences due to this oversight, this case provides a good reminder to corporate IP counsel to carefully review all tech transfer agreements during mergers or reorganizations.  Here, a single letter to the sub-licensee could have saved the licensee from significant distraction.


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Interpretation of statutory two-year time limit for enlarging the scope of claim in a continuing reissue application filed after the two-year window

Yoshiya Nakamura | March 14, 2012

In re Erik P. Staats and Robin D. Lash

March 5, 2012

Panel:  Dyk, O’Malley and Reyna.  Opinion by Dyk.  Concurrence by O’Malley.

Summary:

In 1999, a patent was issued to Staats (assigned to Apple Computer) based on an application for his invention regarding isochronous data transfer in a computer.  The patent discloses two embodiments.  Staats then filed a first reissue application within two years from the issue date of the patent, broadening the scope of claims related to a first embodiment.  Outside the two-year window, he further filed other broadening reissue applications as continuations.  In 2007, almost seven years after the original patent issued, the last broadening reissue application was filed, which is related to a second embodiment.  The PTO’s board held that the last continuing reissue application was not filed within the two-year window because it was not related to the first embodiment which was timely presented within the two-year window.  The CAFC reversed and remanded this case, affirming their precedent case which holds that the statutory two-year limit applies to only the filing date of a reissue application, not to the date that broadened claims are presented.

出願人は、コンピュータのデータトランスファーに関する発明を出願し、特許を取得した。その後、クレーム範囲を広げる再発行特許出願を行った。特許出願の明細書には、発明の2つの態様が開示されていた。最初の再発行特許は第1の態様に関するものであり、審査の結果、再発行特許として発行された。その第1の再発行特許が許可される前に出願人は、継続出願として、第2の再発行出願を行い、さらに第2の再発行出願が許可される前に、第3の再発行出願を行った。この第3の再発行出願には、最初の出願もしくは第1の再発行出願でクレームされていた第1の態様とは異なる第2の態様がクレームされていた。特許庁は、第3の再発行出願は最初の再発行出願とは関係のない発明のクレーム範囲を拡大しようとするものであるから、クレーム範囲の拡大は最初の特許発行日から2年以内にのみ可能であるという米国特許法251条の規定に違反するとして拒絶し、審判部もその拒絶を維持した。CAFCは、審判部の判断は誤りであり、クレームを拡大するための最初の再発行出願が2年以内に行われていたか否かが問題であり、その後の継続再発行出願のクレーム内容が最初の再発行出願のクレーム内容と関係があるか否かは問題ではないと判断した。
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