invalidity : CAFC Alert

Claimed inventions of a reissue patent must be clearly and unequivocally disclosed in the original specification

Kumiko Ide | December 17, 2014

Antares Pharma, Inc. v. Medac Pharma Inc., et al.

November 17, 2014

Panel: Dyk, Reyna, and Taranto.  Opinion by Dyk.

Summary

The Federal Circuit found the asserted reissue claims invalid for failure to comply with the “original patent” requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 251.  Under § 251, the original patent specification must adequately disclose the later-claimed features.  Here, the Federal Circuit found that the original specification failed to clearly and unequivocally disclose the inventions of the asserted claims of the reissue patent.

連邦巡回裁判所は、原告が主張する再発行特許のクレームは特許法第251条の要件を満たしていないため無効であると認定した。251条の規定により、元の明細書は、再発行特許のクレーム発明を開示している必要がある。本件では、再発行特許のクレーム発明が元の明細書において明確に開示されていなかった。


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CAFC Raises the Bar Higher Against Patentees Asserting Induced Infringement Claims: Enabling Defendants to Introduce “Good Faith” Invalidity Arguments

Stephen Parker | July 3, 2013

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc.

June 25, 2013

Panel:  Prost, Newman and O’Malley.  Opinion by Prost.  Concurrences-in-part by Newman and O’Malley.

Summary

In this case, Commil USA, LLC (Commil) sued Cisco Systems, Inc. (Cisco) for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,430,395 directed to a wireless system.  In separate trials, the district court held that Cisco directly infringed the ‘395 patent and that Cisco infringed the patent by virtue of “inducement” of infringement.   Commil was awarded damages of $3.7 million for the direct infringement and of about $74.0 million for the induced infringement.   On appeal, the CAFC vacated the induced infringement award and ordered a new trial for the inducement claims on the basis that both 1) the trial court erred in instructing the jury as to the specific intent required for finding inducement – i.e., requiring an actual knowledge of infringement or a willful blindness (standards higher than mere negligence or recklessness) – and 2) the trial court erred in not considering evidence pertaining to Cisco’s good faith belief that the ‘395 patent was invalid as evidence that Cisco did not have the specific intent required for finding inducement.  While the CAFC had previously held that a good faith belief of non-infringement was evidence weighing against the specific intent for finding inducement, this case is the first instance in which the CAFC has held that a good faith belief of invalidity was similar evidence.  In a concurring-in-part opinion, Judge Newman criticizes the majority’s position that a good faith belief of invalidity weighs against the specific intent for finding inducement.     
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Means-Plus-Function: The Achilles’ Heel

Thomas Brown | May 9, 2012

Noah Systems, Inc. v. Intuit, Inc.

April 9, 2012

Panel: Rader, O’Malley and Reyna. Opinion by Judge O’Malley

Summary

This decision illustrates that a patent could become invalidated even after surviving challenges of reexamination, which strengthen the presumption of validity, when a challenger discovers the Achilles’ Heel of a means-plus-function claim element resulting in a summary judgment of invalidity by the CAFC.   Noah appeals the granting, by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (DC), of Intuit’s Motion for Summary Judgment of Invalidity of USP 5,875,435 (the ‘435 patent) based on indefiniteness for a means-plus-function claim element without the DC hearing evidence of how one of skill in the art would view the specification.  The CAFC affirms by finding that the specification discloses no algorithm when the specification discloses an algorithm that only accomplishes one of two identifiable functions performed by the means-plus-function limitation.


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