PTAB Removes "Informative" Designation From Ex Parte Jung

August 13, 2018

In July, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board designated its ex parte Jung decision as informative (see here and here). In this decision, the Board held that the phrase "at least one of A and B" was presumed to be conjunctive. That is, the phrase was presumed to mean "at least one of A and at least one of B."... Read more

Boston University v. Everlight: Claim Invalid For Lack Of Enablement Because 17% Was "Physically Impossible"

August 10, 2018

Last week, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Boston University (BU) v. Everlight, in which the court found that the only asserted claim (claim 19) was invalid for lack of enablement because 1/6 (17%) of the claimed subject matter was "physically impossible." Claim 19 was the only claim asserted at trial. The claim was directed to a semiconductor device comprising a substrate, a non-single crystalline buffer layer, and a growth layer grown on the buffer layer.... Read more

WesternGeco – Impacts Lost Profits Beyond 35 U.S.C. 271(f) Infringement

August 6, 2018

The Supreme Court found Ion Geophysical Corp. (Ion) responsible for profits WesternGeco LLC. lost as a result of Ion's supplying to foreign buyers the parts necessary to assemble the patented ocean floor surveying equipment. WesternGeco's damages claim included a request for the lost profits of its foreign surveying business caused by Ion's 35 U.S.C. § 271(f) infringement. The Federal Circuit has denied these profits because, in its opinion, it would extend U.S. patent protection to foreign activities. The Supreme Court disagreed not with the concept that U.S. patent laws did not extend to foreign activities but because of the patent damages statute, 35 U.S.C. § 284 which provided:... Read more

Ex Parte Jung Puts the Conjunctive in the Phrase "at least one of A and B"

August 3, 2018

Last month, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB") newly designated five decisions as informative. These five decisions included ex parte Jung, a Board decision regarding the construction of the phrase "at least one of A and B." According to the Board in Jung, the proper construction for this phrase is the conjunctive, i.e., at least one of A AND at least one of B. This presumptive construction now applies during patent examination absent certain exceptions.... Read more

Distribution of Certain Materials to Groups of People Without Restriction May Render Such Materials Printed Publications Under § 102(b)

August 1, 2018

The Federal Circuit affirmed in-part and vacated in-part the PTAB's (the Board) decision that the petitioner, Medtronic, Inc., had not proven that the challenged patent claims were unpatentable. The Court affirmed the Board's determination that challenged claims were not obvious over two prior art references, but vacated and remanded the Board's determination that other references, a video "Thoracic Pedicle Screws for Idiopathic Scoliosis" and slides "Free Hand Thoracic Screw Placement and Clinical Use in Scoliosis and Kyphosis Surgery," were not "publicly accessible" under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) and therefore were not prior art.... Read more

Enforceability of Medical Procedure Patents Under 35 U.S.C. § 287(c)

July 30, 2018

Unlike many other countries, medical procedures are not per se unpatentable in the United States. This comes with a major caveat, specifically, 35 U.S.C. § 287(c) bars a medical procedure patent owner from enforcing the patent, by obtaining an injunction, monetary damages, and attorney fees, against a medical practitioner and a related health care entity based on the medical practitioner's performance of "a medical activity" (§ 287(c)(1)).... Read more

Jazz v. Amneal: Public Accessibility of Prior Art v. Reasonable Pertinence of Analogous Art

July 26, 2018

Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in Jazz Pharmaceuticals v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals, upholding the PTAB's finding that certain materials related to the FDA regulatory review process for Xyrem® were sufficiently accessible to the public to constitute prior art to seven Jazz patents. These materials (the "ACA materials") were accessible via a link on the FDA website "where background material would be posted before the meeting, and the meeting minutes, transcript, and slides would be posted after the meeting."... Read more

Tribal Immunity in IPR is Dealt a Death Blow by The Federal Circuit

July 26, 2018

The Federal Circuit issued its decision in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe et al v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al (18-1638) on July 20, 2018. The central question addressed in the Federal Circuit's decision was whether the principal of sovereign immunity can be asserted by a patent owner to avoid their patent being subjected to the Inter Partes Review (IPR) process. The decision hinged on whether the IPR process is more akin to the civil litigation-like proceedings in adjudications before the Federal Maritime Commission in which state sovereign immunity was held to apply (Fed. Maritime Comm'n v. S.C. State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743, 754–56 (2002) ("FMC") or whether IPR is a traditional agency action in which it has been previously held that sovereign immunity does not typically apply (see, for example, Pauma v. NLRB, 888 F.3d 1066 (9th Cir. 2018); Karuk Tribe Hous. Auth., 260 F.3d at 1074; and Fed. Power Comm'n v. Tuscarora Indian Nation, 362 U.S. 99, 122 (1960)). It is important to note, however that there is no blanket rule that immunity does not apply in federal agency proceedings.... Read more

The Federal Circuit Lays Out What Does and Does Not Meet the Standard of Inherency, Motivation to Combine and Burden of Proof in Challenging Validity of Issued Claims

July 20, 2018

Endo Pharmaceuticals Solutions, Inc et al v. Custopharm, Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 13, 2018), is an appeal of a Delaware District Court rejecting Custopharm's validity challenge to patents covering Endo's Aveed® testosterone undecanoate (TU) intramuscular injection as part of a Paragraph IV ANDA filing.... Read more

Decs, Slides, and Video[tape]: Utilizing non-patent literature in IPR

June 18, 2018

In Medtronic, Inc. v. Barry (2017-1169 and 2017-1170), the Federal Circuit (Circuit Judges Taranto, Plager, and Chen, decision authored by Judge Chen, hereinafter "the panel") vacated the PTAB's finding in IPRs2015-00780 and -00783 that Medtronic's slides and videos constitute "printed publications" within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. §102(b). Since only patents and printed publications are eligible as prior art in inter partes review ("IPR"), the question whether non-patent literature ("NPL") such as slides and videos distributed at a conference constitute printed publications is clearly of interest to those in the medical device field.... Read more