Reliance on a Single Non-Enabling Reference to Establish Obviousness

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
May 10, 2021

Raytheon appealed a final inter partes review decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) finding claims 3 and 16 of US 9,695,751 unpatentable as being obvious in view of the Knip reference. The Board found that Knip discloses the claimed power density limitation for a geared gas turbine engine. During the proceeding, Raytheon submitted evidence establishing that Knip’s disclosure of highly aggressive performance parameters for a futuristic turbine engine was based on the use of nonexistent composite materials. In response, the petitioner, General Electric Company (GE), never provided any evidence suggesting a skilled artisan could have made a turbine engine with the claimed power density. “Because the relied-upon prior art fails to enable a skilled artisan to make and use the claimed invention,” the Federal Circuit (the Court) reversed.<... Read more

Claims Directed to Computerized Statistical Methods for Determining Haplotype Phase Are Patent Ineligible

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
April 6, 2021

The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (“Stanford”) appeals the final rejection of patent claims in its patent Application No. 13/486,982. The patent examiner rejected the claims as involving patent ineligible subject matter. The PTAB affirmed the examiner’s rejection. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the PTAB that the rejected claims were drawn to abstract mathematical calculations and statistical modeling, and similar subject matter that is not patent eligible.<... Read more

Invalidation of Chemical Compound Claims

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
March 8, 2021

Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Indoco Remedies Ltd. (Defendant-Appellant) appealed from the district court’s final judgment on Takeda’s (Plaintiffs-Appellees) invalidity challenges to claims 4 and 12 of U.S. Patent No. 7,807,689, owned by Takeda. In a non-precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit (“the Court”) affirmed the district court’s final judgment that Torrent and Indoco had failed to prove that the claims asserted by Takeda were invalid for statutory obviousness or non-statutory obviousness-type double patenting.<... Read more

USPTO: Proposed Changes to Terminal Disclaimer Practice in Joint Research Agreement Situations

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
February 1, 2021

The USPTO proposes to modify the rules of practice when certain types of patent applicants and patentees may obtain or enforce a second patent for an invention that is similar (i.e., patentably indistinct) to a first patent. Generally, an application for a second patent covering a similar invention would be rejected. The proposed rule change is limited to the situation where owners of the first and second patents or patent applications are different but have an agreement to conduct research together (i.e., a joint research agreement or JRA). The proposed rule change would increase the ability to file a terminal disclaimer (TD) that ties the rights of a second patent to the first patent. The proposed rule change intends to expand when a TD can be filed in the JRA situation by eliminating the requirement that the second patent or patent application be filed later than the first patent or patent application. The USPTO also proposes to amend the rules to explicitly state existing practices in the rules regarding when certain affidavits and declarations, as well as TDs, may be filed.<... Read more

Small Entity Government Use License Exception: Amendment of the Rules of Practice in Patent Cases

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
January 4, 2021

The USPTO is amending the rules of practice in patent cases to clarify and expand exceptions to the rule pertaining to government use licenses and their effect on small entity status for purposes of paying reduced patent fees. The USPTO explained that the rule change is designed to support independent inventors, small business concerns, and nonprofit organizations in filing patent applications and to encourage collaboration with the Federal Government by expanding the opportunities to qualify for the small entity patent fees discount for inventions made during the course of federally funded or federally supported research.<... Read more

Must a "Human Antibody" Be Entirely Human? Or May It Also Be "Partially Human?"

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
October 16, 2020

This is a consolidated appeal from two Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) decisions in inter partes reviews (“IPRs”) of U.S. Patent 8,679,487 (“the ’487 patent”), owned by Immunex Corp. (“Immunex”). Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, Genzyme Corp., and Regeneron Pharmaceuti-cals, Inc. (“Sanofi”) challenged the ’487 patent. The Board invalidated all challenged claims in IPR 2017-01884. Immunex appealed, contesting the construction of the claim term “human antibodies.” The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“the Court”) agreed with the Board’s claim construction and affirmed the invalidity decision.<... Read more

Invalidity Based on Enablement: McRO, Inc. dba Planet Blue v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc., et al., No. 2019-1577 (Fed. Cir. May 20, 2020)

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
September 1, 2020

McRO, Inc. (“McRO”) filed a lawsuit against multiple video game developers (“the Developers”), alleging that the Developers infringed three method claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,611,278 (“the ‘278 patent”), owned by McRO. The district court held the claims invalid for ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, but the Federal Circuit (“the Court”) reversed that holding in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc., 837 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (McRO I). On remand, the district court held that the Developers were entitled to summary judgment of non-infringement, because the accused products do not practice the claimed methods and to summary judgment of invalidity because the specification fails to enable the full scope of the claims. McRO appealed.<... Read more

An Automated Notification System for Providing Advance Notification of the Pickup or Delivery of Goods was Found Patent Ineligible

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
July 20, 2020

Electronic Communication Technologies, LLC (“ECT”) sued ShoppersChoice.com, LLC (“ShoppersChoice”), alleging that ShoppersChoice infringed claim 11 of U.S. Patent 9,373,261 (“the ’261 patent”). The district court granted ShoppersChoice’s motion for judgment on the pleadings that claim 11 was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. ECT appealed. The Federal Circuit (“the Court”) affirmed the judgment of the district court.<... Read more

Requirements Under COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
June 8, 2020

The USPTO has launched a new Covid-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program to help small and micro entities. The USPTO will accept requests for prioritized examination of up to 500 qualifying patent applications without requiring payment of certain fees associated with prioritized examination. Under this pilot, the USPTO will advance out of turn certain patent applications related to COVID-19 for examination, resulting in their prioritized examination. The USPTO aims to provide final disposition of patent applications in the pilot in one year or less after it grants prioritized status. <... Read more

Obviousness of Compounds Having "Significant Structural and Functional Similarities" With Known Compounds

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
April 27, 2020

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and others (“Mylan”) appealed from the District Court’s grant of summary judgment that claim 8 of U.S. Patent 8,552,025 owned by Valeant Pharm. Int’l, Inc.was not invalid. Valeant Pharm. Int’l, Inc. v. Mylan Pharm., Inc., No. 2:15-cv-08180 (SRC), 2018 WL 2023537 (D.N.J. May 1, 2018). The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“the Court”) reversed the decision of the district court.<... Read more