Product-by-Process Claim: The Focus is On the Product and Not the Process of Making It

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
September 6, 2022

Kamstrup A/S appealed a final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”). The Board found claims 1–15 of Kamstrup’s U.S. Patent No. 8,806,957 unpatentable as obvious or anticipated. On appeal, Kamstrup challenged the Board’s claim constructions. In addition, Kamstrup challenged the Board’s anticipation and obviousness determinations largely on the basis that the Board erred in rejecting Kamstrup’s claim construction arguments.<... Read more

Federal Circuit Revisits Assignor Estoppel

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
August 18, 2022

On August 11, 2022, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in the remand of Hologic, Inc. v Minerva Surgical, Inc. from the Supreme Court’s decision limiting the application of assignor estoppel to where the assignor is taking in litigation a position inconsistent with his prior representations in assigning the patent. In this case the issue was whether the issued claims are materially broader than the claims in the assigned application, Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc., 141 S. Ct. 2298, 2302, 2309 (2021). The Supreme Court in Minerva refused to discard the concept of assignor estoppel but instead held that the concept comes with limits and “reaches only as far as the equitable principle long understood to lie at its core.” The Supreme Court held that assignor estoppel “applies only when an inventor says one thing (explicitly or implicitly) in assigning a patent and the opposite in litigating against the patent’s owner.” Id. at 2304. Stated differently, where the assignor has not any explicit or implicit representations which conflict with an invalidity defense.<... Read more

Does Claim Construction For Patent Opinions Now Require a Crystal Ball? (Pavo Solutions, Part III)

August 16, 2022

In my first post about Pavo Solutions v. Kingston Technology a few weeks ago, I noted that the Federal Circuit rewrote claim language in the asserted patent by changing the claim element "for pivoting" from case to cover. The claim element in question read as follows:<... Read more

Teva Files Certiorari Petition in "Skinny" Label Case

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
August 9, 2022

On July 11, Teva filed its petition for certiorari from the Federal Circuit’s second decision in its “skinny label” litigation with GSK, 7 F.4th 1320 (Fed, Cir. 2022). The petition makes many of the same arguments that Teva made before the Federal Circuit but the inconsistency of the Federal Circuit’s decision in GSK with three prior decisions standout. Its yet another example of the Federal Circuit’s lack of discipline in following its own precedent. While Teva rightly complains that the decision creates uncertainty around the skinny label provisions of 21 U.S.C. § 355(j)(2)(A)(viii), the real uncertainty is created by the Federal Circuit’s unfortunate habit of ignoring its own precedent upon which parties rely in making decisions.<... Read more

Sure, A Court Can Rewrite Patent Claims. But Can It Change A Disclosure? (Pavo Solutions, Part II)

August 8, 2022

After discussing a court’s ability to rewrite patent claim language in view of the Federal Circuit’s decision in Pavo Solutions v. Kingston Technology (Pavo Solutions, Part I), my post last week noted that there was more to the story, including the issue of whether a court could rewrite a patent’s disclosure. Here are a few thoughts on that issue.<... Read more

Can A Court Rewrite Claim Language During Claim Construction? If You Don't Ask For It, You'll Never Know (Pavo Solutions, Part I)

August 3, 2022

In Pavo Solutions v. Kingston Technology (June 2022), the Federal Circuit rewrote claim language in the asserted patent by changing the claim element "for pivoting" from case to cover. The claim element in question read as follows:<... Read more

Cardex – Patent Eligibility – It's The Claims That Matter

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
July 25, 2022

On July 18 the Federal Circuit in Cardex, Inc. v. Eurofins Viracor, Inc., affirmed the district court decision finding that diagnostic method claims directed to detecting organ transplant rejections in U.S.P.s 8,703,652 (‘652), 9,845,497 (‘497), and 10,329,607 (‘607) were not patent eligible. The following claim from ‘652 is representative of the claims on appeal, emphasis in the decision:<... Read more

Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in American Axle

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
July 5, 2022

On the last day of June to the dismay of many, the Supreme Court denied cert in yet another Federal Circuit patent eligibility decision, American Axle. Many had been hopeful of a grant because the Court had requested the Solicitor General’s view on the petition.  In May the SG provided comments favoring granting cert. A dispassionate viewer would probably not have been surprised by the denial since it’s not apparent how any new decision by the Supreme Court could result in consistency from the Federal Circuit. As Judge Albright noted in deciding Health Discovery Corp. v. Intel Corporation, 6:20-cv-666ADA (WD TX December 27, 2021), he found it difficult to extract a unified theory of Alice’s two steps from the Federal Circuit’s § jurisprudence. The function of a circuit court is to take a Supreme Court decision and derive theory of how one is to apply it.  While different circuit court’s may arrive at different conclusions as to how a decision is to be applied, it is rare for a circuit court to be unable to be consistent in its application of the law as announced by the Supreme Court. Yet this is the position of the Federal Circuit. A situation hardly conducive to “furthering the progress of the useful arts.”<... Read more

Federal Circuit Reverses Novartis Gilyena Negative Limitation Decision

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
June 22, 2022

On June 21, 2022, the Federal Circuit acting on a request for panel rehearing in the decision by the Federal Circuit in Novartis v. Accord Health Care, Inc., 21 F.4th 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2022), affirming the district court’s decision of infringement and validity of the Novartis patent on Gilenya, U.S.P. 9,187,405, granted the request and proceeded to reverse the original decision and hold the asserted claim invalid for failing to comply with the written description of 35 U.S.C. § 112(a).<... Read more

Written Description and Creating Ranges from Examples

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
April 7, 2022

At the close of last year, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the PTAB in IPR2019-00329 that a claimed range created from examples was not patentable because it lacked written description in the application as filed. In its decision the PTAB “second guessed” an examiner’s ex Parte decision that the claimed range had written description in the application as filed.  Written description was at issue because the patent challenged, U.S. Patent 9,687,454 (‘454), filed January 6, 2016, needed benefit of its parent application serial number 12/537,571 published on February 10, 2011, as 2011/0033541 (‘541), to avoid ‘541 from being prior art otherwise, most of the ‘454 claims were anticipated by ‘541. The ‘454 claim 1 is directed to a mucoadhesive film comprising about 40 wt.% to about 60 wt.% of a water-soluble polymeric matrix and claim 7 to a range of from about 48.2 wt.% to about 58.6 wt.%. Neither range was found in the ‘454 patent as filed; the claims were added during prosecution. The ‘454 describes the film as “may contain any desired level of self-supporting film forming polymer”; in “one embodiment, the film forming composition” may be at least 25 weight per cent of the composition; alternatively, at least 50 weight per cent of the composition. No upper limit was described.<... Read more