A Digital Camera (A Mechanical/Electronic Device) is Patent Ineligible

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

Yu sued Apple for infringement of the claims of U.S. Patent 6,611,289. The district court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss on the basis that the asserted claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Yu appealed. The Federal Circuit (“the Court”) found no error and affirmed.<... Read more

In re Rudy and the PTO 101 Guidance

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
April 22, 2021

The USPTO 101 Guidance document has been under a cloud when Judge Brinkema refused to follow the guidance in Cleveland Clinic Found. V. True Health Diagnostics LLC., affirmed at 760 F. App'x. 1013, 1020 (Fed. Cir. 2019). Cleveland Clinic relied on Guidance example 29, claim 1 to assert that its claims were patent eligible since they were drafted in the same manner. The Federal Circuit in rejecting the argument found the 101 Guidance example 29, claim 1 to be "strikingly" similar to claim 1, see760 F. App'x. at 1020, which the Federal Circuit held was patent ineligible. The guidance teaches that example 29, claim 1 is patent eligible. The USPTO has not responded to the Court's criticism and example 29 continues to appear in the Guidance unchanged.... Read more

Indefiniteness: Bad Translation/Lack of Definition Redux

Attorney: Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
April 15, 2021

            I previously wrote about a Federal Circuit Opinion that affirmed a lower court ruling that the term “half-liquid” was indefinite despite the apparent mis-translation of the original Italian term “semiliquido” https://www.lifesciencesipblog.com/indefiniteness-bad-translation-lack-of-definition-or-both. On March 1, 2021, the losing party (IBSA Institut Biochimique, S.A., Altergon, S.A., IBSA Pharma Inc.) filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court and so I thought it would be interesting to take another look at this case. Indeed, the petitioner presented a novel question for review of the lower courts’ decision of indefiniteness of the term at issue. The question presented in the petition is:<... Read more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Idenix Case: Dispute Surrounding the Enablement Standard for Biotechnology Patents Continues

February 12, 2021

On January 19, 2021, the Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari to hear the Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Gilead Sciences Inc. case (941 F.3d 1149 (Fed. Cir. 2019)). In the underlying district court litigation, the jury found the Idenix patents were infringed, awarding it $2.5 billion in damages. But, the district court overturned the verdict and granted judgement as a matter of law finding the patents invalid for lack of enablement, and the Federal Circuit affirmed. To revive its damages claim, Idenix filed a petition to reverse the Federal Circuit's decision. The petition addressed whether a genus claim is not enabled if it encompasses a large number of compounds or whether, as the Supreme Court has previously recognized, enablement is a context-specific jury question (as well as a related written description issue that will not be discussed further).... Read more

A Diagnostic Patent Is Found Patent Eligible At the Federal Circuit

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
August 4, 2020

In March the Federal Circuit reversed a lower court decision finding Illumina’s patents (U.S.Ps. 9,580,751 and 9,738,931) for diagnosing Down’s Syndrome to be patent ineligible, 952 F.3d 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2020). On August 3, the Federal Circuit denied a petition for rehearing and rehearing enbanc but did issue a new decision adding the term “human-engineered” in several portions of the opinion discussing the separation of fetal DNA from maternal DNA which the inventors had discovered were of different sizes, fetal cell DNA is shorter than the maternal DNA. The inventors recognized that the DNA to be analyzed for genetic aberrations was that of the fetus. The problem was to isolate the small amount of fetal DNA from the maternal DNA so the fetal DNA could be analyzed for genetic aberrations. Prior to the invention there was no known way to distinguish and separate maternal DNA from the tiny fraction of fetal DNA present. The inventors found that by selectively removing DNA having more than 500 or 300 base pairs they could produce a sample where the fetal DNA content in the sample would be enriched and analyzed. The following claim is exemplary:<... Read more

"A Method of Preparation" and Patent Eligibility Under Section 101

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
March 30, 2020

Before LOURIE, MOORE, and REYNA, Circuit Judges. Illumina, Inc. and Sequenom, Inc. ("Illumina") filed suit against Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., Roche Sequencing Solutions, Inc., and Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. ("Roche") alleging infringement of U.S. Patents 9,580,751 and 9,738,931. Roche moved for summary judgment that the asserted claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. ยง 101. The district court granted Roche's motion holding that the claims of the '751 and '931 patents were directed to ineligible subject matter. Illumina appealed. The Federal Circuit ("the Court") reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings.... Read more

Solicitor General on Patent Eligibility

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
December 16, 2019

The Solicitor General (SG) was invited by the Supreme Court to provide comments on the certiorari petitions filed by Berkheimer and Hikma to review the Federal Circuit's 101 decisions adverse to them. The two briefs have numerous similarities including identifying the Court's decision in Bilski[1]as starting the patent eligibility confusion by not grounding its decision on interpreting the meaning of the 35 U..S.C. 101 terms "process, machine, manufacture, [and] composition of matter." The SG asserts that in Bilski the Court did not ground its decision on the stature terms but instead found three exceptions to be not required by the statutory text: laws of nature, physical phenomenon, and abstract ideas. While these concepts are found earlier Supreme Court decisions, Bilski represented the first time they were used independent of the statutory language or constitutional concept of the "useful arts." The SG then described Mayo[2] as continuing the Court's Bilski practice of not tying patent eligibility to any of the statutory or Constitutional language. Alice[3] characterized the Mayo decisional approach as a two step process.... Read more

ATHENA DIAGNOSTICS - THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT AGAIN ABDICATES ITS RESPONSIBILITY

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
July 15, 2019

In denying the petition for rehearing en banc the majority of the Federal Circuit abdicated its responsibility to define the limits of the Supreme Court's Mayo decision. Judge Dyk on the 25th birthday of the Federal Circuit noted that: Frequently, the Supreme Court in patent cases articulates a general principle and leaves it to our court to both administer the rule and apply it to the individual case.... Read more

The Proper Application of the Supreme Court's Alice Standard is an Evolving and Sometimes Hazy Area of Law

Attorney: Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
April 29, 2019

Marijuana, for medical purposes and recreational purposes, is an area of great political, social and legal interest. By some accounts (https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomaspellechia/2018/03/01/double-digit-billions-puts-north-america-in-the-worldwide-cannabis-market-lead/#6d925dd76510), the industry is rapidly growing leaps and bounds. Not surprisingly, patents and disputes centered on patents for this industry are increasing in numbers.... Read more

Cleveland Clinic - Another Black Eye for the Federal Circuit and Dissing the USPTO

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
April 3, 2019

In the April 1 Cleveland Clinic Foundation v. True Health Diagnostics LLC decision, the Federal Circuit has once again given itself a black eye in finding a new diagnostic procedure to be patent ineligible and with the same punch dissed the USPTO.... Read more