Eyes on Alice: In a 2-1 Decision Federal Circuit Finds Patent for Detecting Body Temperature at the Forehead Patent-Eligible Subject Matter.

The Federal Circuit issued a non-precedential decision delineating between patent-eligible and patent-ineligible improvements in technology related to taking a person’s temperature using a computerized thermometer. On March 8, 2018, the Federal Circuit affirmed that U.S. Patent Nos. 6,292,685 (‘685 patent) and 7,787,938 (‘938 patent) related to a body temperature detector that calculates a person’s core temperature by detecting the temperature of the forehead directly above the superficial temporal artery was directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Continue reading

Eyes on Alice: Federal Circuit Concludes that Factual Allegations in Complaint Preclude Dismissal on Patent Eligibility Grounds

On February 14, 2018, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision providing important guidance regarding the circumstances under which dismissal on patent eligibility grounds is appropriate at the pleadings stage. In Aatrix Software, Inc. v. Green Shades Software, Inc., the Federal Circuit ruled that “patent eligibility can be determined at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage . . . only when there are no factual allegations that, taken as true, prevent resolving the eligibility question as a matter of law.” No. 2017-1452, slip op. at 5 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 14, 2018). Continue reading

Eyes on Alice: Federal Circuit Weighs Patent Eligibility of Patent Claims Concerning the Digital Processing and Archiving of Files in a Digital Asset Management System

The Federal Circuit issued another precedential decision adding to its line of cases delineating between patent-eligible and patent-ineligible improvements in computer-related technology. On February 8, 2018, the Federal Circuit affirmed that U.S. Patent No. 7,447,713 (‘713 patent) related to eliminating redundant storage of common text and graphical elements to improve system operating efficiency and to reduce storage costs was directed to patent ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Continue reading

Similarity to Product That Literally Infringes Patent is Sufficient to Support Doctrine of Equivalents Verdict

In the non-precedential decision WCM Industries Inc. v. IPS Corp., the Federal Circuit overturned the district court’s grant of IPS’s motion for judgment as a matter of law, finding that the patentee WCM provided sufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents based on one product’s similarity to another, literally-infringing product.

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Federal Circuit Upholds PTAB’s Entry of Adverse Judgment Before Its Institution Decision

In a split precedential decision, the Federal Circuit ruled that 37 C.F.R. § 42.73(b) permits the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to enter an adverse judgment when a patent owner cancels all claims at issue after an IPR petition has been filed, but before an institution decision.

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Federal Circuit Rules that PTAB Time-Bar Determinations in IPRs Can Be Appealed*

(*Originally published as a Michael Best client alert on January 10, 2018, co-authored by J. Donald Best and Kenneth M. Albridge, III)

On January 8, 2018, in Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an en banc decision expanding the range of issues subject to judicial review on appeal from decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. In a 9-4 decision, the full Federal Circuit overruled its prior panel decision in Achates Reference Publishing, Inc. v. Apple Inc., 803 F.3d 652 (Fed. Cir. 2015) and held for the first time that the PTAB’s time-bar determinations under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) are not exempt from judicial review under § 314(d). Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp., No. 2015-1944, slip op. at 21 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 8, 2018). Continue reading

Federal Circuit Remands Patents Back to Board for Further Proceedings Regarding Challenges to Patents’ Validity Based on Anticipation and Obviousness

In a nonprecedential decision, the Federal Circuit ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board had (1) failed to address a specific anticipation argument raised by a petitioner and (2) failed to provide adequate reasoning to support a decision on obviousness. Continue reading