Case Updates

The following excerpts were presented in previous CASE UPDATES:

CAFC Affirms Invalidation of Claims, Which Required Knowledge of Skilled Artisan to Supplement Omissions in Prior Provisional Application

On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) delivered the opinion in D Three Enterprises v. Sunmodo, which affirmed a summary judgment decision that invalidated patent claims, because the claims were not properly supported by a priority provisional application. Central to the District Court’s decision (affirmed by the CAFC) was that the claims of the patent in suit were broader than the disclosure of the provisional application…

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CAFC Reverses Decision by PTAB Based on Improper Assertion of “Ordinary Creativity”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) again reversed a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. PTO. In this matter, DSS v. Apple, the PTAB erred by relying on what it called “ordinary creativity” in its obviousness analysis, particularly because the claim limitation was not “unusually simple,” the technology was not “particularly straightforward,” and the PTAB’s conclusion lacked appropriate explanation or evidentiary support…

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CAFC Reverses PTO for Ignoring Functional Language Associated with “Coupled to” Claim Limitation

In In re Power Integrations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) reversed a decision of the U.S. PTO (finding patent claims to be anticipated by prior art), based on the PTO’s excessively broad interpretation of the term “coupled to”…

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CAFC Reverses District Court for Improper Finding of Indefiniteness

In BASF v. Johnson Matthey, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) reversed and remanded a district court’s finding of indefiniteness. The patent in question was directed to a catalyst system and the district court found the claim to be indefinite because the claims, as written, fail to sufficiently identify the material compositions…

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Claims Defining System with Particular Capabilities or Function Did Not Render Patent Claim Indefinite

In Mastermine v. Microsoft, the Federal Circuit overturned a district court decision, which found patent claim indefiniteness. Specifically, the patent at issue claimed a system and methods “that allow a user to easily mine and report data maintained by a customer relationship management (CRM) application” by automatically creating an electronic worksheet that included a pivot table. The district court held that the claims were improperly directed to both an apparatus and a method, and as such were indefinite. The Federal Circuit disagreed…

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