Case Updates

The following excerpts were presented in previous CASE UPDATES:

Supreme Court Rules that Lexmark’s Patent Rights in Toner Cartridges were “Exhausted”

In Impression Prods. v. Lexmark, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered an opinion, in which the Supreme Court reversed a decision by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). The Court found that Lexmark had exhausted its patent rights in its patented toner cartridges. The issue in question is particularly relevant to patented products that have recyclable, multiple uses.
There were actually two exhaustion issues resolved in the opinion. The first dealt with domestic (i.e., within the U.S.) resales of such cartridges, and the second was whether the legitimate sale (by Lexmark) of a patent product outside the U.S. exhausted its patent rights in the U.S. for that product…

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CAFC Affirms Invalidation of Patent Claims because of Inadequate Written Description

In Rivera v. ITC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a decision by the ITC, which invalidated patent claims based on the specification’s failure to provide an adequate written description of the claimed invention. The patent at issue was generally directed to a coffee brewing system, and more specifically to an adapter assembly for providing compatibility between a single serving beverage brewer and brewing pods…

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Two Recent Decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

First, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods. The technical holding of the opinion is that the general venue statute (which has been amended to provide venue in any judicial district in which personal jurisdiction exists) did not alter the patent venue statute. Second, the CAFC rendered the decision in Rovalma v. Bohler-Edelstahl. This is another in a series of recent decisions by the CAFC which has reversed a finding by the Patent Office (regarding the invalidity or unpatentability of a patent claim), where the Patent Office has not provided sufficient fact-finding to support its conclusion…

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CAFC Reverses PTAB Finding of Patent Claims as Obvious

In Synopsis v. Atoptech, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) overturned a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The PTAB had found certain patent claims to be unpatentable based on a combination of prior art references. The CAFC reversed the PTAB’s decision, stating that substantial evidence did not exist to support its findings…

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CAFC Holds that Prior Art which Must be Modified from its Obvious Design does not Anticipate Claim

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decided the case of In re Steven C. Chudik, which reversed Patent Office findings of anticipation. The subject matter of this case involves a patent directed to an artificial shoulder joint (implant). The implant includes a protruding surface (119), which extends into the glenoid cavity. FIGs. 23a and 27a (reproduced below) of the patent application show the protruding surface 119…

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