IP Law Alert

IP Law Alert

Practical Perspectives on Intellectual Property Legal Developments

Tag Archives: Patent Infringement

NJ District Courts Hold Defendants’ Feet to the Fire on Patent Contentions

Posted in Patent
We previously reported that plaintiffs need to diligently seek to amend their infringement contentions to include accused instrumentalities identified during discovery or risk preclusion. That premise applies equally to defendants. This week in Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. v. POSCO et al., No. 2:12-cv-02429-SRC-CLW, Judge Stanly R. Chesler affirmed a Special Master’s Order denying discovery on Plaintiff’s prior art manufacturing process because Defendant “had failed to disclose an Invalidity Contention based on [Nippon’s manufacturing process].”… Continue Reading

Start the Clock: NJ Court Holds Declaratory Judgment Available to Later ANDA Filers

Posted in Patent
Yesterday, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that patents listed in the Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (the “Orange Book”), but not asserted under the Hatch-Waxman framework, are subject to declaratory judgment actions by later ANDA filers seeking to trigger the first ANDA filer’s exclusivity period… Continue Reading

Patent 101

Posted in Patent
On the heels of CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp. Pty presently before the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit and district courts in 2014 have continued to issue decisions analyzing computer-implemented inventions under 35 U.S.C. § 101. These courts have generally sought to answer similar questions: whether the claim is an abstract idea; whether this abstract idea preempts all other uses or can be performed in the human mind (or on a pen and paper); and whether the claim contains other limitations to narrow it sufficiently, such as being tied to a specific machine or transforming the data into a different thing… Continue Reading

New Patent Case Scheduling Order Seeks to Achieve Efficiencies in Delaware

Posted in Patent
This week, United States District Judge Sue L. Robinson issued a new Patent Case Scheduling Order dictating how patent cases will proceed in Her Honor’s Court. The District of Delaware is second only to the Eastern District of Texas in the number of patent cases filed; both of which have nearly three times the number of patent cases as the third busiest district, the Central District of California. In order to help streamline the hundreds of patent cases assigned to Her Honor, Judge Robinson issued a new Patent Case Scheduling Order, requiring the identification of key issues earlier in the case, which should improve overall case efficiencies… Continue Reading

A Quest to Slay the Trolls: Legislative Attempts to Send a Cease and Desist Message to Patent Trolls

Posted in Patent
Concerns about shake-down patent assertion have prompted response at federal and state levels, from all branches of government. Proposed legislative solutions have included bills that would penalize bad faith claims, impose fines on patent assertion entities (“PAEs”) that send letters with vague allegations of infringement, or make the awarding of attorney’s fees standard in PAE patent litigations. While no legislative proposal answers all the unique challenges patent trolls represent, these lawmaking efforts have highlighted the issue and are prompting other stakeholders to meaningfully assess the holes in the current patent system… Continue Reading

Potential For Harm: Indemnity Agreements and Willfulness Determinations

Posted in Licensing, Patent
Patent indemnification agreements, common in asset purchases, mergers and acquisitions, manufacturing, and patent licensing agreements, reduce the possibility of liability should a third party later assert its patent against the asset purchaser or licensee. However, entering into such agreements to mitigate risk can actually increase exposure. During the damages stage of patent infringement lawsuits plaintiffs often seek, with varying success, to bring in evidence of the existence of a defendant’s indemnification agreement to show that defendant knew of the patent and committed willful infringement. Thus, the very vehicle used to shift the risk of monetary liability can sometimes itself be used as a mechanism to enhance damage awards… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Fires Shot Across Congress’s Bow: Redefines Standard for Finding an Exceptional Case and Awarding Attorneys’ Fees

Posted in Patent
In Kilopass Tech., Inc. v. Sidense, Corp., No. 13-1193, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25671 (Fed. Circ., Dec. 26, 2013), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently relaxed the standard for finding "an exceptional case" to justify attorneys' fees in patent infringement actions. For IP practitioners, this case highlights the current state of the law regarding the necessary showing of bad faith to justify an award of attorneys' fees in a patent infringement suit… Continue Reading

First Biosimilars Ruling is Out … Industry, Take Heed!

Posted in Biosimilars
In a decision of first impression, Judge Maxine M. Chesney of the Northern District of California dismissed Sandoz's declaratory judgment action against Amgen for lack of jurisdiction. Sandoz had brought its suit on June 24, 2013 seeking a ruling that its biosimilar version of Amgen's patented arthritis drug Enbrel (etanercept) would not infringe and that the patents are invalid. Amgen moved to dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction or, alternatively, to decline to exercise Declaratory Judgment jurisdiction… Continue Reading

High Court Seeks Government Input on Akamai v. Limelight

Posted in Patent
The Supreme Court asked the U.S. Solicitor General to weigh in on whether to hear an appeal from the Federal Circuit's decision in Akamai Technologies Inc. et al v. Limelight Network, Inc. on induced infringement. This is a very closely watched case for the software industry, but may have far reaching implications in the pharmaceutical field as well… Continue Reading

Patentee Prevails on Liability But Denied Damages

Posted in Patent
A recent non-published case from the District Court of New Jersey serves as a reminder that navigating the damages phase of patent infringement is just as important as proving liability. In Unicom Monitoring, LLC v. Cencom, Inc., Judge Cooper court denied the patent owner damages despite the fact that it succeeded in proving infringement. The patent at issue covered a device for rerouting alarm reports through a telephone line. Defendant Cencom was found to infringe claim 1 of the patent. Before the trial on Unicom's damages, Cencom moved for summary judgment to dismiss Unicom's damages claim because it failed to present expert evidence. Cencom also moved for summary judgment on injunctive relief because Unicom failed to establish its burden under the factors articulated by the Supreme Court in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, LLC. Cencom argued that the only proof Unicom provided supporting Unicom's reasonable royalty position was attorney argument, Cencom's sales records, and statements from Unicom's owners. The Court held that while expert testimony is not required to prove reasonable royalties, it agreed with Cencom that Unicom failed to establish competent proof to support its claim… Continue Reading

ITC Announces Exclusion Order Study

Posted in ITC
Yesterday's Federal Register included a public notice indicating the U.S. International Trade Commission's ("ITC") intention to solicit input from complainants who obtained exclusion orders from the ITC following proceedings under 19 U.S.C. § 1337 ("Section 337")… Continue Reading

Patent and Copyright First-Sale and International Exhaustion Standards to Remain in Conflict … For Now!

Posted in Patent
On the heels of its March 19, 2013, decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., where the Supreme Court held that international exhaustion , i.e., an ex-U.S. first-sale rule applies to copyrights, the Court has surprisingly denied Ninestar Technology Co. Ltd.'s ("Ninestar") petition for certiorari to consider whether international exhaustion applies to patents… Continue Reading

Limitations on Discovery in Inter Partes Review Proceedings

Posted in Patent, USPTO
Companies accused of patent infringement have a number of basic alternatives to contemplate: settle the matter; defend the suit; or consider resort to a post grant patent proceeding at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). With an eye towards cost, risk and accurate resolution, inter partes review (IPR) proceedings are an attractive alternative to settling or defending… Continue Reading

PhatRat’s Helmet Impact Technology Patent Suit in N.D. Illinois — Considerations For Defendant Riddell

Posted in Patent
In PhatRat Technology, LLC v. Riddell, PhatRat, the purported exclusive licensee of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,386,401 and 7,693,668 relating to helmet impact reporting technology ("the PhatRat patents"), sued sporting goods manufacturer Riddell in the Northern District of Illinois for infringement of the PhatRat patents. The PhatRat patents issued in June 2008 and April 2010, respectively… Continue Reading

Facebook Sued Over “Like” Button and Other Features

Posted in Patent
Facebook, and its "Like" button, seem to be ubiquitous. Well, last week, Facebook and social bookmarking service, AddThis, were sued in the Eastern District of Virginia for willful infringement of two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,415,316 and 6,289,362. These patents were filed by a Norwegian computer programmer, Joannes Jozef Everardus Van Der Meer, in the late 1990s. The '316 patent is directed to enabling a user to create a "personal diary," which the complaint states "today would be called 'social media.'" The '362 patent discloses techniques for automatic transfer "of third-party content from a content-provider's website to the user's personal diary page." The complaint alleges that Facebook's "Like" button and other features infringe the '316 and '362 patents… Continue Reading

Delaware Leads the Way on CBM-Related Stay

Posted in Patent
In one of the apparently few judicial decisions of its kind to date, the District of Delaware recently granted a motion to stay six patent infringement actions, pursuant to Section 18 of the America Invents Act (AIA), pending resolution of post-grant review proceedings in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to reexamine the validity of the so-called covered business method (CBM) patents at issue. As defined by AIA § 18(d)(1) and 37 C.F.R. § 42.301, a CBM is "a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service."… Continue Reading

Proposed Bill Seeks to Answer the Pay for Delay Debate

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
As the so-called pay for-delay case is ripening for Supreme Court oral argument on March 25, 2013, on Tuesday a bi-partisan group of senators introduced legislation meant to strongly deter such arrangements. The introduction of the bill, known as the "Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act," follows an annual FTC report disclosing 40 potential pay-for-delay deals struck in the 2012 fiscal year -- a jump from 28 such deals in 2011. The goal of the bill is "to prohibit brand name drug companies from compensating generic drug companies to delay the entry of a generic drug into the market." Such reverse payments (payments made by branded pharmaceutical patent holders to generic challengers to postpone market entry) are considered lawful by some, and anti-competitive by others, including the … Continue Reading

Discovery of Source Code in Patent Litigation

Posted in Patent
Discovery of computer source code--either through production, inspection, or deposition--is one of the more contentious aspects of patent litigation. Indeed, "few tasks excite a defendant less . . . . Engineers and management howl at the notion of providing strangers, and especially a fierce competitor, access to the crown jewels. Counsel struggle to understand even exactly what code exists and exactly how it can be made available for reasonable inspection. All sorts of questions are immediately posed. . . . Put simply, source code production is disruptive, expensive, and fraught with monumental opportunities to screw up." Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., No. 11-1846, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62971, *10-11 (N.D. Cal. May 4, 2012) (ECF No. 898)… Continue Reading