Saturday, July 30, 2005

Beckson Marine v. NFM

Beckson Marine owns a patent on a self-draining, leak-proof boat window. The C.A.F.C. construed the term "hingedly connecting" as a means-plus-function limitation, because the specification did not clearly indicate the structure.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Landers v. Sideways

This disposition is not citable as precedent.
Landers patented a method and apparatus for horizontal well drilling. Landers provided drilling equipment to Sanders in exchange for royalties. The C.A.F.C. construed the term "cutter head" to not be means-plus-function because there was sufficient intrinsic evidence of structural. However, the court goes on to affirm non-infringement because the "saw blade" used by Sideways was not an equivalent structure merely because it was interchangable with the "cutter head".

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Transonic v. Non-Invasive Medical

This opinion may not be cited as precedent
Transonic owns a patent on a method and apparatus to measure blood flow and recirculation in hemodialysis shunts. The C.A.F.C. construed the claims that were subject to a broadening amendment according to the doctorine of claim differentiation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Schinzing v. Mid-States Stainless

Schinzing invented and patented a wheel-chair washing machine. Mid-States Stainless agreed to sell the product and pay royalties. After termination of the agreement Schinzing sued for breach of contract in state court. Mid-States Stainless removed to federal court by asserting a counterclaim of patent invalidity. The Eight circuit adopted the Federal Circuit precedent and held that "an element-by-element comparison of the ’375 patent to: (1) the aspects of the modified washer that the evidence showed were proposed by the students; (2) the device shown in the student demonstration; and (3) the device described in the student report" were indispensible findings of fact not made by the district court.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hartco v. Wang

This disposition is not citable as precedent.
Hartco owns a design patent claiming a "novetly trailer hitchcover featuring a three-bladed marine propeller". Hartco entered into a distributor arrangement with Wang to sell its patented product. Near the end of their distribution agreement, Hartco sought to raise the price by 40%. Wang responded by patenting and selling its own four-bladed marine propeller. Hartco sued for infringement of its design patent, product design trade dress, and product packaging trade dress. The CAFC held that the design patent only covers ornamental features, and the number of blades was an ornamental feature. Further, the CAFC, applying the law of the 5th Circuit, found that a product design may not be inheriently distinctive as a matter of law, and substantial evidence of secondary meaning must be shown to prevail on a claim of trade dress infringement.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

In re Battiston

This opinion may not be cited as precedent.
Battiston appealed the BPAI's standard of obviousness. The CAFC found that the motivation to combine reference may "flow from the nature of the problem."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Izumui v. Koninklijke Philips

This opinion may not be cited as precedent.
Izumui holds an electric razor patent. The CAFC refused to improperly import limitations into the claims from the specification.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Eli Lilly v. Teva Pharmaceuticals

This opinion may not be cited as precedent.
The CAFC affirmed the lower court's holding of patent infringement. Eli Lilly hold a patent for a method of treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) through drug therapy. Teva argued that the claim language "prior to the onset of menstrual period" should be construed to exclude continuous treatment. Teva also unpersuasively argued evidence of obviousness.

Enzo Biochem v. Gen-Probe

The CAFC held that the court lacked jurisdiction when unadjudicated counter-claim was pending in the case.

Salazar v. Proctor & Gamble

Salazar invented a toothbrush for stimulating gums and cleaning teeth using two kinds of elastic rods. Although Salazar never responded to the examiner's statement regarding "elastic" to not include nylon, the CAFC reversed, stating that failure to respond to a statement does not give rise to prosecutory estoppel.
Links:

REDUX:MGM v. Grokster

This file shrunk from 1:41 to 1:16 by more dilligently eliminating citations, parentheticals, etc. Given the dramatic result, we are reposting the redux.
The Supreme court held that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, going beyond mere distribution with knowledge of third-party action, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device's lawful uses.

Improved Listenability

In an attempt to improve listenability, the following enhancements have been made to the software process that helps build this site's MP3s.
  • Most citations are not read. However, if the citation appears contextually in a sentance, the name of the case is read.
  • Parenthetical phrases following citations are not read.
  • Certain words frequently used in party names (LLC, Co., Inc.) are now skipped while reading.
  • Page numbers are no longer read.
  • Different voices are used to read the case summary, the majority opinion and any dissent.
The net result is even shorter and easier to understand MP3s. Also, WMA files have been removed (to save disk space).

Thursday, July 14, 2005

North American Container, Inc. v. Plastipak Packaging, Inc., et al.

AT&T v. Microsoft

Microsoft shipped a gold master cdrom overseas. This gold master was used to duplicate the Windows operating system in the foreign country and included AT&T's patented speech codec technology. AT&T sued Microsoft under 35 U.S.C. 271 (f). The C.A.F.C. interpretted the statutory language of section 271(f) to include shipping of software gold master cdrom.
However, the dissent argued that there was no further distinction between supplying and copying under section 271(f) for software technology.
Links:

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sandisk v. Memorex

Sandisk holds a patent on improving the life Flash EEProms devices. The CAFC held that "including" means "comprising." Reading the claims in conjunction with the specificaiton, the court reversed and found the claims consitent with the specification.
Listen to the CAFC's published opinion.
[MP3]

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Phillips v. AWH Corporation, et al.

Phillips invented a vandalism-proof wall, which is valued in making prisons, and obtainted a patent. AWH had licensed this patent, but continued to market products that may infringe Phillips' paent after the agreement lapsed. After re-iterating many principals of claim construction, the CAFC held, en banc, that the specification (and prosecution historty, both as intrinsic evidence) must necisarily inform the construction of the claims. External evidence may be used as helpful to construe claims, but not contrary to the meaning of the instrinsic evidence. In this case, just becuase the "steel baffles" provides for multiple objectives does not mean that the term should be read narrowly within the claims.
The dissent would have overturned construction of claims as a matter of law.
This case, of course, had many, many amicus curie briefs.
Links:

In Re Steelbuilding.com

Steelbuilding.com provides sophisticated design services, which were far beyond a typical online-cataloge, through thier website for the manufacture and sale of metal buildings. The TTAB found that the mark was generic, or at least highly descriptive, and refused to register the name. On appeal, the CAFC reversed in part, finding that the compound phrase "STEELBUILDING.COM" was not used to describe the type of services offered at Appellant's website. In this "unusual" case, the CAFC found that the addition of the Top Level Domain (TLD) was not merely generic. However, the CAFC did find that the term was descriptive and that the Appellant failed to show sufficient evidence of secondary meaning.
The dissent agreed with the reasoning of the majority. The dissent went further to say that the TTAB erred when they refused to consider evidence presented by the Appelant, including, on-line advertising click through rates, traffic statistics from the website, evidence of their success in the marketplace, etc.
Listen to the CAFC's published opinion.
[MP3]

Friday, July 01, 2005

Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd.

The Merck v. Integra case was decided by the Supreme Court in April 2005.
The Supreme Court held that 35 USC 271(e)(1) provides protection from patent infringment as long as the tested drug could reasonable become the subject of an FDA submission. This includes pre-clinical studies and pre-clinical research.
Listen to the Supreme Courts's published opinion. [MP3]