EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.27.18

Another Week of Federal Circuit Supporting PTAB and Acting Tough for Patent Quality in the United States

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patent elimination ‘pipeline’

Secret documents

Summary: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) maintain a productive cycle of patent elimination, except when the patents do have merit (e.g. when they’re on physical inventions and not nature or code)

THE Federal Circuit under its current chief has been doing a good job, encouraging — shall we say for the most part — the USPTO to evolve/improve patent policy. Sure, there are some exceptions which we shall cover separately, but generally speaking the judges grasp the Supreme Court’s views or interpretation of the law. They’re undoing decades of unbridled patent maximalism. One decision at a time they narrow down patent scope and litigation scope. This is good. It will help scientists at the expense of lawyers. It’s about time, too.

The other day XY, LLC v Trans Ova Genetics, L.C. was brought up by a patent maximalists’ site, which mentioned a “split decision [that] reveals an important dispute between Federal Circuit judges over the impact of AIA trials on pending litigation. In this case, XY’s six patents in suit relate to the sorting of semen by gender (used for farm animal breeding). My discussion below focuses on only one of the patents that was first enforced by the district court but later cancelled by a PTAB action.”

“One decision at a time they narrow down patent scope and litigation scope. This is good.”The author is a foe of PTAB and would like to see AIA trials phased out/replaced by something else. But he has not been getting his way. That’s an understatement actually; his whole world crumbles around him and his readers. They’ve tried everything to undermine PTAB and nothing seems to work. We shall cover that separately in a later post.

The underlying patents in this case aren’t on software but arguably on life (animal breeding). As is widely known by now, some companies like Monsanto have been attempting to patent nature/life everywhere in the world (it’s a lot harder in India, owing to the Supreme Court’s recent judgment). It’s not just about breeding processes or genetic manipulation; later on some companies patent the resultant animals, too! Crazy world we live in, eh?

“It’s pretty clear here that this patent maximalists’ site cherry-picks cases with the agenda of undermining Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board which these fall under.”The author explains “that the final paragraph is somewhat confusing because it appears to state two separate principles – (1) that affirmance of an invalidity finding [by the Federal Circuit] creates collateral estoppel on the issue of validity and also (2) that a final decision of patent invalidity moots pending district court findings of no invalidity. This begs the question of what would be the proper result if this case had been decided after the IPR decision cancelling the claims but before deciding the outcome of this appeal. When the court recognizes the potential issue – I expect that in most situations it would coordinate the appeals.”

It’s pretty clear here that this patent maximalists’ site cherry-picks cases with the agenda of undermining Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board which these fall under. This isn’t new. This has gone on for years and Oil States was the latest blow to such agenda. Later on we shall show how patent “scams” too have failed to undermine IPRs.

The same site also picked another Federal Circuit case, D Three Enterprises v SunModo Corp., which was about claim construction. This patent is at least on something physical. To quote:

D-Three’s patents in suit are directed to roof-mount sealing assemblies for solar panel installation. U.S. Patent Nos. 8,689,517; 9,068,339; and 8,707,655. The district court found the asserted claims invalid as obvious or anticipated. The basic central dispute, however, was whether the claims could rely upon a 2009 provisional application filing date. Although the formalities of the priority chain was met — the district court found a substantive problem. In particular, the court ruled that the 2009 provisional did not sufficiently disclose the inventions as claimed — i.e., failure of written description. Going one layer deeper, it seems that the real dispute is about claim construction — do the claimed assemblies require a “washerless” approach? The courts found that the claims recite a washerless assembly but that the limitation was not disclosed by the provisional application — so no priority.

Kluwer Patent Blog has meanwhile delved into another patent case where PTAB and the Federal Circuit dealt with a patent on something physical. “In an interference proceeding,” it said, “the Patent Trial and Appeal Board correctly determined that claims 65-67 of applicant General Hospital Corporation’s (GHC’s) U.S. Patent Application No. 13/789,575 for methods of removing hair by using nanoparticles to damage hair follicles lacked sufficient written description under § 112 of the Patent Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled.”

“…what we continued to see this past week was a strong and consistent record of patents-sceptic Federal Circuit which fully supports PTAB.”PTAB was defended for this, as usual. Watchtroll — being the most anti-PTAB site out there — chose to deal with this Federal Circuit case wherein PTAB had dismissed a challenge (and was later defended by the court). To quote:

Gilead produces and sells several products containing an antiviral agent used in the treatment of AIDS, and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (“AHF”) buys these products to provide care to persons afflicted with AIDS. AHF filed suit requesting declaratory judgment of invalidity for five patents purportedly covering the antiviral agent and associated products, hoping to “clear out the invalid patents” such that AHF could partner with generic makers and purchase generic versions of the antiviral agent as soon as it could become available on expiration of the five-year New Chemical Entity exclusivity provided by FDA approval of the antiviral agent. The district court dismissed, ruling that AHF’s status as a mere consumer and its interest in purchasing such products did not create a case of actual controversy.

On appeal, AHF argued that it is an indirect infringer of the patents because it requested potential producers to provide the patented products, Gilead’s non-response to AHF’s request for a covenant not to sue created a present controversy, and public policy favors invalidation of invalid patents.

It is strange to say that “public policy favors invalidation of invalid patents.” Obviously if patents are invalid, then they are invalid, no matter what policy might say. Either way, what we continued to see this past week was a strong and consistent record of patents-sceptic Federal Circuit which fully supports PTAB. Had it not been the case, patent maximalists would make a huge deal out of it and herald that everything changes (like they nowadays do with Berkheimer v HP).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. EPO Management Looks for New and 'Innovative' Ways to Exploit Scientists and Distract From EPO Corruption

    EPO management is desperate for puff pieces, having just produced some greenwashing nonsense (about a dozen press items about this non-event) and now a bunch of self-promotional videos



  2. Before the New York Times Did a Number on Donald Trump It Changed Bill Gates' Tune

    When you speak strictly through a spokesperson it often means you're lying and/or hiding something; the Gates enigma remains unsolved more than a year later



  3. Links 28/9/2020: Linux 5.9 RC7, Review of Linuxfx 10.6, OpenSSH 8.4

    Links for the day



  4. Speaking Through Spokespeople is a Sign of Weakness, Such as Non-Denying and False Denials (or: Bill Gates Never Denied His Connections to MIT Through Jeffrey Epstein)

    Big liars lie shamelessly; the biggest liars lie through proxies and today we examine the evasive tactics of Bill Gates and his associates (who were closely connected to Jeffrey Epstein but refuse to even talk about that, except indirectly)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 27, 2020



  6. Accounting for Debconf 19 Travel... in 2020

    A deeper look or analysis of Debian expenditures, which grew more than twicefold for travel last year



  7. Don't Let Microsoft Make 'Open Source' Synonymous With Proprietary Monopoly GitHub

    Now that the OSI works for Microsoft instead of Open Source (no, GitHub isn’t Open Source; it’s inherently against Open Source) we need to understand the modus operandi and learn from old mistakes



  8. Links 27/9/2020: Puppy Linux 9.5, Nitrux 1.3.3

    Links for the day



  9. Public Relations and Tolerance Stunts Are Very, Very Cheap

    It's 2020 and people are asked to focus on superficial aspects of corporations rather than anything of substance (like the effects on society at large, notably exploitation and long-term harm)



  10. Open to Everything

    It always starts with good intentions...



  11. The OSI's President Apparently Does Not Know That His Own Employer (Salesforce) Works for ICE

    The hypocrisy (or double standard) of the OSI’s President is astounding; taking salaries paid in part by ICE budget (Salesforce works for ICE and similarly evil agencies) while protesting in a proprietary software platform of Microsoft (GitHub) about ICE (all this whilst actively participating in it regardless)



  12. [Meme] Communist Tactics

    To Microsoft, Linux is communism until Microsoft controls it (and then runs over it to crush it, the typical modus operandi)



  13. OSI President: Most or Half of the OSI's Money (Even Individual Donors' Money) Goes to a Microsoft-Led Initiative

    The OSI has turned from advocate of "Open Source" (a disingenuous attempt to set aside Free/libre software) to advocate of Microsoft and GitHub in just 3 years (since taking Microsoft's money/bribes)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 26, 2020



  15. The 24/7 'Tech' Worker (Babysitter of User-hostile Computing) and 'Expensive' Programmer

    The rights of workers are being reduced to nothing (many in their older years made redundant), even in an occupation that is indirectly responsible for automating and thus deprecating jobs in many other occupations



  16. Why Techrights is Totally Unexcited About the New Owner of Linux Journal

    Linux Journal might soon become an anti-Linux site (veiled hostility) if Slashdot's editorial preferences are anything to go by (Slashdot has just seized control of Linux Journal)



  17. The Cheapening of the Programmer is a Threat to Human Rights of All Computer Users

    From the era of computer experts (down to the low level of computing with transistors), mathematicians, physics gurus and respected technicians we've come to orders-following, user-apathetic engineers who are overworked, grossly underpaid, and way too fearful of raising ethical concerns (voicing disagreement can result in prompt dismissal, followed by perpetual unemployment) and this ensures digital oppression without checks and balances



  18. Links 26/9/2020: Wine 5.18, FreeBSD 12.2-BETA3 and Debian 10.6 Released

    Links for the day



  19. 'Appeal to Novelty' as a Lever for Proprietary Software Monopolies, Bloat (Planned Obsolescence) and More Surveillance

    Novelty is generally fine, but in many cases products are developed iteratively (not cumulatively) not to advance society or to objectively improve services, only to increase control over people (because emergent ‘freemium’-like business models nowadays revolve around addiction and subjugation, e.g. ‘brain-farming’ and manipulation of minds)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, September 25, 2020



  21. Microsoft Windows is Obsolete

    The so-called 'leak' of old Windows code (almost 20 years old) is rather meaningless and useless; the world is moving past Windows, plus old Windows code cannot be used (due to the licence) and is barely used anymore, even in binary form



  22. [Meme] Conflating Critics of Corporate/Class Abuse With Womanisers and Chauvinists (and Now Doing the Same to Influential Women)

    It's regretful to see real victims of discrimination having their grievances and legitimate causes hijacked by opportunistic corporate media, which rallies a bunch of Internet trolls while oligarchs sponsor the whole thing, emboldening attacks on critics of powerful people (the likes of Jordan Peterson are a distraction; even women are nowadays being targeted using the very same tricks)



  23. Losing the Battle for Rights/Justice, Freedom/Liberty, and Emancipation Potential

    We're losing our most basic rights amid transition to "digital"; too little is being done to push back against this worrisome trend, which necessarily means reduction in both our freedom and our fundamental human rights



  24. Response to Eric Raymond (ESR) on “Last Phase of the Desktop Wars”

    Eric Raymond (ESR) talks about Microsoft's "embrace"; but there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions in his blog post, as we'll explain patiently, based on known facts



  25. Links 25/9/2020: Calibre 5.0, Fedora 33 Beta Days Away, Snap Setback

    Links for the day



  26. Faking 'Progress' to Distract From True Justice or From a Full, Meaningful Reform

    Activism for truly meaningful change doesn't stop at superficialities and cosmetic changes (which merely give a false sense/impression of accomplishment, resulting in inaction); we need to regularly consider how to dismantle injustice, not based on the criteria set by oligarchs-owned media, rallying gullible mobs to appease only big egos



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 24, 2020



  28. Richard Stallman: New Interview About Privacy (Published This Morning)

    “The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement,” RT says



  29. Links 25/9/2020: PostgreSQL 13, DragonFly 5.8.2 and Python 3.8.6

    Links for the day



  30. Code of Ethics Versus Code of Conduct in Action

    Reprinted from Daniel Pocock's Web site


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts