Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO Appeal Boards, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Other Newsworthy Tidbits

Summary: Short roundup of news regarding patents in the United States and the process of handling them, with few comparisons to the EPO

LITIGATION with USPTO patents is down. It is down pretty sharply and this gives ample room for hope. But it does not, however, mean we should take our eyes off the ball.



Patently-O, writing in another recent post, said that "Medgraph’s claims are directed to a set of methods “for improving and facilitating diagnosis and treatment of patients.” See U.S. Patent 5,974,124 and U.S. Patent 6,122,351. The problem is that the claims require actions by both the computer system and also a patient/doctor. This claim structure directly runs headlong into traditional requirement for direct infringement of a patent – that all steps of the claim be performed-by or attributable-to a single entity."

What's noteworthy here is the presence of a computer system. We previously wrote about a similar case at the EPO appeal boards (computer conjoined with "medical" and "device" so as to make it look/sound non-abstract and novel). Right now in Europe it's said to be easier to get (and defend) software patents than it is in the post-Alice US. The judge in the above case, P. Corcoran, thankfully rejected the application. No wonder Battistelli hates the appeal boards so much and strives to destroy them (while still maintaining the appearance or perception he complies with the EPC).

In other news from around the Web, there are formal/procedural changes emanating from CAFC decisions. "A recent decision from the Federal Circuit recognises a privilege between non-attorneys patent-agents and their clients under certain conditions," says MIP. "Philippe Signore reviews the limits of this patent agent privilege, as well as those of the attorney-client privilege, within the context of the discovery phase of a US litigation," continues the summary, but the article is behind a paywall.

"Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6 has," according to this from Patently-O, "since it first allowed for service by electronic means [legal papers served by E-mail, as the EPO attempted to do to me], treated it like other means of service, adding 3 days to the deadline to respond (under some circumstances). It’s now been deleted from the types of service that give the extra there days."

Writing about a CAFC case, Patently-O also mentioned that "Patent Nos. 6,107,851 and 6,249,876 were not anticipated and were directly and indirectly infringed by Fairchild and that Fairchild’s Patent No. 7,259,972 was not obvious and was infringed by Power Integrations under the doctrine of equivalents (but was not literally infringed or indirectly infringed by Power Integrations). The jury also found Power Integrations’ Patent No. 7,834,605 neither anticipated nor obvious. Following trial, the district court granted judgment as a matter of law that Fairchild directly infringed this patent. The district court granted a permanent injunction against Fairchild and declined to grant an inunction against Power Integrations."

The term injunction is just a nicer word for embargo and when companies start banning/blocking each other's products it's clear who's not winning: the public.

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