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CODA’s CEO, Hrabal, invented self-inflating tire (SIT) technology. In 2008, GM representatives approached CODA, wanting to involve Goodyear in commercializing the technology. The parties executed a nondisclosure agreement, then met in 2009. Goodyear’s representatives included Benedict. At Goodyear’s request, CODA shared confidential information concerning the SIT. Goodyear representatives expressed skepticism about its viability. The parties agreed to continue discussions. Benedict requested to review an updated technical presentation, the latest testing methods, and performance results. At a second meeting, CODA allowed Goodyear to examine a functional prototype of the technology. Benedict requested that his team have time alone with the prototype, during which he photographed it without permission. Months then passed without any communication. In December 2009, a Goodyear employee on Benedict’s team independently inquired about the status of CODA’s SIT in preparation for an internal Goodyear meeting. Unbeknownst to CODA, Goodyear applied for a patent entitled “Self-Inflating Tire Assembly.” The 586 patent issued in 2011, naming Benedict and Losey as the inventors. CODA later received an unsolicited email from the ex-Goodyear employee with whom it corresponded in December 2009, stating, “I am retired now .. and see ... that they have copied your SIT.” The Federal Circuit vacated the dismissal of CODA’s complaint, seeking correction of inventorship, 35 U.S.C. 256. The district court erred in considering outside evidence about an article, by Hrabal, concerning the technology and in concluding that the complaint was time-barred.CODA’s claims allow the reasonable inference that Hrabal conceived the invention and that Benedict and Losey did not. View "CODA Development SRO v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co." on Justia Law

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CenTrak’s 909 patent, entitled “Methods and Systems for Synchronized Ultrasonic Real Time Location,” relates to systems for real-time location (RTL), which allow users to locate and identify portable devices in a facility. Hospitals, for example, might use RTL systems to track equipment and patients. The asserted claims generally recite five components: ultrasonic (US) base stations; portable devices (i.e., tags); a server; radio frequency (RF) base stations; and a backbone network that connects the server with the RF base stations. In an infringement suit, the district court entered summary judgment several claims invalid for lack of written description and that other claims were not infringed. The Federal Circuit reversed, finding that genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether disclosure of the implementation details that the district court identified is necessary to satisfy the written description requirement; there is a material dispute of fact as to whether the named inventors actually possessed an ultrasonic RTL system at the time they filed their patent application or whether they were “leaving it to the industry to complete an unfinished invention.” CenTrak’s evidence raised a triable issue of fact regarding infringement. View "CenTrak, Inc. v. Sonitor Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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Continental’s 582, 560, 105, and 912 patents are directed to a “multilayer electrical device . . . having a tooth structure” and methods for making the same. The patents, which have since expired, are continuations of one another and thus share substantially the same specification. According to the patents, multilayer electric devices “suffer from delamination, blistering, and other reliability problems,” especially when “subjected to thermal stress.” The inventions of the patents purport to solve this problem by “forming a unique surface structure . . . comprised of teeth that are preferably angled or hooked like fangs or canine teeth to enable one layer to mechanically grip a second layer.” Continental sued. The parties stipulated to a judgment of noninfringement, based on the district court’s claim construction. The Federal Circuit vacated. The district court erred in reading a “repeated desmear process” limitation into the Category 1 Terms. View "Continental Circuits LLC v. Intel Corp." on Justia Law

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The Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) patent, entitled “Stable Protein Formulations,” describes and claims specific fluid formulations an immunosuppressive agent used in the treatment of immune system disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. The product has the common name “abatacept” and the brand name Orencia®. Momenta sought Inter Partes Review of the Patent under the America Invents Act, 35 U.S.C. 311. Momenta was attempting to develop a biosimilar counterpart of Orencia®. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board sustained patentability of the patent claims. Momenta filed an appeal under 35 U.S.C. 319. BMS moved to dismiss for lack of standing because Momenta’s proposed product had failed its Phase 1 clinical trials and had been withdrawn. Momenta responded that it had not abandoned its intent to produce a counterpart of the Orencia® product and filed various exhibits concerning its intentions, ultimately submitting a form that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2018, indicating termination of Momenta’s collaboration agreement with respect to the development of a proposed biosimilar to ORENCIA®. Momenta did not withdraw its appeal. The Federal Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of standing as moot. The cessation of potential infringement means that Momenta no longer has the potential for injury, thereby mooting the inquiry. View "Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co." on Justia Law

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Athena Diagnostics is the exclusive licensee of the 820 patent, covering methods for diagnosing neurological disorders by detecting antibodies to a protein called muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK), which is associated with Myasthenia gravis (MG), a neurological disorder where patients experience muscle weakness and symptoms including drooping eyelids, double vision, and slurred speech. Athena markets a test (FMUSK) that functions by evaluating those antibodies. After Mayo developed two competing tests, Athena accused Mayo of infringing its patent. The Federal Circuit affirmed that the asserted claims of the 820 patent are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 101, for claiming ineligible subject matter. The claims at issue are directed to a natural law and lack an inventive concept. View "Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's summary judgment ruling regarding the protectability of the proposed trademark BOOKING.COM. The court held that the district court, in weighing the evidence before it, did not err in finding that the USPTO failed to satisfy its burden of proving that the relevant public understood BOOKING.COM, taken as a whole, to refer to general online hotel reservation services rather than Booking.com the company. Therefore, the district court did not err in finding that BOOKING.COM is a descriptive, rather than generic, mark. Furthermore, because USPTO did not challenge the district court's finding that BOOKING.COM has acquired secondary meaning where the mark is deemed descriptive, the court affirmed the district court's partial grant of summary judgment finding that BOOKING.COM is protectable as a trademark. Finally, the district court's grant of attorney fees was affirmed under Shammas v. Focarino, 784 F.3d 219, 225 (4th Cir. 2015), where an applicant that decides to challenge the USPTO's ruling in district court must pay all the expenses of the proceeding whether the final decision was in its favor or not. View "Booking.com B.V. v. US Patent & Trademark Office" on Justia Law

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RCT owns the 551 patent, which discloses and claims enantiomeric compounds and pharmaceutical compositions useful in the treatment of epilepsy and other central nervous system disorders. The Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board, in an inter partes review, concluded that claims 1–13 of the patent are not unpatentable. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument that an ordinary artisan would have recognized the methoxyamino group in compound 3l (disclosed in a prior reference) to be uncommon and to have potential synthetic and stability problems and that a person of skill in the art would then have been motivated to modify compound 3l by replacing the amine of its methoxyamino group with a methylene link to yield a more stable, synthetically accessible, pharmaceutically common and acceptable moiety. The Board’s findings are supported by substantial evidence. Even if a person of skill in the art would have been motivated to modify compound 3l, the evidence suggests that compounds without a methoxyamino or nitrogen-containing group at the αcarbon had reduced activity. View "Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Research Corporation Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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IPS’s founder and CEO (King) and Chief Technical Officer (Schwarz) are electrical engineers. IPS manufactured multi-space parking meters. King claims he conceived the idea for a credit-card enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter in 2003, consulted with Schwarz, and decided that IPS would offer a retrofit device that replaces the internal components of an existing parking meter. IPS engaged a design firm, D+I, in 2004, providing it with King's list of desired components and functionalities. Schwarz compiled a list of electrical components and product specifications and drew a block diagram conceptualizing the electrical connections. The 054 patent issued in 2013 from a 2006 application, naming King and Schwarz as inventors. It claims a credit card-enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter that can retrofit the internal components of existing parking meters. The 310 patent issued in 2010 from a 2008 application, naming as inventors King and three D+I engineers. It claims a credit card-enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter. In 2015, IPS sued DPT for infringement. The court granted summary judgment that DPT’s Liberty® Single-Space Meter does not infringe either patent. DPT successfully petitioned the Patent and Trademark Office for inter partes review under 35 U.S.C. 102(e). The Board rejected an anticipation argument, holding that King was the sole inventor of the anticipating disclosure of the 054 patent. The Federal Circuit reversed the decision that the 310 patent claims are not unpatentable as anticipated; affirmed summary judgment of noninfringement of the 310 patent; and vacated summary judgment of noninfringement of the 054 patent; the district court erred in construing the claims too narrowly. View "Duncan Parking Technologies, Inc. v. IPS Group, Inc." on Justia Law

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Until recently, Sexing Tech held a monopoly on the market for sexed cattle semen in the United States. Sperm‐sorting technology separates bull semen into X‐chromosome bearing and Y‐chromosome bearing sperm cells; the resulting “sexed semen” is used to inseminate cows artificially so that dairy farmers can breed only milk‐producing cows. ABS, a bull‐stud operation, sued, alleging that Sexing Tech had unlawfully monopolized the domestic sexed‐semen market in violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act by using its market power to impose coercive contract terms. ABS sought a declaratory judgment proclaiming those contracts invalid, to permit its own entry into that market. Sexing Tech counterclaimed that ABS infringed its patents and breached the contract by misappropriating trade secrets in developing ABS’s competing technology. Three claims went to trial: ABS’s antitrust claim and Sexing Tech’s patent infringement and breach of contract counterclaims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court, holding that ABS violated a confidentiality agreement it had with Sexing Tech and that Sexing Tech’s patent was not invalid on obviousness grounds. The jury’s assessments of two of the three patent claims still at issue cannot be reconciled under the rules governing dependent claims and enablement, and so a new trial is necessary on them. View "ABS Global, Inc. v. Inguran, LLC" on Justia Law

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Dr. Barry’s patents, entitled “System and Method for Aligning Vertebrae in the Amelioration of Aberrant Spinal Column Deviation Conditions,” claim methods and systems for correcting spinal column anomalies, such as those due to scoliosis, by applying force to multiple vertebrae at once. Dr. Barry sued Medtronic, alleging that Medtronic induced surgeons to infringe the patents. The jury found infringement of method claims 4 and 5 of the 358 patent and system claims 2, 3, and 4 of the 121 patent, rejected Medtronic’s several invalidity defenses, and awarded damages. In post-trial rulings on the jury issues, the district court upheld the verdict, rejecting challenges as to induced infringement and associated damages for domestic conduct, invalidity of the asserted 358 patent claims under the public-use and on-sale bars, and invalidity of all asserted claims due to another’s prior invention. The district court then rejected Medtronic’s inequitable-conduct challenge and enhanced damages by 20 percent while denying attorney’s fees to Dr. Barry, The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting several arguments by Medtronics, principally concerning the public-use and on-sale statutory bars, but also concerning prior invention, inequitable conduct, and induced infringement and associated damages. View "Barry v. Medtronic, Inc." on Justia Law