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LifeTech sold genetic testing kits to detect the presence of “short tandem repeat” (STR) sequences of DNA. Its “STR kits,” were assembled in the United Kingdom and consisted of five components. At least one component was supplied from the U.S. Promega, the exclusive licensee of the U.S. “Tautz patent,” which expired in 2015 and claimed methods and kits for analyzing DNA to determine the identity and kinship of organisms, sued LifeTech for infringement. In 2014, the Federal Circuit held that a multi-component product assembled overseas could infringe a U.S. patent under 35 U.S.C. 271(f)(1)1 when only a single component is supplied from the U.S. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 271(f)(1) does not cover the supply of a single component of a multicomponent invention. On remand, the Federal Circuit first reaffirmed: that the asserted claims of four Promega patents were invalid for failure to comply with the enablement requirement, 35 U.S.C. 112; that certain of LifeTech’s alleged acts of infringement were not licensed under a license agreement between LifeTech and Promega; and that LifeTech was not required to “actively induce” a third party to combine the components of the accused products to be liable under section 271(f)(1)--that requirement could be met if LifeTech had the specific intent to combine the components itself. The court then reinstated the district court’s grant of judgment as a matter of law that Promega failed to prove infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(a)3; 271(f)(1). View "Promega Corp v. Life Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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Sanofi’s patents describe and claim compositions and uses of the cardiovascular (antiarrhythmic) drug dronedarone. The 800 patent, which expires in 2019, claims pharmaceutical compositions containing dronedarone. The 167 patent, which expires in 2029, claims methods of reducing hospitalization by administering dronedarone to patients having specified characteristics. In 2009, Sanofii received New Drug Application approval for 400 mg tablets of dronedarone, sold as Multaq®. Both patents are listed in the FDA publication Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Orange Book) as patents claiming either Multaq® or a method of using Multaq®. Defendants, hoping to market generic versions of Multaq®, filed abbreviated new drug applications with the FDA, certifying under 21 U.S.C. 355(j)(2)(A)(vii)(IV), their beliefs that both patents were invalid and/or that the manufacture, use, and sale of the proposed generic drugs would not infringe either patent. Sanofi sued for infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(e)(2)(A). The district court ruled, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, that as to the 167 patent, Sanofi proved that sale of the proposed generic drugs, with the proposed labels, would induce physicians to infringe, and defendants did not prove that any asserted claims were invalid for obviousness. As to the 800 patent, the courts rejected the non-infringement argument. View "Sanofi v. Watson Laboratories Inc." on Justia Law

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Two-Way’s patents, entitled “Multicasting Method and Apparatus,” generally relate to a system for streaming audio/visual data over a communications system like the internet. The patents explain that internet systems typically operate on a point-to-point, unicast, basis. In unicast systems, a message is converted into a series of addressed packets which are routed from a source node to a destination node. Unicast systems cannot broadcast a message from a source node to all the other recipients in a network, as this type of operation could easily overload the network. IP Multicasting provides a way to transmit one packet of information to multiple recipients; packets destined for several recipients are encapsulated in a unicast packet and forwarded from a source to a point in a network where the packets are replicated and forwarded on to all desired recipients. The patents explain that this technology had previously been used to provide internet-based audio/visual conferencing servicing and radio-like broadcasts and describe the invention as an improved scalable architecture for delivering real-time information. The Federal Circuit affirmed a holding that certain claims are directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101. The claims are directed to abstract ideas and contain no additional elements that transform them into an application of the abstract ideas. View "Two-Way Media Ltd. v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC" on Justia Law

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In 2003, the FDA granted Bayer approval to market vardenafil hydrochloride trihydrate to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) under the name Levitra. Vardenafil belongs to a class of ED drugs called phosphodiesterase inhibitors. When the FDA approved Levitra, two other phosphodiesterase inhibitors were already on the market: Pfizer launched Viagra in 1998, and Eli Lilly launched Cialis in 2003. Each is formulated as immediate-release tablets that are swallowed whole. Bayer’s 950 patent issued in 2013, claiming priority to 2005; it is directed to a formulation of vardenafil as “an uncoated tablet which disintegrates rapidly in the mouth,” vardenafil ODT, which Bayer markets as Staxyn. Watson filed an FDA Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) seeking approval to market a generic version of Staxyn. Bayer alleged infringement. The Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s holding Watson failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that two claims would have been obvious, 35 U.S.C. 103. The district court clearly erred in finding a skilled artisan would not have been motivated to use the claim elements to formulate an ED drug as a fast-dissolving tablet; the claims would have been obvious. View "Bayer Pharma AG v. Watson Laboratories, Inc." on Justia Law

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Mastermine’s patents disclose methods and systems “that allow[] a user to easily mine and report data maintained by a customer relationship management (CRM) application” and describe a process by which an electronic worksheet is automatically created. Within this electronic worksheet, a multi-dimensional analysis table, known as a pivot table, “allows the user to quickly and easily summarize[] or view large amounts of CRM data.” The patents further describe that a user is able to “analyze the captured CRM data and ‘mine’ the data for important insights” upon generation of the pivot table. In Mastermine’s infringement suit against Microsoft, the district court construed the term “pivot table” to mean “an interactive set of data displayed in rows and columns that can be rotated and filtered to summarize or view the data in different ways” and entered a stipulated judgment of noninfringement and invalidity for indefiniteness. The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded as to indefiniteness. The claims do not improperly claim both an apparatus and a method of using the apparatus. The court found the district court’s claim construction supported by the intrinsic evidence. View "Mastermine Software, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp." on Justia Law

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This petition for writ of mandamus arose in the context of a contested trademark action initiated by San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) against petitioners, over the use of the mark "comic-con" or "comic con." The Ninth Circuit granted the petition and vacated the district court's orders directing petitioners to prominently post on their social medial outlets its order prohibiting comments about the litigation on social media, dubbing this posting a "disclaimer." The panel held that the orders at issue were unconstitutional prior restraints on speech because they prohibit speech that poses neither a clear and present danger nor a serious and imminent threat to SDCC's interest in a fair trial. The panel explained that the well-established doctrines on jury selection and the court's inherent management powers provide an alternative, less restrictive, means of ensuring a fair trial. View "Dan Farr Productions v. USDC-CASD" on Justia Law

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This case arose out of competition in the market for software used to manage and analyze large and complex datasets. SAS filed suit against WPL, alleging that WPL breached a license agreement for SAS software and violated copyrights on that software. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment finding WPL liable for beach of the license agreement, holding that the contractual terms at issue were unambiguous and that SAS has shown that WPL violated those terms. The court vacated the portion of the district court's ruling on the copyright claim and remanded with instructions to dismiss it as moot. View "SAS Institute, Inc. v. World Programming Ltd." on Justia Law

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Merck owns the 150 patent, which is directed to a process for preparing a stable formulation of ertapenem, an antibiotic compound, and claims a manufacturing process for a final formulation of the antibiotic that purportedly minimizes both dimerization and hydrolysis degradation pathways. Hospira notified Merck that it had filed an abbreviated new drug application, seeking FDA approval to engage in the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of generic versions of Merck’s Invanz® product, the principal component of which is the carbon dioxide adduct of ertapenem. Merck sued Hospira for infringement of two patents—the 150 patent and the 323 patent. The Federal Circuit affirmed a holding that certain claims of the 150 patent are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 103, for obviousness. It was reasonable for the district court to deduce from the evidence that the order and detail of the steps, if not already known, would have been discovered by routine experimentation while implementing known principles. View "Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Hospira, Inc." on Justia Law

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Tawas, Michigan hosts an annual festival called “Perchville.” Its Chamber of Commerce obtained federal trademark registration for the term “Perchville,” in 2003. Trading Post allegedly was selling merchandise depicting the term “Perchville.” The Chamber filed suit against Agnello, a Trading Post employee, and obtained an ex parte injunctive order prohibiting sales of t-shirts with the mark, which stated: “this order shall be binding upon the parties to this action, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys and on those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of this order by personal service [or] otherwise.” Agnello appeared at a hearing without an attorney, indicated that he had spoken to Trading Post's partial owner about the lawsuit, but repeatedly stated that he was confused. Agnello consented to a permanent injunction. The judge stated that the order would be binding on anyone acting in concert with Agnello. Trading Post filed suit, challenging the Chamber’s trademark of “Perchville.” The district court found the challenge barred by res judicata because a final determination on the merits occurred in the state court. The Sixth Circuit reversed. There may be circumstances when an employee’s interests are so aligned with his employer as to be in privity for purposes of res judicata, that was not true here. Agnello was an hourly employee given a few days’ notice of an injunction. View "AuSable River Trading Post, LLC v. Dovetail Solutions, Inc." on Justia Law

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SSI sued the Chicago Transit Authority, alleging infringement of patents covering inventions designed to implement open-payment fare systems in mass transit networks. “An open-payment fare system allows riders to conveniently and quickly access mass transit by using existing bankcards,” such as debit and credit cards, thereby “eliminat[ing] the need for, and added operational cost of, dedicated fare-cards,” paper tickets, and tokens. The district court found the claims patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101, as directed to an abstract idea and otherwise lacking an inventive concept. The Federal Circuit affirmed, stating that the asserted claims recite the abstract idea of collecting financial data using generic computer components. View "Smart Systems Innovations, LLC v. Chicago Transit Authority" on Justia Law