How You Can Protect Your Website | Website Protection Using IP | IP for Website

How You Can Protect Your Website

A lot of time, effort and money are consumed in order to create a valuable online property, a website. An interesting question is “is it possible to legally protect my website?” The answer is, depending on what aspect of the website you wish to protect, “yes.” There are various aspects of a website that are entitled to legal protection using various itellectual property vehicles. The code, the visual layout that the code generates, design features, and even a logo may be copyrighted, patented, or trademarked.

Copyright

When building the layout of a website using HTML or CSS, a developer is generating original work. The developer spends the time to write the code in such a way that the resulting page layout is aesthetically pleasing. As a result, the layout of the page (as well as the code that generates it) are both materials that are classified as original work and therefore protected by copyright. Copyright is immediately applied to original work upon its creation, but this does not result in 100% effective protection. To enjoy the full benefits of a copyright, it must be registered with the Copyright Office. More importantly, it should be registered as soon as possible to ensure the copyrights are filed before any type of infringement may occur.

If a copyright is registered during or after an infringement, it will not be as effective. This is because the owner of the copyright will only be entitled to actual damages from the infringer, and will not be entitled to other damages that would have applied if the copyright was registered beforehand. Oftentimes, money awarded for actual damages ends up being less than the cost of pursuing the copyright infringement, so it is well worth the time and effort required to register a copyright to gain the benefit of the other (e.g., statutory) damages that may be considerable.

Utility Patent

While it may seem at first that a website even when it has a software component is not patentable, and that a copyright would be more suitable for software protection, that is not necessarily the case. If a piece of software provides a new method for accomplishing a task (such as applications that are compilers, web browsers, database programs, or applications related to data transmission), then it may be eligible for a utility patent. The main caveat is that the software needs to do more than simply solve a mathematical problem, as algorithms are not considered patentable content. If the program uses an algorithm to get a solution, and then uses that solution in an innovative manner (“post-solution activity”), or the program possesses innovative means of generating the initial conditions for the program (“pre-solution activity”), then that is acceptable. An example of a prolific software patent company is Amazon Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.com that has hundreds of patents related to software.

It is not required to submit to the USPTO the entirety of the code used to generate the utility in the application, but it is important to clearly explain what the program does and how it does it. To this end, it may be beneficial to include the code, or at least segments of the code, to illustrate how it performs the described process. It is possible to qualitatively describe the code’s function without specifically citing the code, as several patents submitted by the aforementioned Amazon Technologies Inc. demonstrate. The patents have specification pages that clearly outline the objectives and methods of the program without directly displaying them within the description.

Design Patent

Electronic design patents are also good options if the ornamental design of an application is desired to be protected. An example would be wishing to patent the design of a particular feature and how it looks, so that the design is unique to your website. A prime example of an issued web design patent is the one given to Google regarding its homepage. Design Patent D599,372 is for a “Graphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal” and shows the following image:

This means that the ornamental design of Google’s homepage is patentable, which sets a precedent for other web developers to do the same for their own layout designs. Because of this precedent, it is not a bad idea for a web developer/owner to pursue a design patent for a page layout that he or she believes to be original.

Trademark

Trademarks are also a possible form of intellectual property protection for a website. If the developer has a logo (a word, phrase, or image) that they wish to protect, a trademark could be registered for that logo. In addition to logos, a trademark may be applied to a specific combination of sounds or colors, though this is much more difficult to trademark than a logo. Another aspect of trademarks that is of particular importance to websites is the domain name. Generic domain names, such as generic-wine-company.com or law-firm.com, are in an odd position regarding trademarks. Typically, they are not registrable because of their genericness. Where two companies can use the same logo if they are in different classes of commerce (for example, one is in food service, and the other is in cleaning products), there is only one domain name available on the internet for a given word or phrase. As such, it is important to consider the availability of a domain name when determining the logo/trademark for a product. It may be beneficial to consider nonexistent words for a domain name, as they are far less likely to infringe on a trademark, and may improve the strength of the mark with their uniqueness if the service becomes popular.

Concluding Remarks

Out of the above types of protection, web developers and webiste owners are strongly recommended to at least pursue a registered copyright. Utility patents are useful if a developer has a novel idea for a website application, but they won’t apply to everyone. Trademarks are also useful if the developer is planning to roll out a good or service of some kind, though it is important to research currently registered and common law trademarks to avoid accidentally infringing during the process of creating/using one’s own trademark. Design patents may be useful if the page layout or structure is what the developer wishes to protect, as Google did with its homepage. No matter what kind of protection a website developer/owner wishes to pursue, these four avenues of intellectual property (IP) law will likely enable the website developer/owner to acquire that protection.

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  • Marin11/18/2015 6:11:11 PM

    PTAB Decisions Give Examples of Patent Eligible Subject Matter

    <p><em>by Marin Cionca and Iris Kim</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">The Supreme Court’s decision in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. V. CLS Bank Int’l</em>, 134 S.Ct. 2347, 2014 (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>) resulted in much confusion about whether software-related and computer-implemented inventions are patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. 101.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>Following this, in December of 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued interim guidelines on patent subject matter eligibility. “Interim” may indicate that further guidelines are forthcoming. Until then, decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) are a useful source of guidance for what constitutes patent eligible subject matter. </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">Drawing similarities between cases and the hypothetical examples provided by the USPTO can be helpful for patent prosecutors and examiners. </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">The two-part test provided by the USPTO is a basic analysis tool, set forth in MPEP 2106. Step 1 is to determine whether the claimed invention belongs to one of the four statutory categories of invention: a process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter. If yes, Step 2 is to determine whether the claim is directed to a judicial exception, such as a law of nature, natural phenomenon, or abstract idea. </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> also provided broad examples of what may constitute an abstract idea: (1) fundamental economic practices, (2) certain methods of organizing human activities, (3) “an idea of itself,” and (4) mathematical relationships or formulae (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>, </span><span style="font-family: 'Times','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">134 S.Ct. at 2350; 2356; 2350; 2350).</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">Using these tests and guidelines, many claims were found by the Board and the Federal Circuit to be directed to patent ineligible matter under 35 U.S.C. 101. However, in two recent cases, the Board reversed the examiners’ decisions that the claims were directed to unpatentable abstract ideas, even though in the majority of appeals since <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>, the examiners’ rejections were affirmed. </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">In <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ex Parte Cyriac J. Wegman III</em>, <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">2015 WL 5578687 (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Wegman</em>, PTAB Sep. 18, 2015), regarding U.S. patent application number 12/765,954, </span>the Board agreed with the Appellant that claim 1 is patentable subject matter. The Examiner had rejected the claims under 35 U.S.C. 101 for being directed to an abstract idea, and also under 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 for lack of novelty and obviousness. </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">The representative claim, claim 1, is reproduced below: </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">1.  A method for providing an empirical model of a defined space comprising steps of:<br />     a. defining the desired space;<br />     b. describing at least a portion of the defined space with multiple correlated dimensions;<br />     c. reducing the dimensionality of the described portion;<br />     d. combining the described portion with the remaining portion of the defined space;<br />     e. creating a hypothetical model of the defined space; and<br />     f. calculating coefficients for the hypothetical model according to an analysis of real and/or or virtual objects.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">In their analysis of the patentability of claim 1, the Board employed the new interim guidelines issued by the USPTO following the Supreme Court’s decision in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., </em>132 S.Ct. 1289 (2012) and <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. V. CLS Bank Int’l</em>, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014). </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">The Appellant argued that claim 1 is directed to a method, and thus, satisfies step 1 of the two-step test, which the Board agreed with. The Board then also agreed with the Appellant that claim 1 is much more specific than a broad abstract idea, as argued by the Examiner. The Appellant argued that claim 1 requires “calculating coefficients for the hypothetical model according to <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">an analysis of real and/or or virtual objects.” Therefore, the method claimed involves the performing of an analysis, and is not simply an abstract idea. </span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: small;">Next, in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ex Parte B</em><em><span style="font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">ruce Gordon Fuller, Brian Alexander Wall, Kevin George Gordon, Mark David Hobbs, and Mohamed Salehmohamed</span></em><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">, 2015 WL 3467122 (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fuller et al., </em>PTAB May 28, 2015), regarding U.S. patent application number 12/765,954, the Board again agreed with the Appellant that the subject matter was patent eligible. The Examiner had rejected claims under 35 U.S.C. 101 for being an abstract idea, and also under 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 for lack of novelty and obviousness. </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">An exemplary claim, claim 1, is reproduced below: </span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">1.  A method of associating a first variable and an event on a display, the method comprising:<br />     displaying the first variable relative to a time period on the display, resulting in a graph of the first variable;<br />     receiving first user input from a graphical indicator device, wherein the first user input comprises an instruction to position an indicator over a portion of a data curve of the graph corresponding to a time period of interest to the user;<br />     in a processor, determining if the event occurred during the time period of interest; and<br />     displaying the event on the display nearby the portion of the graph if the event </span></span><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-family: Cambria;">occurred during the time period of interest.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;"><span style="font-size: small; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Of note is that both of these sets of claims from <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Wegman</em> and <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fuller et al. </em><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>involve a physical aspect. A calculation or analysis is performed in the first, and a graph display is required in the second. In<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> Wegman</em>, the Board stated that the method “requires performing an analysis of objects, either actual or virtual, and calculating coefficients for the model based upon that analysis. We find that these steps are sufficiently concrete as to set them outside the broad definition of abstract idea as set forth in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>,” (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Wegman</em>, PTAB). In <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fuller et al</em>., the Appellants argued that the physical elements present “allow a user to view a graph and an event occurring during a time period of interest on the display if the processor determines that an event occurred,” and “these elements provide sufficient structure to prevent the method steps from being interpreted as too abstract,” (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fuller et al.</em>, PTAB). The Board agreed with the Appellants’ arguments, which provides a common thread between <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Wegman</em> and <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fuller et al</em>., the physical components of each of the claims. </span></p> <p><br /><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: small;">Later, these two examiners’ rejections were upheld on other grounds, but the opinions of the Board here still offer some insight into the type of claim language and subject matter that the Board finds patentable subject matter. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&amp;flNm=fd2013008168-09-18-2015-1"><span style="color: #0000ff; font-family: Cambria;">http://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&amp;flNm=fd2013008168-09-18-2015-1</span></a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&amp;flNm=fd2013000762-05-28-2015-1"><span style="color: #0000ff; font-family: Cambria;">http://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&amp;flNm=fd2013000762-05-28-2015-1</span></a></span></p>
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  • Marin11/18/2015 6:15:40 PM

    Covered Business Method Claims Are Not Required to Particularly Target Financial Industry

    <p><em>  By Marin Cionca and Iris Kim </em></p> <p><em>To be eligible for Covered Business Method (CBM) review, a patent must first claim a method or corresponding apparatus used in the practice, administration, or management of a “financial product or service” (37 C.F.R. 42.301 (a)). Second, it must not qualify for the “technological invention” exception, which refers to patents that claim a novel, unobvious technological feature solving a technological problem. A patent only needs one claim that meets these requirements to qualify for CBM review.       </em></p> <p><em>In a recent decision, however, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) decided that a claim may qualify for CBM review under Section 18 of the America Invents Act (AIA) and meet the “financial product or service” criteria even if it does not “particularly target the financial industry,” Symphony Health Solutions Corp. v. IMS Health, Inc., Case CBM2015-00085 (Patent 8,473,452 B1) (PTAB, Sept. 10, 2015).       </em></p> <p><em>In Symphony, the Petitioner had filed to institute a CBM review of claims in the ‘452 patent. This patent relates to a “system and method for gathering and analysis of health-care related data as well as techniques for de-identifying individuals from pharmaceutical data, in order to maintain privacy” (Symphony, PTAB). The patent teaches that laws were passed to prevent personal information from being transmitted with health care data, but that it is still important to be able to associate records. Therefore, the ‘452 patent is related to a system in which identifying information is removed, and the non-identifying information is then used for marketing researching and other purposes.       </em></p> <p><em>What is of note is that the ‘452 patent owner argued that this patent does not “particularly target the financial sector.” However, according to the Board, the ‘452 patent qualified for CBM review because the “challenged claims recite a system and method used in the practice, administration, or management of financial services and products.” Additionally, because the system helps to aggregate and organize data for marketing research, it was disclosed that the system could “help make business decisions,” (Symphony, PTAB) such as in sales.       </em></p> <p><em>An implication of this decision is that a larger group of patents may be eligible for CBM review than it was previously thought, and the definition of a CBM review-eligible patent is broader than it may seem at a first reading. Even patents that do not “particularly” target financial institutions or sectors may be eligible for CBM review.  </em></p>
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  • Marin11/18/2015 7:31:35 PM

    When Is a Thesis Prior Art?

    <p><em><strong><span style="color: #99ccff;"> </span></strong>by Marin Cionca and Iris Kim</em> <strong>  </strong></p> <p>Two decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB, or Board) addressed how theses could be qualified as prior art, and the ways in which that qualification could be challenged.  GlobalFoundries U.S., Inc. et al. v. Zond, LLC, IPR2014-01086, Paper 36 (GlobalFoundries, Aug. 14, 2015), relating to U.S. patent number 7,147,759, involved the evaluation of a Russian language doctoral thesis Mozgrin, which had been catalogued at the Russian State Library.  </p> <p>In this Final Decision, the Board addressed the issue of whether the Mozgrin thesis is prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102. A determination such as this one must be done on a case-by-case basis, by looking into the facts relating to the reference in question and its disclosure to the public. In re Klopfenstein, 380 F.3d 1345, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2004). “To qualify as a prior art printed publication, the reference must have been disseminated or otherwise made accessible to persons interested and ordinarily skilled in the subject matter to which the document relates prior to the critical date. Kyocera Wireless Corp. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 545 F.3d 1340, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2008).” Mozgrin is a doctoral thesis originally published in 1994, and GlobalFoundries, the Petitioner, provided a copy of the catalog entry for it at the Russian State Library along with a certified English translation. The thesis contained an imprint date of 1994 or at least 1995, reading, “Catalog of Dissertations in Russian (since 1995).” However, Zond, the Patent Owner, argued that this was insufficient evidence that Mozgrin was actually catalogued on that date.</p> <p>The Board found GlobalFoundries to be persuasive, because although “evidence establishing a specific date of cataloging and shelving before the critical date would have been desirable, it is not required in a public accessibility determination. See Hall, 781 F.2d at 899” (GlobalFoundries, PTAB), the critical date being September 30, 2002. Since Zond was unable to give sufficient explanation or evidence otherwise, such as why there would exist a delay of seven years for cataloguing a thesis, the Board agreed with GlobalFoundries.  </p> <p>Zond did also offer an argument that, even if Mozgrin had been catalogued, GlobalFoundries “would not have demonstrated that the thesis could have been obtained by any interested person outside of Russia or the countries under Russia’s control.” The Board called this argument “misplaced,” stating that there would have been “sufficient accessibility to interested persons exercising reasonable diligence.” The Board observed that Mozgrin “was cataloged and indexed in a meaningful way, by the author’s name, the IPR2014-01086 Patent 7,147,759 B2 44 title of the thesis (“High-Current Low-Pressure Quasi-Stationary Discharge in a Magnetic Field”), and the subject matter of the thesis (“Plasma Physics and Chemistry”)” (emphasis added).  </p> <p>In contrast to this decision, the Board also made a decision relating to a thesis that had not been catalogued or indexed in a meaningful way. Friendfinder Networks Inc. v. WAG Acquisition, LLC, IPR2015-01033, Paper 8 (Friendfinder, Oct. 19, 2015) relates to U.S. patent number 8,327,011. The Petition provided Su, a thesis submitted to the Department of Computing and Information Science at Queens University in Ontario, Canada in September of 1998. The thesis bears a copyright notice of 1998, and the Petitioner asserted that Su was published and available at the National Library of Canada in 1999.  “However, Patent Owner contends that Petitioner has not met its burden to show when Su became publicly accessible and, therefore, Su has not been shown to be a prior art printed publication,” (Friendfinder, PTAB). This due in part to the Patent Owner’s argument that it is unclear whether Su was available beginning on the critical date of July 18, 2008, and unclear when Su was “accessible in a searchable or indexed manner, such that it could be located by persons interested and ordinarily skilled in the subject matter or art using reasonable diligence.”</p> <p>Again, the Board referenced Kyocera Wireless, in making their determination of whether a reference is a printed publication.  In previous cases, a copyright notice has been used as a prima facie evidence of publication. However, such as in this case, “in the absence of further evidence, a copyright notice may not be determinative.” As such, the Petitioner acknowledged that Su was not published until 1999; therefore, the copyright notice posted on Su holds “no weight on the issue of public accessibility” (Friendfinder, PTAB). </p> <p>The Petitioner provided a “photograph of the microfiche copy of Su,” “a photograph of an envelope in which the microfiche is stored,” and an “index microfiche.” Unfortunately for the Petitioner, the envelope photograph displays only “Jan–Jul/Aug 1999 ISSN 0225-3216 Index A Authors Titles Series.” The Board stated that Su was only indexed by “rudimentary indexing,” of the author’s name and only the first word of the thesis title, “Continuous,” “which is the only indexing that the evidence suggests may have occurred before the priority date and does not suggest its relevance to the streaming media network transport problem addressed by the ’011 Patent” (Friendfinder, PTAB). </p> <p>The Board then concluded with a statement that “such indexing would not provide a meaningful pathway to a researcher who was not previously aware of the existence of the thesis and was searching by subject matter” (Friendfinder, PTAB, emphasis added).  These two decisions by the Board provide some guidelines for petitioners and patent owners alike. Providing a thesis as a reference may only be useful if one can also supply evidence of its availability, and that evidence should be focused around the critical date.</p> <p>Challenging of that reference may be done by evaluating the institution’s policies for cataloguing of theses, how indexing is actually performed by those institutions, and whether an interested person of ordinary skill would be able to find that reference. If the indexing of a thesis is only done in a rudimentary fashion, as in the case of Su, that thesis may not be qualified as prior art.</p>
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  • Marin11/19/2015 2:13:05 PM

    An Innovator’s Dilemma: Design or Utility Patent?

    <p><span style="font-family: comic sans ms,sans-serif;">An Innovator’s Dilemma: Design or Utility Patent?</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: comic sans ms,sans-serif;">by Marin Cionca and Iris Kim</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: comic sans ms,sans-serif;">[Originally published on August 24, 2015 in Orange County Business Journal. Republished with permission.]</span></p> <p align="LEFT">Should protection be sought with a design patent, or a utility patent? When innovators create something new, this becomes an important question to answer in order to secure the best protection for their inventions.</p> <p>A utility patent protects structure and function, whereas a design patent protects ornamental appearance. Using a ballpoint pen as an example, if an inventor created a pen with a unique look to it, the inventor should apply for a design patent. However, if an inventor has conceived of a different way for the ballpoint pen to work, a utility patent would be the appropriate choice. In either case, the aspects to be patented must be new and non-obvious.</p> <p>Obtaining a design patent for the appearance of a pen would prevent others from making, using, selling or importing another pen that looks similar, regardless of how differently the pen functions. However, a utility patent for the way a pen works, perhaps for the way it writes, or opens and closes, would prevent others from making, using, selling or importing another that works in that same way, even if it looks very different.</p> <p>In some cases, it may be beneficial to file design and utility patent applications, if the invention has novel aspects in both appearance and function. A design patent may add another layer of protection for a device that one has patented its structure or function, since aesthetics can be a large factor in marketing a product.</p> <p>Costs have to be considered. Design patent applications are much simpler, and thus, cost less to prepare and file; additionally, there are no maintenance fees to pay during a design patentʼs term of fifteen years after issue. A utility patent owner must pay maintenance fees three times throughout its term of twenty years from the earliest priority date, adding to the overall cost.</p> <p>Knowing which particular features are the most important inventive aspects one wishes to protect with a patent is a crucial step in identifying an invention.</p> <p>These features may be the way something functions, or how a process works, or how a device looks, or perhaps all of the above.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
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  • Marin1/28/2016 9:10:56 PM

    How Unpredictability Can Affect Obviousness Challenges

    <p>by Marin Cionca and Iris Kim </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">        In June 2015, Amgen challenged two patents (US Patent Nos. 8,916,157 and 8,916,158) owned by AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd., related to the drug Humira. The challenge was on the grounds that the reformulations of the biologic described in these patents are not significantly different from that of the prior art. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or The Board) has denied both of Amgen’s requests for inter partes review, in </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Amgen Inc. v. AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd. </em>case numbers IPR2015-01514 and IPR2015-01517. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">AbbVie asserted to the Board that preparing stable liquid aqueous formulations of antibodies at the recited concentrations may lead to unpredictable results. A claim is unpatentable as being obvious if “the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made” (35 U.S.C. 103(a)) to one of ordinary skill in the art. Absolute predictability is not a requirement for obviousness, but “some articulated reasoning with rational underpinning to support the legal conclusion of obviousness” should be present (KSR, 550 U.S. at 418 (quoting In re Kahn, 441 F.3d 977, 988 (Fed. Cir. 2006)).</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">In case IPR2015-01517, Amgen had submitted an argument that an article, Wang, provided guidance for formulating stable liquid aqueous antibodies at the concentration recited in the patents. However, AbbVie asserted that the Wang article demonstrates unpredictability in this art of formulating proteins as well, stating “[v]ery often, proteins have to be evaluated individually and stabilized on a trial-and-error basis.” “Although the Wang article indeed provides general guidance, the Wang article also underscores the unpredictability of the undertaking” (PTAB, IPR2015-01517). </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Further examples of references that provide general guidance were provided. Amgen argued using Salfeld and Heavnerm stating that “because both focus on anti-TNF alpha antibodies, both focus on IgG antibodies, and both teach how to formulate these antibodies” a skilled artisan “would have had reason to combine Salfeld and Heavner” (PTAB, IPR2015-01517). AbbVie’s response was that Salfeld provides guidance “merely as a general approach” and Heavner only provides “bulk recitations” and “offers no guidance at all on how to actually select from this massive number of possible combinations” (PTAB, IPR2015-01517). </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Given these arguments, the Board found that Amgen was not persuasive in their argument that a “skilled person would have had a reasonable expectation of success in applying the formulations commercially available and taught in the literature to D2E7,” D2E7 being the antibody described in the ‘158 patent (PTAB, IPR2015-01517). The Board concluded “that Amgen has not established a reasonable likelihood of prevailing with respect to its challenge,” (PTAB, IPR2015-01517). Similar arguments were presented in case IPR2015-01514, and both requests for inter partes review were denied in January 2016, demonstrating that, even with guidance, unpredictability may still be a factor in certain fields. </span></p>
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  • Marin1/28/2016 9:15:16 PM

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Designates Two Decisions as Precedential

    <p> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">by Marin Cionca and Iris Kim</span></span></em></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">In January 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or the Board) marked two of their 2015 decisions as precedential.</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> LG Electronics, Inc. v. Mondis Tech Ltd.</em>,(IPR2015-00937, Paper 8, PTAB, Sept. 17, 2015) and <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Westlake Services, LLC v. Credit Acceptance Corp.,</em> (CBM2014-00176, Paper 28, PTAB, May 14, 2015) are the second and third America Invents Act (AIA) review decisions that the Board designated as precedential, the first AIA precedential decision being <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">SecureBuy, LLC v. CardinalCommerce Corp</em>. (CBM 2014-00035, PTAB, Apr. 25, 2014). The majority of decisions by the Board are routine, and others may be designated as informative or precedential. A precedential decision is significant in that it is binding authority on the Board unless overcome by a subsequent binding authority, for instance, a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court or the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">LG Electronics, Inc. v. Mondis Tech Ltd.</em> concerns the 12 month window in complaint filings, namely, the interpretation of “served with a complaint” with regards to the one-year time bar that is set forth by 35 U.S.C. 315(b). This time bar prevents a petitioner from requesting an inter partes review of a patent if they would be filing after one year from the date they are served with a complaint alleging infringement of that patent. When multiple complaint filings have occurred, the interpretation of 35 U.S.C. 315(b) could become complex. The Board interpreted in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">LG Electronics </em>that there is to be a bar even if subsequent complaints were served within that 12 month window of time. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Westlake Services, LLC v. Credit Acceptance Corp.</em> concerns the interpretation of the estoppel provision set forth in 35 U.S.C. 325(e)(1). Claims that were denied trial do not trigger 35 U.S.C. 325(e)(1) estoppel where other claims in the patent move forward through trial. 35 U.S.C. 325(e)(1) states that a “petitioner in a post-grant review of a claim in a patent… that results in a final written decision under section 328(a)… may not request or maintain a proceeding before the Office with respect to that claim on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that post-grant review.” The Board made a clarification in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Westlake Services </em>that the decision not to proceed to trial on a subset of claims of a patent does not constitute a “final written decision” on the patentability of the claims that triggered the 35 U.S.C. 325(e)(1) estoppel, and estoppel is to be “applied on a claim-by-claim basis.”</span></span></p>
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  • M. Cionca and I. Kim2/4/2016 5:55:16 PM

    Software Inventions Are Still Patentable!

    <p><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">In June 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l</em> (“<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>”) that the claims in the four disputed software-based patents owned by Alice Corp. were directed to an “abstract idea,” and thus were patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. The Supreme Court’s decision was based on the reasoning that the claims were said not to be more than instructions for implementating an abstract idea, the idea of intermediated settlement using a generic computer. This decision soon led to much confusion about software invention patentability and impacted how this patentability is evaluated by patent practitioners and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiners alike. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">The USPTO then issued “2014 Interim Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility” after <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>, which details the subject matter eligibility analysis for claims, providing a baseline guidance for examiners. The USPTO then supplemented that guidance with eight sets of example claims directed to computer-implemented inventions or software inventions. Four example are directed to patent-eligible subject matter while the other four sets recite patent-ineligible matter. Practice revealed that some examiners are not familiar with these relatively recent examples. When this is the case, it falls upon the patent practitioners to make their cases by bringing these guidelines and examples to the examiners’ attention. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: justify; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">Example 3 of the USPTO’s set of eight examples uses a two-step test, commonly referred to as the Mayo test. This test was used in Example 3 to analyze the patentability of a claim reciting digital image processing by generating a noise mask. Step 1 checks whether the invention (here, a process) belongs to a statutory category of invention and, if so, whether it is a “judicial exception” such as an abstract idea. Generating a mask was found to be an abstract idea. However, when examined as a whole in Step 2, the claim represents more than that abstract idea. Step 2 of the two-step test is to search for elements that show an inventive concept. Here, the process of comparing and converting data were found to add meaningful limitations, “improve the functioning of the claimed computer” and result in an “improved digital image.” The claim is thus patentable, and Example 3 can be used as support that for the idea that software claims can still be patentable.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">Still, examiners may issue automatic 101 rejections for any software-based or computer-implemented inventions. These rejections can and do happen. When this is the case, patent practitioners must appropriately respond, and they can point out that examiners cannot issue automatic rejections without a fact-based reasoning behind the rejection. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board held in<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> Ex Parte Poisson</em> (February 26, 2015) that examiners must provide an evidence-based <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">prima facie</em> case of patent ineligibility, and the <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Poisson</em> case provides a clear example of this. </span></p> <p><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P</span></em><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">., 773 F.3d 1245 (Fed. Cir. 2014) was a significant decision from the Federal Circuit as being the first to uphold the subject matter eligibility of computer-implemented claims after <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>. This decision is a strong example showing that software-related inventions can still be patentable. Here, it was shown that claims directed to making an improvement to a computer system or solving a problem within the system may be patentable. More specifically, the Federal Circuit saw that “the claimed solution is necessarily rooted in computer technology to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks” (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">DDR Holdings</em>) leading to their conclusion that these claims <span style="background: white; color: #141412;">“specify how interactions with the Internet are manipulated to yield a desired result” and “recite an invention that is not merely the routine or conventional use of the Internet.”<span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">Although some confusion still remains regrading software patent eligibility, it is important to adopt a thorough approach not only to drafting these software patent applications, but also to working with and even educating the USPTO examiners. Particularly after <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>, broad subject matter eligibility in the claims can and should be advocated for by patent practitioners, who must also advocate for their clients’ cases to be handled properly. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank: </span><a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-298_7lh8.pdf"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #0563c1;">http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-298_7lh8.pdf</span></span></a></p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">DDR Holdings v. Hotels.com: </span><span style="font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;"><a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/13-1505.Opinion.12-3-2014.1.PDF"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #0563c1;">http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/13-1505.Opinion.12-3-2014.1.PDF</span></span></a></span></p>
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  • Marin Cionca2/16/2016 6:34:53 PM

    In IPRs, patentees have to show that substitute patent claims are patentable

    <p> <span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: medium;">In February 11, 2016 the Federal Circuit has issued a precedential opinion in an appeal related to an inter partes review (IPR) dispute between Nike, Inc. and Adidas AG at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The dispute involves U.S. Patent No. 7,347,011 (the ’011 patent) owned by Nike, Inc. (Nike) and covering a unitary shoe upper. Several lessons can be learned or refreshed upon by reviewing this opinion. Some are presented succinctly below.</span></p> <ol style="list-style-type: decimal; direction: ltr;"> <li style="color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">While a Patentee Can Present Substitute Claims in an IPR Proceedings, the Patentee has the Burden of Proof to Establish that the Substitute Claims Are Patentable Over the Prior Art</strong>. Here, Nike canceled all of the 46 claims challenged by Addidas and requested the entry of four substitute claims 47-50. PTAB canceled the 46 claims but denied entry of Nike’s four substitute claims. “First, the Board acknowledged the requirement announced in the Board’s <em>Idle Free </em>decision that a patent owner “persuade the Board that the proposed substitute claim is patentable over the prior art of record, <em>and over prior art not of record but known to the patent owner</em>.” J.A. 34–36. Because Nike’s motion included only a conclusory statement that the proposed claims were patentable over prior art not of record but known to Nike, the Board denied Nike’s motion.” Alternatively, the Board denied entry of the substitute claims because Nike failed to establish that the substitute claims were patentable over the prior art of record. The Federal Circuit agreed with the Board holding that “the Board did not err by placing the burden on Nike to establish patentability over the prior art of Nike’s proposed substitute claims.”</span></p> </li> <li style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Another Obviousness Analysis Refresher: The Failure of the Prior Art to Recognize the Problem Solved by Patentee May Support a Finding that the Claimed Invention is NOT Obvious.</strong> A claim is not patentable when “when “the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art.” 35 U.S.C. § 103. The court reminded us that “[t]he ultimate determination of obviousness under § 103 is a <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">question of law based on underlying factual findings</em>. In re Baxter Int’l, Inc., 678 F.3d 1357, 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (citing Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1, 17–18 (1966)). These underlying factual considerations consist of: (1) the “level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art,” (2) the “scope and content of the prior art,” (3) the “differences between the prior art and the claims at issue,” and (4) “secondary considerations” of non-obviousness such as “commercial success, long-felt but unsolved needs, failure of others, etc.” KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398,406 (2007) (quoting Graham, 383 U.S. at 17–18).” Once again, the court emphasized that an obviousness inquiry requires examination of all four Graham factors and that an obviousness determination can be made only after <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">consideration of each factor</em>. Finally, the court reminded us that “In KSR, the Supreme Court instructed that “any need or problem known in the field of endeavor at the time of invention and addressed by the patent can provide a reason for combining the elements in the manner claimed.” 550 U.S. at 420.” The court agreed with the PTAB that, unlike in cases where the prior art has not appreciated the problem, here, because the two prior art references of record recognized the problem solved by Nike, combining the two references was obvious to one of ordinary skills in the art. However, the court agreed with Nike that the PTAB failed to consider Nike’s arguments and evidence related to secondary consideration, namely that “that reducing waste was a long-felt need in the shoe manufacturing industry” and that the prior art failed to resolve this need. The opinion further reminds us that “[e]vidence of secondary considerations plays a critical role in the obviousness analysis because it serves as objective indicia of nonobviousness and “may often be the most probative and cogent evidence in the record. It may often establish that an invention appearing to have been obvious in light of the prior art was not.” Stratoflex, Inc. v. Aeroquip Corp., 713 F.2d 1530, 1538–39 (Fed. Cir. 1983).”</span></p> </li> <li style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Drawings Themselves May Play a Key Role in Showing That the Written Description Requirement is Met. </strong>Here, Adidas contended that Nike’s substitute claims were not properly supported by the ’011 patent’s written description. “To adequately support the claims, the written description “must clearly allow persons of ordinary skill in the art to recognize that the inventor invented what is claimed.” Ariad, 598 F.3d at 1351 (internal quotation marks omitted).” “Substantial evidence supports a finding that the specification satisfies the written description requirement when the essence of the original disclosure conveys the necessary information—regardless of how it conveys such information, and regardless of whether the disclosure’s words are open to different interpretations.” Inphi Corp. v. Netlist, Inc., 805 F.3d 1350, 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2015).” After thoroughly analyzing Figs. 8 - 11 and the related description in the ‘011 patent, the court held that “substantial evidence supports the Board’s decision that the proposed substitute claims are adequately supported by the written description of the ’011 patent.”</span></p> </li> </ol> <p> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: medium;">The entire Federal Circuit’s opinion may be accessed here: </span><a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/s14-1719_Opinion_2-9-2016.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff; font-family: Calibri; font-size: medium;">http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/s14-1719_Opinion_2-9-2016.pdf</span></a></p> <p><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;">About our firm: We are a boutique intellectual property firm with a focus on patent and trademark prosecution, offering IP services primarily at flat fee rates. We are based in Irvine, Orange County, California.</span></em></p>
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  • I. Kim PhD2/26/2016 8:47:51 PM

    The U.S. Supreme Court Will Review Claim Construction Standards and Institution Decision Reviewability.

    <p> <span style="color: windowtext;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">The U.S. Supreme Court Will Review Claim Construction Standards and Institution Decision Reviewability.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: windowtext;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">In 2012, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or The Board) was formed, and petitioners have since then had the opportunity to challenge patents before the Board in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">inter partes</em> review, covered business method review, or post grant review proceedings. <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Inter partes</em> reviews have been relatively successful for petitioners, as approximately 70% of petitions have been instituted, and of those, about 90% of those petitions have resulted in at least one canceled patent claim. One of the factors behind the petitioners’ success rate is the “broadest reasonable interpretation” (BRI) standard that is the claim construction standard in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">inter partes </em>review. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: windowtext;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">BRI, applied by the Board, is not the same standard applied by the district courts. The district courts apply the standard of “plain and ordinary meaning,” as set forth in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phillips v. AWH Corp.</em>, and is a narrower standard. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: windowtext;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">The Supreme Court granted <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">certiorari</em>, a review of a decision by a lower court, in <em><span style="background: white;">Cuozzo Speed v. Lee</span></em><em><span style="background: white; font-style: normal; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;"> in January 2016 to review the Federal Court’s decision upholding the Board’s use of the BRI standard. Cuozzo, the petitioner, maintained that the Board’s BRI standard is improper and that the Board’s decision to institute trial be reviewable on appeal. The Supreme Court will review these issues of whether it is appropriate for the Board to use a different claim construction standard than that used in federal district court, and whether an institution decision could be subject to judicial review. As written in the petition for</span><span style="background: white;"> certiorari</span></em><em><span style="background: white; font-style: normal; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">: </span></em></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><em><span style="background: white; color: windowtext; font-style: normal; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;"><span style="font-size: medium;">“</span></span></em><span style="background: white; color: windowtext; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;"><span style="font-size: medium;">1. Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that, in IPR proceedings, the Board may construe claims in an issued patent according to their broadest reasonable interpretation rather than their plain and ordinary meaning.</span></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;"><span style="background: white; color: windowtext; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">2. Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that, even if the Board exceeds its statutory authority in instituting an IPR proceeding, the Board’s decision whether to institute an IPR proceeding is judicially unreviewable.”</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: windowtext;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">The Supreme Court’s decision of the second issue at hand may have a large impact. By applying the BRI standard, the Board broadens the scope of patent claims during interpretation, which may lead to the claims being more susceptible to invalidation. Other problems may arise by there being two standards, which could lead to some inconsistency in the interpretation of patent claims. </span></span></p> <p> </p>
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  • Iris Kim, PhD3/25/2016 8:34:14 PM

    Challenging a Claim’s Validity with Different Standards of Claim Construction

    <p> <span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">In September 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board” or “PTAB”) denied institution of an </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">inter partes </em>review (IPR), in case IPR2015-00858, regarding patent 7,030,149. The IPR was requested by Ferrum Ferro Capital, LLC (the “Petitioner”) of claim 4 of the ‘149 patent, owned by Allergan Sales, LLC (the “Patent Owner”). </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The Petitioner identified several related proceedings. In particular, the Petitioner cited the Federal Circuit decision, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Allergan v. Sandoz</em>, 726 F.3d 1286 (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Allergan</em>, Fed. Cir. 2013, Ex. 1012, 726 F.3d at 1293–96), in which claim 4 was not found to be invalid as obvious. Although this claim was upheld in the Federal Circuit decision, the Petitioner still attempted to challenge the validity of the claim. The Petitioner likely relied on there being differences between the broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI) claim construction used by the Board and the Phillips standard (which applies “ordinary and customary meaning”) used by the Federal Circuit. If the Board had proceeded with the IPR, then a much broader reading of the challenged claim would have been used than when it was looked at in the Federal Circuit. Many have cited this as one of the reasons why IPR has become a widely used for challenging patent validity, as applying BRI typically means that it is more likely to find a patent invalid than valid. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">In the case of the ‘149 patent, however, the Board ultimately decided that the Petitioner did not establish a reasonable likelihood of prevailing with respect to claim 4, and denied the request. The ‘149 patent is directed to “topical ophthalmic use of brimonidine in combination with timolol for the treatment of glaucoma or ocular hypertension” (IPR2015-00858). The Petitioner contended that claim 4 would have been obvious over DeSantis in view of Timmerans and in further view of Larsson and Stewart, and supported their position with a declaration. Claim 4 “recites a ‘method of reducing the number of daily topical ophthalmic doses of brimondine… from 3 to 2 times a day </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">without loss of efficacy</em>’ in the treatment of glaucoma or ocular hypertension” (emphasis added). That is, the application of the medication two times a day is as effective as application of three times, if timolol is added. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">“In Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Federal Circuit stated that ‘[n]ewly discovered results of known processes directed to the same purpose are not patentable because such results are inherent.’ In this context, the court stated that claim limitations that merely recite a newly discovered result of a known process ‘do not distinguish those claims over the prior art’” (IPR2015-00858). Citing this as well as the earlier </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Allergan</em> Federal Circuit case in IPR2015-00858, the Petitioner contended that the phrase “without loss of efficacy” was <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">not</em> a claim limitation, due to the fact that the broadest reasonable interpretation standard used by the Board is broader than the Phillips standard used in the Federal Circuit. “Petitioner also asserts that ‘without loss of efficacy’ recites an intended result of practicing the method as claimed, not a step of the claimed method, and, therefore, should not be given patentable weight” (IPR2015-00858).</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The Petitioner argued that, in the Federal Circuit </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Allergan </em>case, the majority in the case considered “without loss of efficacy” to be a claim limitation while the dissent did not consider it to be so. The Petitioner considered this to mean that the majority and dissent applied different claim construction to claim 4. The dissent considered claim 4 to only include a single limitation, a step: “applying a fixed combination of 0.2% brimonidine and 0.5% timolol twice a day.” The dissent then stated that the “method of applying a fixed combination of 0.2% brimonidine and 0.5% timolol twice a day would therefore have been obvious over the prior art” (<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Allergan</em>). The Petitioner argued that the dissent was applying BRI, and therefore, the claim should be found to be invalid when using BRI. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">The Patent Owner responded by stating that the Petitioner wrongly argued that the dissent “adopted a different claim construction from the majority in which the language ‘without loss of efficacy’ appearing in the claim was not a limitation and could be ignored” (IPR2015-00858). The Patent Owner contended therefore that the majority and dissent had indeed both adopted the same claim construction. The Board agreed with the Patent Owner that result of “without loss of efficacy” is a limitation. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">With respect to the Petitioner’s argument of Claim 4 being obvious, the Board stated in its decision, “Even assuming Petitioner persuaded us that Stewart disclosed that reducing a dose of 0.2% brimonidine from three times to twice daily resulted in ‘no difference in intraocular pressure effects’ in some fashion, as Petitioner and its expert witness contend in a conclusory manner… that disclosure would not establish sufficiently that reducing the number of doses of a single composition comprising 0.2% brimonidine and 0.5% timolol from three to two times daily would have resulted necessarily in no loss of efficacy in the treatment of glaucoma or ocular hypertension” (IPR2015-00858). </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The decision by the Board not to institute IPR concluded with, “Considering Petitioner’s arguments and cited evidence of record before us, Petitioner does not establish sufficiently that the “without loss of efficacy” limitation is an inherent property or a necessary result of administering the composition as recited in claim 4” (IPR2015-00858). </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Although this request for </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">inter partes</em> review was denied, IPR still remains a popular strategy for petitioners challenging the validity of patents due to the claim construction being broader in the PTAB than in the Federal Circuit. There remains a debate regarding the differences between the BRI and Phillips standards, however. Another major discussion about these standards will be coming soon, with the Supreme Court accepting the review of the case of <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee </em>scheduled on April 25, 2016. </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: open_sansregular; font-size: inherit; line-height: 16px;">About CIONCA Law Group P.C.: We are an Orange County, CA based intellectual property law firm with a focus on patent and trademark prosecution, offering IP law services at flat fee rates.</span></p> <p><a class="btn-verify" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 10px; border: 0px; font-family: open_sansregular; font-size: inherit; line-height: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; outline: none; background-color: #5675b8; color: #ffffff; border-top-left-radius: 3px; border-top-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-left-radius: 3px; float: left;" href="http://orangecountypatentlawfirm.com/Home/Index">HOME</a><span style="font-family: open_sansregular; font-size: medium; line-height: 16px; background-color: #eff3fe;">     </span><a style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: open_sansregular; font-size: inherit; line-height: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; outline: none;" href="https://twitter.com/share" target="_blank"><img style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none;" src="http://orangecountypatentlawfirm.com/Content/Blog/images/twitter-small.png" alt="" />      </a><a style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: open_sansregular; font-size: inherit; line-height: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; outline: none;" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=" target="_blank"><img style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none;" src="http://orangecountypatentlawfirm.com/Content/Blog/images/facebook.png" alt="" />      </a><a style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: open_sansregular; font-size: inherit; line-height: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; outline: none;" href="https://plus.google.com/share?url=" target="_blank"><img style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none;" src="http://orangecountypatentlawfirm.com/Content/Blog/images/google.png" alt="" /></a></p>
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  • Marin Cionca5/17/2016 8:57:23 PM

    Patent Claims Rejection Based on Inherency

    <p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">Patent claims are often rejected by USPTO examiners on the ground that a property or characteristic of the claimed invention is inherent and thus not novel or, alternatively, obvious. In either case, if true, the invention is not patentable. However, often times, the examiner’s statements are pure conclusory statements with no support in any sound analysis or articulated reasoning. The Manual for Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP) cautions however against this type of impermissible practice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><strong><span style="color: #1f497d; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-themecolor: text2;" lang="EN">MPEP 2141: DISCLOSED INHERENT PROPERTIES ARE PART OF “AS A WHOLE” INQUIRY </span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="color: black; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;" lang="EN">MPEP 2141 gives an example of a case where, if looking at the claimed invention as a whole, the apparently “inherent” characteristic may not bar patentability. Referring to the facts of that case it states in part that <strong>“</strong></span><span style="color: black; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN">the prior art did not recognize that treatment capacity was a function of the tank volume to contractor ratio, and therefore the parameter optimized was not recognized in the art to be a result-effective variable.” <em>In re Antonie,</em> 559 F.2d 618, 620, 195 USPQ 6,8 (CCPA 1977). It should be noted here that the failure of the prior art was contrasted with the contribution of the inventor to recognize the allegedly inherent characteristic, and the inventor was rewarded for that. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #1f497d; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-themecolor: text2;" lang="EN">MPEP 2112: <span style="mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;">EXAMINERS MUST PROVIDE RATIONALE OR EVIDENCE TENDING TO SHOW INHERENCY </span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="color: black; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN">“In relying upon the theory of inherency, the examiner must provide a basis in fact and/or technical reasoning to reasonably support the determination that the allegedly inherent characteristic <span><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">necessarily</strong></span> flows from the teachings of the applied prior art.” <em>Ex parte Levy, </em>17 USPQ2d 1461, 1464 (Bd. Pat. App. &amp; Inter. 1990) (emphasis in original); The fact that a certain result or characteristic <span><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">may</strong></span> occur or be present in the prior art is not sufficient to establish the inherency of that result or characteristic. <em>In re Rijckaert,</em> 9 F.3d 1531, 1534, 28 USPQ2d 1955, 1957 (Fed. Cir. 1993) citing </span><em><span style="color: #4a4a4a; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN">In re Oelrich,</span></em><a href="http://www.leagle.com/cite/666%20F.2d%20578"><span style="color: windowtext; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; text-decoration: none; mso-ansi-language: EN; text-underline: none;" lang="EN">666 F.2d 578</span></a><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN">, <span style="color: #4a4a4a;">581-82, 212 USPQ 323, 326 (CCPA 1981);</span><span style="color: black;"> (reversed rejection because inherency was based on what would result due to <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">optimization of conditions</strong>, not what was necessarily present in the prior art).</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="color: black; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN">Examiners sometimes seem to ignore the above provisions of MPEP 2112 and provide no facts, technical reasoning or any rationale as to why the alleged inherent property “<span>necessarily</span> flows from the teachings of the applied prior art.” They simply write a conclusory statement or attempt to support the conclusion of inherency using inventor’s own teachings, which is often impermissible hindsight. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="color: black; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN;" lang="EN">As such, examiner’s statements made in office actions have to be scrutinized for errors such as the ones above and appropriate response filed with the USPTO, challenging examiner’s erroneous contentions. </span></p>
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  • Iris Kim, PhD6/1/2016 7:04:50 PM

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Designates Five More Decisions as Precedential

    <p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or the Board) designated its first precedential decision in 2014, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">SecureBuy LLC v. CardinalCommerce Corporation</em>, CBM 2014-00035, Paper 12 (April 25, 2014), which concerned the statutory requirements for instituting a covered business method (CBM) patent review. At the beginning of the 2016 year, the Board designated two more, which can be read about </span></span><a href="../BlogComments?BlogId=165"><span style="color: #0563c1; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">here</span></a><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">In May 2016, five more decisions were designated as precedential, bringing the total of PTAB Precedential Decisions to eight. The five that have most recently been given the precedential designation are the following: </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Garmin%20Intl%20v%20Cuozzo%20Speed%20Techs%20IPR2012-00001_Paper%2026.pdf"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="color: #0563c1; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Garmin Int’l v. Cuozzo Speed Techs LLC</span></em></a><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">, IPR2012-00001, Paper 26 (Mar. 5, 2013): This decision involves the factors to be considered when evaluating motions for additional, non-routine discovery in </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">inter partes</em> review proceedings. Prior to being designated as precedential, this decision was marked as “informative.” PTAB decisions are designated as either precedential, informative, representative, or routine. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Bloomberg%20Inc%20v%20Market-Alerts%20Pty%20CBM2013-00005_Paper%2032.pdf"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="color: #0563c1; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Bloomberg, Inc. v. Markets-Alert Pty, Ltd</span></em></a><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">., CBM2013-00005, Paper 32 (May 29, 2013): Like the first case, this decision also deals with the factors considered when evaluating motions for additional discovery, but in CBM patent review proceedings. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Oracle%20Corp%20v.%20Click-to-Call%20Techs%20LP%20IPR2013-00312_Paper%2026.pdf"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="color: #0563c1; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Oracle Corp. v. Click-to-Call Techs., LP</span></em></a><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">, IPR2013-00312, Paper 26 (October 30, 2013): This decision involves a rule stating that an </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">inter partes</em> review cannot be instituted if the petition was filed more than one year after the date when the complaint was served, and deals specifically with the interpretation of the phrase “served with a complaint.” </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/MasterImage%203D%20v%20RealD%20IPR2015-00040_Paper%2042.pdf"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="color: #0563c1; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">MasterImage 3D, Inc. v. RealD Inc.</span></em></a><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">, IPR2015-00040, Paper 42 (July 15, 2015): This decision involves clarifying the standard for patent owner Motions to Amend. The patent owner has the burden to show entitlement to substitute claims, and this decision defined “prior art of record” and “prior art known to the patentee.” Previously, this decision was designated as representative. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Lumentum%20Holdings%20v.%20Capella%20Photonics%20IPR2015-00739_Paper%2038.pdf"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="color: #0563c1; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Lumentum Holdings, Inc. v. Capella Photonics, Inc.</span></em></a><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">, IPR2015-00739 (Paper 38) (March 4, 2016):</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>This decision involves the requirement that petitions should name all of the interested parties, and the fact that changes during a proceeding can be corrected. </span></span></p>
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  • Marin Cionca9/6/2016 9:26:12 PM

    Patent Case Law: New Example of Software as Patentable Subject Matter

    <p> <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">INTRODUCTION</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">On June 27, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“appeal court”) has decided another case, part of a group of four post <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> cases, which found patent eligible subject matter in the challenged patent. The patent at issue (U.S. Pat. 5,987,606) in this case (BASCOM GLOBAL INTERNET v. AT&amp;T MOBILITY LLC) was directed to a process for filtering content over the Internet. According to the appeal court, the inventive concept of step two of the Supreme Court’s <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> analysis was successfully provided by a specific “ordered combination” of conventional steps, because it provided a solution the prior art content filtering processes and systems failed to provide. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">THE DECISION</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">The representative claim (Claim 1) of the disputed patent reads as follows:</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt 0.5in;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">1. A content filtering system for filtering content retrieved from an Internet computer network by individual controlled access network accounts, said filtering system comprising: </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt 0.5in;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">a local client computer generating network access requests for said individual controlled access network accounts;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">at least one filtering scheme;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">a plurality of sets of logical filtering elements; and</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt 0.5in;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">a remote ISP server coupled to said client computer and said Internet computer network, said ISP server associating each said network account to at least one filtering scheme and at least one set of filtering elements, said ISP server further receiving said network access requests from said client computer and executing said associated filtering scheme utilizing said associated set of logical filtering elements.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">At the district court level, the court found that the claim recited an abstract idea of “filtering Internet content” which was not limited by an inventive concept because the claims elements individually and in combination were conventional and routine. One argument advanced by BASCOM, which failed, according to the district court, was that “the inventive concept is found in the “ordered combination” of the limitations: a “special ISP server that receives requests for Internet content, which the ISP server then associates with a particular user and a particular filtering scheme and elements.” In a somehow convoluted manner, the appeal court agreed with Bascom, distinguishing cases such as <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ultramercial</em> (Ultramercial, Inc. v. Hulu, LLC, 772 F.3d 709 (Fed. Cir. 2014) and finding that this case is more analogous with <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">DDR</em> (DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P., 773 F.3d 1245 (Fed. Cir. 2014)). As in DDR, the appeal court appeared to see the claimed invention an improvement of the computer technology itself, even though it was accomplished with conventional steps or well-known computer technology. The ordered combination seems to have been enough, in the eyes of the court, even though it consisted of routine, conventional or well-known elements. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">CONCLUSION</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">What this decision appears to be teaching is that even though all claim elements are well-known or routine, a specific, ordered combination of such elements may still overcome a 101/<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> challenge. To be successful however, when mounting such argument, the specification and the claims may need to provide enough basis to show that the claimed invention improves the computer technology itself, in certain aspects. It should be noted that what was addressed in this appeal was only the eligibility (101/<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>) question. It still remains to be seen if this patent will survive the 102/novelty and 103/challenges, given the conventionality of the claim elements, individually. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">Entire court opinion can be found at:</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;"><a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/15-1763.Opinion.6-23-2016.1.PDF"><span style="color: #0000ff;">http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/15-1763.Opinion.6-23-2016.1.PDF</span></a> </span></p> <p> </p>
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  • Marin Cionca9/15/2016 9:47:39 PM

    Patent Law Alert: Federal Circuit Opens Door for More Software Patents

    <p> <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #4f81bd; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1;">INTRODUCTION</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">On September 13, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) has decided another case, <em>McRO (d.b.a. Planet Blue) v. Bandai Namco Games (“Planet Blue”)</em> involving two software patents covering the same technology. It is another post-<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> case in a series of cases signaling that the Federal Circuit is determined to continue to narrow the scope of <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> (<em>Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l</em>, 134 S. Ct. 2347, 2355 (2014)). This is good news for inventors, patent applicants and patent owners in the software industry. Particular to the <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Planet Blue </em>case is what appears to be an opening for software inventions which do not necessarily improve the computer technology “itself,” but instead improve other technological processes, for example, by automating them using software.<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"> </strong></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #4f81bd; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1;">BACKGROUND</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">First, on December 5, 2014, in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P.,</em> the Federal Circuit found that “systems and methods of generating a composite [hybrid] web page that combines certain visual elements of a “host” website with content of a third-party merchant” were not an abstract idea and were thus patentable subject matter. That was because the claimed solution was “necessarily rooted in computer technology in order to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks.”</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">Next, on May 12, 2016, in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">ENFISH, LLC v. MICROSOFT Corp. et al.,</em> the Federal Circuit did not find a computer database model using a “self-referential table” an abstract idea, and thus, it was patentable subject matter. The court concluded that the disputed claims were “directed to a specific improvement to the way computers operate, embodied in the self-referential table.”</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">On June 27, 2016, In <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">BASCOM GLOBAL INTERNET v. AT&amp;T MOBILITY LLC</em>, the Federal Circuit decided that it was not an abstract idea to provide a process for filtering content over the Internet by placing the filtering software on the server instead of the client computer and allowing customization by each user, after login, of the filtering software. The court appeared to see the claimed invention an improvement of the computer technology itself, even though it was accomplished with conventional steps or well-known computer technology.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">It should be noted that all of the above cases appear to have a common thread, that is improvement in computer technology. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="color: #4f81bd; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1;">PLANET BLUE</span></em></strong><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #4f81bd; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1;"> CASE</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">The <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Planet Blue</em> case involved two patents directed to 3-D animation technology using software and computers. The patents relate to automating part of a preexisting 3-D animation method. “As explained in the background of the patents, the admitted prior art method uses multiple 3-D models of a character’s face to depict various facial expressions made during speech. To animate the character as it speaks, the [prior art] method morphs the character’s expression between the models.” Using the prior art method, animators, using a computer, manually determined </span><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">the appropriate morph weight sets for each of the established key-frames based on the phoneme timings in a timed transcript. “Because the pronounced phoneme and drawn keyframe corresponded in time, this prior art process synchronized the lips and facial expression of the 3-D character.”</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">The claimed invention automates a 3-D animator’s tasks, specifically, determining when to set </span><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">keyframes and setting those keyframes, by using rules that are applied to the timed transcript to determine the morph weight outputs. The claimed process produces more accurate and realistic lip synchronization and facial expressions in animated characters. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">The Federal Circuit agreed with the patent owner and analogize this case with <em>Diamond </em></span><em><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">v. Diehr</span></em><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">, 450 U.S. 175 (1981) (“<em>Diehr</em>”), finding that the algorithm and rules used improve an existing technological process (3-D animation technology), and that the rules used are specific enough to “prevent preemption</span><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">of all processes for achieving automated lip-synchronization of </span><span style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt;">3-D characters.” As such, the claimed process was not an abstract idea; it was patentable subject matter. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #4f81bd; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1;">CONCLUSION</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span style="color: black; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-themecolor: text1;">The <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Planet Blue</em> case appears to be the first post- <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> case in which non-computer technology improving software was found to overcome the abstract idea challenge. The key seems to be to be able to show that (1) some technology is improved and (2) that preemption of all processes for achieving the same result is prevented by the way the patent claims are drafted. </span></p> <p> </p>
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  • Marin Cionca2/21/2017 12:30:52 AM

    Software Patent Law Update: Federal Circuit Finds Graphical User Interface Patentable

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-outline-level: 1;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #4472c4; text-transform: uppercase;">Introduction</span></strong></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Since June 2014 when the <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice </em>case was decided by the US Supreme Court, which held that certain software is just an “abstract idea” and thus not patentable, software patents faced an uphill battle when comes to procurement or enforcement. However, during the following years, the Federal Circuit Court decided several software patent cases that provide more clarity regarding the scope of the <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> case and arguably more hope for software patents. Such cases include <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Enfish</em> and <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Bascom </em>which we discussed here on our blog in separate articles. A new decision, also favorable to the software patents was issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) on January 18, 2017 in TRADING TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC., v.CQG LLC. Although this decision is non-precedential, it addresses a specific aspect of software, namely the graphical user interface (GUI), and an example of what can make a GUI patentable. For that reason, the discussion of this case is warranted.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-outline-level: 1;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #4472c4; text-transform: uppercase;">Summary of The Case</span></strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Trading Technologies asserted against Cog U.S. Patents No. 6,772,132 (“the ’132 patent”) and No. 6,766,304 (“the ’304 patent”), which “describe and claim a method and system for the electronic trading of stocks, bonds, futures, options and similar products. The patents explain problems that arise when a trader attempts to enter an order at a particular price, but misses the price because the market moved before the order was entered and executed. It also sometimes occurred that trades were executed at different prices than intended, due to rapid market movement. This is the problem to which these patents are directed.” <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>The patents describe a solution including a trading system in which <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">a graphical user interface</strong> “display[s] the market depth of a commodity traded in a market, including a dynamic display for a plurality of bids and for a plurality of asks in the market for the commodity and a static display of prices corresponding to the plurality of bids and asks.” The court agreed with the district court which held that the claims are not directed to an abstract idea and also that they recite an inventive concept, such that the subject matter is patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (i.e., is not an abstract idea). </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">At district level, the court first applied Step 1 of the two-step analysis under <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>. The Federal Circuit court agreed with the district court that, rather than reciting “a mathematical algorithm,” “a fundamental economic or longstanding commercial practice,” or “a challenge in business,” the challenged patents “solve problems of prior <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">graphical user interface </strong>devices...in the context of computerized trading relating to speed, accuracy and usability.” The district court further held, and the Federal Circuit court agreed, that these patents are directed to improvements in existing graphical user interface devices that have no “pre-electronic trading analog,” and recite more than “‘setting, displaying, and selecting’ data or information that is visible on the [graphical user interface] device.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">The district court alternatively continued the analysis under <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em> Step 2, and it concluded that the <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">specific structure and concordant functionality of the graphical user interface </strong>provides the inventive concept that makes the invention more than an abstract idea. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #4472c4; text-transform: uppercase;">Conclusion</span></strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">This case is another good news for software patents. One lesson learned here is that software inventions have to be looked at carefully, module by module, aspect by aspect, including the general user interface. An identified technological improvement in any of the modules may be enough to escape an <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alice</em>-abstract idea challenge from a patent examiner at USPTO or an infringer of the patent in patent litigation. </span></p>
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  • Marin Cionca4/25/2017 9:48:49 PM

    Monetization of Patents: How to Make Money with Patents

    <p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">People and clients often ask me how can they make money with an invention or with a patent if they were to pursue one. Or, they ask, I now have the patent, what can I do next to make money with it? Here are some answers:</span></span></p> <ol style="list-style-type: decimal; direction: ltr;"> <li style="color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <p style="color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-top: 0in; margin-bottom: 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 115%;">Start a business.</span></strong><span style="line-height: 115%;">If you have entrepreneurial experience and/or inclinations as I do, and the necessary time and funds, I recommend starting a business. Nobody believes more in the product you have invented than you do. Especially if the cost of making it is accessible, make it, put up a website, use other online platforms such as Amazon, and start selling. Even if you will not afford to enforce the patent through litigation, the patent you have can give you other important market advantages. For example, it can be used to deter the competition to copy your product and at least force them to spend the time and money to design around if they want to compete. As another example, a patented product often sells better than a non-patented product. Consumers often perceive a patented product to be a superior product. One benefit of making and selling the patented product is that you’ll get feedback from consumers that may inspire you to improve your product even more and come up with further and better version, some of which may be patentable on their own. If not the original patented version, the further iterations may be a market winner. </span></span></p> </li> <li style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-top: 0in; margin-bottom: 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 115%;">Grow an existing business.</span></strong><span style="line-height: 115%;">For similar reasons as above, a patent product can be a great addition to your line of existing goods or services. Having patented products in your product line may show the consumers and the market that you are a serious business. That market image may be very valuable to your business success. Further, being a valuable business asset, a patent can be used in many business dealings such as merger and acquisitions, sale of the business, strategic alliances, investor or loan agreements for access to cash, etc. </span></span></p> </li> <li style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-top: 0in; margin-bottom: 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 115%;">License or Assign your Patent.</span></strong><span style="line-height: 115%;">If you do not have an existing business and you are not in the mood to start one, licensing may be an option. This is not easy, but I saw it happening. Finding an interested party (e.g., a manufacturer) takes a lot of time and effort. Manufacturers or seller of similar products as your patented product are likely the best targets of licensing efforts. I typically recommend that you reach out to potentially interested patent licensees yourself. In any case, be very skeptical and do your own due diligence when approached by invention promotion companies or individuals that promise to market your invention or patent, while you just sit back and relax! Ask about their success rate, examples of success, milestones, etc. I had clients coming to me very disappointed with this type of entities. Basically, they were asked to continue to pay according to contractual obligations without seeing any results. Again, I recommend making these efforts yourself. Patent attorneys like myself can’t typically assist finding interested parties, but what once such party is identified, we can assist with negotiations and licensing or patent assignment agreements. </span></span></p> </li> <li style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-top: 0in; margin-bottom: 10pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 115%;">Sell your Patent.</span></strong><span style="line-height: 115%;">There are apparently patent brokers and online platforms that purportedly offer to sell your patent for a fee. I am not very familiar with them, but they and their services may be worth exploring.</span></span></p> </li> </ol> <p> </p>
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  • CIONCA - Staff6/15/2017 5:32:14 PM

    Patent Law: Challenging the Patent Claim Definiteness Requirement

    <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 16.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%;">Patent Law: Challenging the Patent Claim Definiteness Requirement</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: #4472c4; mso-themecolor: accent5;">Introduction</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">On June 12, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) has issued a decision regarding the dispute between One E-Way, Inc. and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”). The case was triggered by One E-Way, Inc.’s initial accusation against Respondents Sony Corporation, Sony Corporation of America, Sony Electronics, Inc., Blueant Wireless Pty, Ltd., Blueant Wireless, Inc., Creative Technology, Ltd., Creative Labs, Inc., and GN Netcom A/S (“Respondents”) of two incidents of patent infringement, among other accusations. Previously, at the ITC level, the patent law case concluded with the International Trade Commission’s ruling that in the asserted patent the claim language “virtually free from interference” was indefinite. One E-Way, Inc. appealed the ITC decision in this case, <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">One E-Way, Inc. v. International Trade Commission.</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: #4472c4; mso-themecolor: accent5;">Background</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">One E-Way, Inc. v. Respondents</em> addressed the patent claims outlining One E-Way’s design of “a wireless digital audio system designed to let people use wireless headphones privately, without interference, even when multiple people are using wireless headphones in the same space.” The following is an excerpt from a representative One E-Way’s patent claim:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: .5in;">“a module adapted to reproduce said generated audio output, said audio having been wirelessly transmitted from said portable audio source <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">virtually free from interference</em> from device transmitted signals operating in the portable wireless digital audio system spectrum”</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: .5in;"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Both parties argued over whether or not “virtually free from interference” meets the definiteness requirement. The ITC’s final decision deemed the phrase as indefinite. In turn, One E-Way appealed the Commission’s decision, relaying the case to the Federal Circuit as <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">One E-Way, Inc. v. International Trade Commission.</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: #4472c4; mso-themecolor: accent5;">The Decision</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Intrinsic evidence heavily served as the basis for the Federal Circuit’s decision in this patent case. Throughout the patent, it is repeatedly reported that private listening is “without interference.” The Federal Circuit held that, “[t]aken together, the specification makes clear that private listening is listening without interference from other users…the interference would cause one use to hear another user’s wireless transmissions, potentially interfering with the utility of a device.” Referring to a parent patent, “the applicant explained that the term ‘virtually free from interference’ results in the ability to listen without eavesdropping,” implying that that eavesdropping “is consistent with the purpose (‘private listening’) and mechanisms (separation of users by recognizing other transmissions as ‘noise’) disclosed in the patents.” Applicant also argues that <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">interference</em> is used as a non-technical term, dodging the requirement of defining concise boundaries. Lastly, “free from interference”—<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">virtually</em> eliminated—simply signifies that the functionality is “a little bit better than ‘virtually free from interference,’” but both straightforwardly imply private listening. Therefore, the Federal Circuit ruled in One E-Way’s favor: “virtually free from interference” satisfies the patent claim definiteness requirement, reversing the International Trade Commission’s previous decision. However, Chief Judge Prost dissented, expressing that intrinsic evidence alone should not have sufficed in demonstrating definiteness. Furthermore, Prost adds that the majority’s argument provided no clarification on the necessity of <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">virtually</em>—it neither broadens nor adds certainty to the patent claim scope.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: #4472c4; mso-themecolor: accent5;">Conclusion</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">One E-Way, Inc. v. International Trade Commission</em> case demonstrates again the importance of language terms used in crafting patent claims. It also shows once again that the effort of choosing the right patent claim terms is more an art than a science. Reasonable minds can differ when construing the meaning of patent claim terms. While <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">virtually</em> or similar terms may be used to for example attempt to make the patent claim scope broader (i.e., positive), their use may also expose the patent claim to a claim indefiniteness challenge (i.e., negative).</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;" align="left"> </p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> 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Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 6"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; text-align:justify; line-height:150%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; color:black;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Full<em> One E-Way, Inc. v. International Trade Commission </em>decision can be read here:<em> </em><a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-2105.Opinion.6-8-2017.1.PDF">http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-2105.Opinion.6-8-2017.1.PDF</a></span><!--EndFragment--></p>
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  • CIONCA - Staff6/28/2017 8:26:07 PM

    Patent Law: Conditions Precedent May Expose Method Claim to Broad Interpretation During Prosecution

    <p>Introduction</p> <p>On April 28, 2016, a decision was made by PTAB in Ex parte Schulhauser, an application apparently owned by Medtronic Inc.The Appelants sought a review of the Examiner’s decision to reject claims regarding “subject matter relate[d] to ‘medical devices for monitoring physiological conditions and, in some embodiments, to a minimally invasive implantable device for monitoring a physiological conditions [sic] and detecting the onset of a critical cardiac event such as a myocardial infarction.” Claims 1-11 were rejected.</p> <p>Decision</p> <p>Upon review of the Examiner’s decision, PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board) decided to affirm the rejections of Claims 1-10 and reverse the rejection of Claim 11.</p> <p>For reader’s reference, Claim 1 is included below. The Board held that some limitations of a claimed method are not considered to have patentable weight since those steps require precursors. In other words, a condition precedent must be met in order for these steps to take place. For example, “determining the current activity level of the subject from the activity level data if the electrocardiac signal data is within the threshold electrocardiac criteria,” communicates that this step would only be executed once the condition is met. However, whether the condition is met or not, the claimed method remains unaffected. Because additional steps are conditioned, mutually exclusive, and neither inhibit nor advance the claimed method, they carry no patentable weight. Because prior art disclosed such a method, the Claim’s rejection was affirmed. </p> <p>While the method claims remained rejected, PTAB did make the decision to reverse the Examiner’s rejection of Claim 11, which was directed to a “system for monitoring cardiac conditions [including] various ‘means for’ limitations involving functions substantially similar to those recited in claim 1.” Although the limitations provided for the system are similar to those provided for the method, they are patentable in the system’s case because the system must have the capability of performing such processes if needed. As stated in the opinion, “the system claim differs from the method claim because the structure…is present in the system regardless of whether the condition is met and the function is actually performed.” In comparison to prior art, the claimed system necessitates a certain order of operations while the prior art does not disclose any such essential order. While the system may perform the same functions as prior art, it does so in a distinct way.</p> <p>1.A method for monitoring of cardiac conditions incorporating an implantable medical device in a subject, the method comprising the steps of:</p> <p>collecting physiological data associated with the subject from the implantable device at present time intervals, wherein the collected data includes real-time electrocardiac signal data, heart sound data, activity level data and tissue perfusion data;</p> <p>comparing the electrocardiac signal data with a threshold electrocardiac criteria for indicating a strong likelihood of a cardiac event;</p> <p>triggering an alarm state if the electrocardiac signal data is not within the threshold electrocardiac criteria;</p> <p>determining the current activity level of the subject from the activity level data if the electrocardiac signal data is within the threshold electrocardic criteria;</p> <p>determining whether the current activity level is below a threshold activity level;</p> <p>comparing the tissue perfusion data with a threshold tissue perfusion criteria for indicating a strong likelihood of a cardiac event if the current activity level is determined to be below a threshold activity level;</p> <p>triggering an alarm state if the threshold tissue perfusion data is not within the threshold tissue perfusion criteria; and</p> <p>triggering an alarm state if the threshold tissue perfusion data is within the threshold tissue perfusion criteria and the heart sound data indicates that S3 and S4 heart sounds are detected,</p> <p>wherein if an alarm state is not triggered, the physiological data associated with the subject is collected at the expiration of the preset time interval.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>PTAB’s decision in Ex parte Schulhauser magnified in a way the difference between a method and a system patent claim. Although both include limitations, some with conditions precedent, a system’s structure is a more concrete entity that must include the capabilities of addressing all limitations in order to function properly, whereas a claimed method may be interpreted more broadly by the patent examiner, namely, independently of its limitations that include conditions precedent. It is important to consider these differences upon writing claims to create optimal patent protection.</p> <p>Full Ex parte Schulhauser decision can be read here: https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Ex%20parte%20Schulhauser%202016_04_</p> <p>28.pdf </p>
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  • CIONCA - Staff8/9/2017 5:39:58 PM

    Patent Case Study: The Novelty Of An “Invention” Is NOT Enough To Make It Patentable

    <p> <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 150%; font-size: 14pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Introduction</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">On July 26, 2017, a decision was made by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. v. Jarrow Formulas, Inc.</em></span><span style="font-size: medium;"> Soft Gels—in a sequence of a parent patent, a continuation, and a continuation-in-part patent for (1) a soft gel capsule, (2) a solubilized coenzyme Q-10, and (3) a method for preparing a soft gel capsule. After it was established that the Q-10 coenzyme was beneficial to the human body, Soft Gels saw “a need in the art for an improved methodology to deliver increased amount[s] of bioavailable CoQ-10 to an individual in need thereof.” Therefore, Soft Gels created an oil mixture solvent containing d-limonene and gel capsule for the coenzyme. In 2012, Jarrow Formulas, Inc. requested an </span><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-size: medium;">inter partes </span></em><span style="font-size: medium;">reexamination of all three patents. Reexaminations of all three were ordered, and the assigned examiner issued rejections for each set of claims based on grounds of obviousness.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 150%; font-size: 14pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Decision</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">With five key prior art references to consider, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB, Board) rejected a number of Soft Gel’s patent claims. The first reference was to Patent Application of Motoyama (“Motoyama”). Motoyama claims “an oral formulation containing CoQ10 dissolved in an oil.” This patent application makes evident that the bioavailability of the coenzyme to the bloodstream significantly increases when mixed with an essential oil and ingested orally with a capsule. The next two references—another patent and a dissertation—express the observation that CoQ10 has poor solubility in aqueous solvents, leading to the idea of mingling the coenzyme with an oil mixture solvent instead prior to introducing it to the body. The fourth reference the Board relied upon, <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients</em></span><span style="font-size: medium;">, “notes that lemon essential oil has many different components, but ‘contains approximately 90% limonene.’” The fifth and final reference the Board considered was </span><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Some Naturally Occurring Substances: Food Items and Constituents, Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines and Mycotoxins</span></em><span style="font-size: medium;"> (1993), “a monograph…[stating] that limonene is ‘the most frequently occurring natural monoterpene.’” Overall, the Board found that Soft Gel’s claimed patents were simply a reconstruction of the prior art. Furthermore, the Board also concluded that “a person of skill in the art would have been motivated to combine those references and would have had a reasonable expectation of success in doing so.” A number of Soft Gel’s patent claims were rejected upon this reexamination. Soft Gel appealed to the Federal Circuit.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">First, Soft Gel sought to “[challenge] the Board’s factual finding that d-limonene is the main constituent of lemon oil.” Soft Gel attempted to refer to an experiment that yielded a sample of lemon oil species that only contained 38.1% limonene content. However, this was only one of nineteen samples, and the limonene content among samples varied from 38.1% to 95.8%. Therefore, this reference did not help in supporting Soft Gel’s contention . Second, Soft Gel argued that the second reference used against them only addressed the melting of CoQ10 from a solid to a liquid, only concerning itself with state of matter rather than dissolving the coenzyme in essential oils. However, the Federal Circuit decided that the patent referenced “teaches the use of essential oils to make CoQ10 more available to the body, which is precisely what is claimed in the Soft Gels patents.” Third, Soft Gel tried to make a distinction between lemon oil and peppermint and spearmint oils by citing an experiment in which essential oil performance was tested when combined with the coenzyme and emulsifiers. Although lemon oil caused the CoQ10 to re-melt, it simply performed better than the spearmint and peppermint oils, which does not imply that it “behaved in an entirely different manner.” </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">For the aforementioned reasons, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s decision.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; line-height: 150%; font-size: 14pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Conclusion</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">This case is another example of instances when a combination of prior art elements is novel, yet not patentable because the combination would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skills in the art (POSITA) at the time the application for patent was filed. Particularly in this case the combination was obvious because “a person of skill in the art would have been motivated to combine those references and would have had a reasonable expectation of success in doing so.”</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;" align="left"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Full <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. v. Jarrow Formulas, Inc.</em></span><span style="font-size: medium;">decision can be found here: </span></span><a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-1814.Opinion.7-24-2017.1.PDF"><span style="color: #0563c1; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-1814.Opinion.7-24-2017.1.PDF</span></a></p> <p> </p>
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  • CIONCA Staff8/20/2017 3:16:11 PM

    CIONCA on Patents: Think Twice Before Suing for Patent Infringement and Fight Back when Unreasonably Sued

    <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; text-align: justify; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 33px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">CIONCA on Patents: Think Twice Before Suing for Patent Infringement and Fight Back when </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 33px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Unreasonably</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 33px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> Sued</span><span class="EOP SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 33px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif;" data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559740&quot;:360}"> </span></p> </div> <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; text-align: justify; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; color: #0070c0; font-weight: bold; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 33px;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Introduction</span><span class="EOP SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 33px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif;" data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559740&quot;:360}"> </span></p> </div> <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; text-align: justify; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">On July 5, 2017, the Federal Circuit </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">made a decision</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> in </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">, LLC</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> v. Newegg</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">.</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">In July 2010, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> sued Newegg and other defendants for patent infringement, the subject matter being rotatable computer-mounted camera cli</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">ps</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> and their means of rotation. </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">A </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Markman</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">(i.e., patent claim construction) </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">hearing was held in April 2012, which </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">the Court found </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">that </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam’s</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> case was baseless. W</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">hile </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">the cases against</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> most other defendants were dropped</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> afterwards</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> continued </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">the </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">litigation </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">against </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">with Newegg. However, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> requested for dismissal without prejudice</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">, and Newegg moved for an excep</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">tional case shortly afterwards, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">stating that </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam’s</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> infringement accusations were baseless and in bad faith. The district court denied Newegg’s motion. Newegg later appealed in light of </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health &amp; Fitness, Inc.</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">, and the case was reassigned to a new judge. However, Newegg’s request for attorney’s fees was denied once again</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> as the district court based their decision on the</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> previous district judge’s analysis</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">. Newegg</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> timely</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> appealed and the case was </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">again before</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.</span><span class="EOP SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 28px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif;" data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559740&quot;:360}"> </span></p> </div> <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; text-align: justify; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; color: #0070c0; font-weight: bold; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 33px;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Decision</span><span class="EOP SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 33px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif;" data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559740&quot;:360}"> </span></p> </div> <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; text-align: justify; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">In light of</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health &amp; Fitness, Inc., </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">“[A]n ‘exceptional’ case is simply one that stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a party’s litigating position (considering both the governing law and the facts of the case) or the unreasonable manner in which the case was litigated.” In regards to </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">, LLC</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> v. Newegg</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">the Federal Circuit ultimately reversed and remanded the case, articulating their belief that the district court abused its discretion. When instructed to gauge the case as ‘exceptional,’ the district court utilized previous findings rather than conduc</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">t</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">ing</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> a novel independent analysis, a course of action that should not have happened since some facts had changed since </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">the case’s initial ruling</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">. </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">In addition, “its decision was based on ‘a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence.’” </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Newegg’s product rotates on at least two axes, but </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> claimed that “Newegg’s ball-and-socket joint limited the rotation to a single axis </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">at a time</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">.” This argument implies that although Newegg’s product utilizes multiple axes, it infringes on </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam’s</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> patent because both products rotate on a single axis at all times, regardless of whether it is one of one axis or one of multiple axes. However, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> failed to provide evidence to support their argument, and it was established that Newegg’s camera clip does not infringe on that ground. </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Moreover, throughout the progression of the case, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam’s</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> “pattern of low and erratic settlements, though not determinative, reinforces a conclusion of unreasonableness.” In conclusion, the district court’s previous decision was reversed and the case remanded. Costs were ordered to be paid to Newegg.</span><span class="EOP SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 28px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif;" data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559740&quot;:360}"> </span></p> </div> <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; text-align: justify; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; color: #0070c0; font-weight: bold; font-size: 14pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 33px;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Conclusion</span><span class="EOP SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 33px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif;" data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559740&quot;:360}"> </span></p> </div> <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; text-align: justify; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Before </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">taking action</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">on asserting</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">patent </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">infringement</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">claims</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">,</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> the p</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">atent owners</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> must</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">thoroughly </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">analyze</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">the</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> extent of their patented claims. It is important to ensure </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">that patent infringement </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">accusations are not baseless, and that </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">patent </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">infringement evidence</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">is</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> prepared prior to </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">filing </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">a patent </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">infringement</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">case</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">. </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">This is because filing a baseless patent infringement patent exposes the patent owner to liability for attorney fees of the accused infringers. </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Furthermore, one </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">should</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> understand that patent claims must be carefully written to provide a clear scope of protection. Having </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">clear, </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">carefully-verbalized</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> patent clai</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">ms will </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">make it easier to </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">determine when legal action is appropriate.</span><span class="EOP SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 28px; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif;" data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559740&quot;:360}"> </span></p> </div> <div class="OutlineElement Ltr SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p class="Paragraph SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; word-wrap: break-word; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: windowtext; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;"><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Full </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span class="SpellingError SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important; background-image: url(data:image/gif; base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap////8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow==); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: transparent; background-color: inherit; background-position: left bottom; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">AdjustaCam</span></span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">, LLC</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> v. Newegg</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">decision</span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-style: italic; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">can be read here: </span><span class="TextRun SCXW125119540" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; -webkit-user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times New Roman_MSFontService', serif; line-height: 28px; font-variant-ligatures: none !important; -webkit-nbsp-mode: normal !important;" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-1882.Opinion.6-29-2017.1.PDF</span></p> </div>
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  • staff9/15/2017 9:33:30 PM

    cionca

    <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Pictured above: Patent and Trademark Attorney Marin Cionca and Patent Agent Iris Kim in attendance at the OC Asian Business Expo<br /></span></em></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: medium;">CIONCA IP Law Attends the OC Asian Business Expo</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;">On September 12, 2017, we had the opportunity to attend the 7<sup>th</sup> Annual OC Asian Business Expo (OC ABE) at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove, California, where the Southern Californian Asian community embraces their increasing achievement in the business world. The lively event featured exhibitors from a wide range of areas, all representing successful and innovative OC Asian businesses. The OC ABE gives OC business owners the chance to strengthen their network and engage with their community, and local chambers of commerce take part in ensuring that the OC ABE is a success each year. The event provides a welcoming environment so all participants can actively build relationships and benefit from each other’s knowledge. For more information on the OC ABE, please visit <a href="http://www.theasianbusinessexpo.com/"><span style="color: #0563c1;">http://www.theasianbusinessexpo.com/</span></a>.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"> </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;">Also in attendance was SCORE, whom we proudly sponsor. SCORE is a nonprofit organization aiming to help small businesses flourish, and as a small business always seeking growth, we understand the importance of support. SCORE provides many services for the developing entrepreneur, such as mentoring, tools, and workshops. For more information on SCORE, please visit <a href="https://www.score.org/"><span style="color: #0563c1;">https://www.score.org/</span></a>.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;"> </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-size: small;">Other businesses represented include the Korean American Chamber of Commerce, the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce, East West Bank, Sumokey, Inline Four, El Aviso Magazine, Heartland Institute of Financial Education, and VIETV, among many others. All are growing businesses, and all businesses look forward to expansion. With that said, networking and IP protection (patents, trademark, copyrights) are both important in building a steady business.</span></p> <p> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </p> <p> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </p> <p> </p>
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  • staff9/27/2017 5:00:12 PM

    Claim Indefiniteness During Patent Pre-Issuance: Define Your Invention, Not Just Your Audience

    <p> <span style="color: #5b9bd5; line-height: 150%; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Introduction</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">On August 25, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has decided <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ex parte McAward</em></span><span style="font-size: medium;">. The case revolved around the patentability of James Gerard McAward’s invention of a “water leakage detectors...which are easily connectable to flexible water hoses, and, can be coupled together to monitor leakage from hot and cold supplies.” </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Claims 1-20 were deemed indefinite, while Claims 1-7 and 10-20 were deemed unpatentable by the examiner in the Final Action because of lack of novelty and/or obviousness over prior art identified by the examiner. Appellants James Gerard McAward et al. sought review from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #5b9bd5; line-height: 150%; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Decision</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">The following is the excerpted Claim 1, chosen to represent Claims 1-20 as the rest stand or fall with the claim:</span></p> <p> <strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">“1. A water detector comprising:</span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 45.4pt 0pt 0.75in;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-size: medium;">      </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">a housing;</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 45.4pt 0pt 0.75in;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-size: medium;">      </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">flow connectors carried by the housing including a spin-on female pipe connector at an inflow end and a spin-on male pipe connector at an outflow end;</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 45.4pt 0pt 0.75in;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-size: medium;">      </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">at least one water presence sensor carried by the housing;</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 45.4pt 0pt 0.75in;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-size: medium;">      </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">an electrically actuatable valve, carried by the housing, and having first and second states; and</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0in 45.4pt 0pt 0.75in;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-size: medium;">      </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">control circuits, carried by the housing, coupled to the sensor and valve, and, responsive to a leakage indicating signal from the sensor, the circuits actuate the valve causing it to change state wherein the control circuits detect flood conditions, shut off a malfunctioning water branch to a home appliance and communicate to a premises alarm communication device or home automation system via a wireless link and wherein the water detector is configured to be reliable installed by an untrained installer or a homeowner and to not require the services of a plumber or electrician to perform installation, thereby permitting widespread and cost effective adoption.</span></span></strong></p> <p> <span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">The examiner challenged the “metes and bounds” of McAward’s invention, which according to the examiner were not clearly defined within Claim 1. Rather than providing additional description of the invention being claimed, McAward’s claim further describes the skill level required to utilize the apparatus by stating that the water detector is “configured to be reliably installed by an untrained installer or a homeowner and to not require the services of a plumber and cost effective adoption.” The language does not capture the structure of the invention. There is no language specifically claiming the subject matter. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Furthermore, it is claimed that no tools are needed for installation, but including this quality does not further describe the apparatus’s structure because it does not specify which tools are not needed. Again, rather than specifying the structure of the invention, the claim refers to the minimal skill level needed to utilize the invention. It is also noted that a “homeowner” can easily install the apparatus; however, a “homeowner” encompasses a varied collection of people who represent a wide range of skills. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">In addition to the aforementioned points, Claims 1-7 and 10-20 were rendered unpatentable over the combined teachings of Walter (US 7,549,435) and Kaplan (US 7,403,839). McAward’s claimed water detector comprises “a housing [and] flow connectors carried by the housing including a spin-on female pipe connector at an inflow end and a spin-on male pipe connector at an outflow end.” Per the patent Examiner, Walter “fail[s] to explicitly show or teach the limitations wherein the flow connectors include ‘a spin-on female pipe connector at an inflow end and a spin-on male pipe connector on an outflow end’” but “it would have been obvious to modify the flow connections of the device of Walter to be ‘spin-on’ connectors...”</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">Furthermore, the patent Examiner found that the process of wireless communication to a remote device forewarning a possible flood was well known in the art, and states that “it would have been obvious ‘to use wireless communication in the device of Walter to allow remote and convenient wireless communication between the control module of the valve and a remote monitoring system, as it is taught by Kaplan” (19). </span></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">For the above reasons, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed the patent Office’s decisions of rendering Claims 1-20 as indefinite, and Claims 1-7 and 10-20 as unpatentable for being obvious. </span></p> <p> <span style="color: #5b9bd5; line-height: 150%; font-size: 14pt; mso-themecolor: accent1; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;">Conclusion</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;">The USPTO is responsible for ensuring that each patent clearly defines what is claimed so that other inventors are aware of where their patents’ boundaries lie. After being considered indefinite, a process is initiated during which the applicant has the opportunity to respond with amendments or evidence that the patent claims are sufficiently definite. Doing so in turn ensures that the rights gained through the patent are consistent with the inventor’s contribution to the field, and that the public seeking to invent have a clear understanding of what has already been done.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;" align="left"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Full <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ex parte McAward</em></span><span style="font-size: medium;"> decision can be read here: <a href="https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Ex%20parte%20McAward%202017_08_25.pdf">https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Ex%20parte%20McAward%202017_08_25.pdf</a> </span></span></p> <p> </p>
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  • staff9/27/2017 5:12:07 PM

    CIONCA - Patent and Trademark Law Attorney

    <p>CIONCA Law Group P.C. has launched a TV advertising campaign in Orange County, California. The TV Ad below has played on Fox News, CNN, CNBC (including the Shark Tank show) and Discovery cable channels.</p> <p>We hope you'll watch the video below and send us your feedback.</p> <p>As always, since 2009, we are here to assist with any patent and trademark law matters you may have.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>
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  • Staff9/28/2017 7:27:22 PM

    CIONCA

    <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: small;">Pictured above: IP Legal Secretary Beverly Ramos and Patent Agent Iris Kim in attendance at the SCORE 5<sup>th</sup> Annual Women Business Owners Conference</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large; line-height: 150%;">CIONCA IP Law Attends 5<sup>th</sup> Annual Women Business Owners Conference</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">On September 28, 2017, we had the opportunity to attend the 5th Annual Women Business Owners Conference at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove, California. The event provided an inspirational environment for all business owners, especially women. A variety of exhibitors made their way to the conference, ranging from jewelry producers and marketing agencies to financial advisors and college representatives. All exhibitors were given great collaborative and learning opportunities.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In addition to the networking benefits, the conference hosted a number of brilliant keynote speakers. The importance of networking and self-presentation was demonstrated by the knowledgeable Liz Goodgold of <a href="http://www.redfirebranding.com/">REDfire Branding</a>, whose interactive talk allowed participants to experience proper networking skills for themselves. Afterwards, Lisa Nguyen of the <a href="https://www.senhoa.org/">Senhoa Foundation</a> shared her story of how community service can become a driving force in nurturing your small business into a tremendous success. A wonderful talk was also given by <a href="https://www.corpnet.com/">CorpNet</a> Founder Nellie Akalp, whose business is proof that starting small has its advantages towards competing against bigger companies.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The rewarding event was organized by SCORE, whom we proudly sponsor. SCORE is a nonprofit organization aiming to help small businesses flourish, and as a small business always seeking growth ourselves, we understand the importance of support and building strong relationships. SCORE provides many services for the developing entrepreneur, such as mentoring, tools, and workshops. For more information on SCORE, please visit <a href="https://www.score.org/">https://www.score.org/</a>.</p>
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Marin Cionca, Esq.

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