• Vanda v. West-Ward: This Time, Dosage Adjustment Claims are Patent Eligible Subject Matter

    The Federal Circuit’s decision in Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, No. 2016-2707, addresses the complicated topic of patent eligibility in the pharmaceutical space. Much of the decision compares Vanda’s claims to those found ineligible for patent protection in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, 132 S. Ct. 1289 (2012). While the ultimate patentability conclusions are opposite, the claims in Vanda and Mayo are very…

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  • Microsoft, Corel, and the “Article of Manufacture”

    Microsoft, Corel, and the “Article of Manufacture”

    Guest Post by Sarah Burstein, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law (Tweet @design_law)

    Microsoft v. Corel, Order Regarding Post-Trial Motions (N.D. Cal. 2018)

    A district judge recently issued a decision that—if affirmed by the Federal Circuit—could have major implications for design patent law and policy.

    Microsoft accused Corel of infringing five utility patents and four design patents. The four design patents all claimed designs for particular elements of the Microsoft Office graphical user interface (GUI). The images below show each of the claimed designs, along with a corresponding image of an accused product (images source: Microsoft’s complaint):

    Corel initially denied infringing these design patents but, early last year, it amended its answer to admit infringement and dismiss most of its defenses, stating that, “to properly develop and prove out those defenses will simply cost more than the damages could rationally be in this case.” By the time of trial, the only remaining issues were damages, whether Corel had pre-suit notice of three of the design patents, and willfulness.

    Continue reading Microsoft, Corel, and the “Article of Manufacture” at Patently-O.

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  • Infighting at Nigeria’s main collecting society raises CMO governance issues

    On 30thApril 2018, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) suspended the licence of music collecting society, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) stating that the suspension was consequent upon COSON’s “continued failure and/or refusal” to comply with NCC’s earlier issued directive. The NCC had directed COSON not to give effect to the resolutions taken at COSON’s meeting of 19 December 2017 except the resolution on distribution of royalties to members.

    This suspension comes on the heels of Afroleopa’s views expressed in this IPKatguest post on the infighting at COSON and the powers of the NCC as sector regulator. As Afroleopa had opined, the powers of the NCC in relation to the issues at stake regarding COSON include the power to suspend the licence of a collecting society by virtue of the CMO Regulations.


    It is no longer news that despite these directives from the NCC, Mr Tony Okoroji (the purportedly reinstated COSON Chairman) had gone ahead to conduct an Annual General Meeting of COSON on 10th May 2018 and contrary to the NCC’s directive, ratified the resolutions reached at the meeting of 19thDecember 2017.

    In the circumstances, COSON’s governance challenges show no sign of abating. However, while it is expected that the suspension will move COSON to regroup and take the necessary steps to put its affairs in order for the benefit of its members who are right-holders, it is pertinent to note the suspension of COSON’s operatinglicence may not be the panacea to its problems. For one, COSON is the exclusive assignee of performing rights assigned to it by its members. In essence, COSON is the monopoly publisher of the performing right in Nigeria. As the Nigerian member of the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC), pursuant to its Matrix User Tools Agreements, COSON remains the owner of the world’s performing rights in Nigeria. Its membership of CISAC guarantees it access to the CIS-Net database (a network of database for sharing works metadata) as well as monopoly control in Nigeria to issue all of the requisite qualifiers and identifiers such as International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC), the Tune Code, the Interested Party Name Number (IPN#) and the Interested Parties Information system (IPI), which inter alia forms the basis for determining authorship and ownership of musical works and literary works (where songs have words) and by extension, accrued royalties and members entitled to such royalties. CISAC does not require its members to be accredited by their national sector regulator. 

    Corollary to the foregoing, COSON’s suspension may not have the desired impact in its operations. Ironically, COSON’s crusade against the MCSN may have succeeded in procuring judicial precedent that may help the Tony Okoroji-led COSON. Nigerian courts have held in several decided cases that an exclusive assignee of copyrights do not require collecting society license in order to enforce such rights.

    That said; the NCC’s directive regarding COSON’s bank accounts might achieve the desired results if the NCC is able to procure a freeze on COSON’s bank accounts such that the current COSON Board can no longer incur expenses until the dispute is resolved. IP blogger, Victor Nzomo has indicated that he is conducting research into the best way for African countries to tackle CMOs’ governance issues and the form such regulations may take. Afroleopa opines that such research agenda should inform CMO regulations all over Africa and the rest of the world.

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  • Written Description Support for Claimed Range Requires More than Broad Disclosure

    Appellant General Hospital Corp. (“GHC”) appealed the Board’s dismissal of an interference because the claims of its involved patent application lacked sufficient written description. The disclosure of a wide range with exemplary values does not provide written description support for a narrower claimed range, absent something to indicate the claimed range was considered critical or that inventor was in possession of the specific claimed embodiments. The Board cannot reject a motion to add a…

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  • In re BigCommerce, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2018)

    By Kevin E. Noonan — The proper application of the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC (2017), under recent Federal Circuit precedent (see In re Cray, Inc.) continues to be explicated in the district courts. The most recent episode in this continuing saga is a mandamus order handed down by the Federal Circuit today in In re BigCommerce, Inc. Specifically, the Court held: [W]e hold that for purposes of determining venue under § 1400(b) in a state having multiple judicial districts,…

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  • 逆位相/逆相



    $$ For balanced operation, opposed pairs of expansion pistons may operate in anti-phase. / バランスが取れた作動を…

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  • Venue in Multi-District States

    by Dennis Crouch

    The same panel that recently decided In re ZTE (Fed. Cir. May 14, 2018) (Judges Reyna, Linn, and Hughes) have now also decided another improper venue mandamus action: In re BigCommerce, Inc. (Fed. Cir. May 15, 2018).

    BigCommerce focuses on the issue of proper venue in multi-district states. The potential confusion comes from the Supreme Court’s central holding in TC Heartland that “a domestic corporation ‘resides’ only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.” BigCommerce is a Texas Company, but its HQ is in Austin (E.D.Texas) and argues that the Supreme Court’s statement was incomplete.  Now, on mandamus, the Federal Circuit has sided with BigCommerce — holding that the rule is more nuanced for multi-venue states.

    [A] domestic corporation incorporated in a state having multiple judicial districts “resides” for
    purposes of the patent-specific venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), only in the single judicial district within that state where it maintains a principal place of business, or failing that, the judicial district in which its registered office is located.

    Thus, the outcome here is that E.D.Texas is an improper venue for BigCommerce under 28 U.S.C.

    Continue reading Venue in Multi-District States at Patently-O.

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  • Eligibility Fails: Improving the Physical Realm vs. Improving an Abstract Idea

    Eligibility Fails: Improving the Physical Realm vs. Improving an Abstract Idea

    by Dennis Crouch

    In SAP America v. InvestPic (Fed. Cir. 2018), the court repeated a number of well known maxims regarding patent eligibility:

    • Even if the underlying invention is “‘[g]roundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant,’ . . . that is not enough for eligibility.”  Quoting Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 576, 591 (2013).
    • Nor is it enough for subject-matter eligibility that claimed techniques be novel and nonobvious in light of prior art, passing muster under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 103. See Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 566 U.S. 66, 89–90 (2012); Synopsys, Inc. v. Mentor Graphics Corp., 839 F.3d 1138, 1151 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (“[A] claim for a new abstract idea is still an abstract idea. The search for a § 101 inventive concept is thus distinct from demonstrating § 102 novelty.”)

    InvestPic sued SAP for infringing its patented method of analyzing investment information. U.S. Patent No. 6,349,291. Claim 1 reads as follows:

    1. A method for calculating, analyzing and displaying investment data comprising the steps of: (a) selecting a sample space, wherein the
    sample space includes at least one investment
    data sample; (b) generating a distribution function using a re-sampled statistical method and a bias parameter, wherein the bias parameter determines a degree of randomness in a resampling process; and, (c) generating a plot of the distribution function.

    Continue reading Eligibility Fails: Improving the Physical Realm vs. Improving an Abstract Idea at Patently-O.

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  • USPTO Announces Recipients of 2017 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate

    From USPTO: Alexandria, VA– The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the recipients of the 2017 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate in recognition of individuals who help make the Patent Pro Bono Program available to financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses.

    In 2017 more than 85 volunteer patent practitioners reported 50 or more hours of patent pro bono service to a regional patent pro bono program. To acknowledge their contributions, USPTO provided certificates and listed their names and employers on the Patent Pro Bono Program website.

    “I want to congratulate the recipients for their dedication, time, and commitment they’ve demonstrated in an effort to help spur innovation on behalf of under-resourced inventors and small businesses,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu. “Their assistance is crucial not only to the success of our Patent Pro Bono Program, but the success of our nation toward inspiring innovation across the country, and ensures that everyone who has the desire is given the opportunity.”

    The continued efforts of patent practitioners across the country have strengthened the success of the Patent Pro Bono Program since 2015.

    Continue reading USPTO Announces Recipients of 2017 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate at Patently-O.

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  • Quote of the Day

    The machine-or-transformation test may well provide a sufficient basis for evaluating processes similar to those in the Industrial Age—for example, inventions grounded in a physical or other tangible form. But there are reasons to doubt whether the test should be the sole criterion for determining the patentability of inventions in the Information Age. As numerous […]

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  • Director Iancu worries current state of Section 101 ‘weakens the robustness of our IP system’

    Director Iancu: “But for our purposes what I know for a fact is that in order to incentivize American innovation whether it’s artificial intelligence, DNA processing, or anything else we need to have a robust predictable reliable intellectual property system here at home. And I do worry that the current state of Section 101 in patentable subject matter weakens the robustness of our IP system in the affected areas. And if industry cannot predict in a relatively reliable way whether their…

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