1. Assignor Estoppel & Inter-Partes Review: Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc.

    Posted on 13.11.18 William Reid, on Articles, News and Events, Patent Related Court Rulings

    Arista Networks, Inc. (Arista) petitioned for an IPR of Cisco Systems, Inc.’s (“Cisco”) patent, U.S. 7,340,597, relating to protecting computer network systems from outside attack using a logging module.[1] Claims 1 and 29 are as follows:

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  2. Stone Basket Innovations v. Cook Medical LLC : When Is a Case “Exceptional” for the Purposes of §285?

    Posted on 26.06.18 William Reid, on Patent Related Court Rulings, Patent Resources

    Stone Basket Innovations (SBI) sued Cook Medical LLC (Cook) for infringement of its patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,551,327 (‘327 Patent) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.[1]  Subsequently, the case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Southern District).[2]  The subject patent related to stone extraction medical devices for removing stones from biological systems, and contained elements directed to a “support filament,” “a handle comprising a sheath moving element,” and a “collapsible wire basket.”[3]  At deposition, in a moment that SBI’s attorneys’ will probably dream of again and again in a kind of horrible Groundhog Day remake, when questioned about the addition of the sheath movement element during prosecution, the inventor of the ‘327 replied, “I realize there is nothing novel about it.”[4]  Yikes!  But this is exactly what happened in Stone Basket Innovations, LLC v. Cook Medical LLC, 2017-2330 (Fed. Cir. June 11, 2018).

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  3. Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents – 2017, Part I: Catalytic Compositions/Synthesis

    Posted on 15.06.18 William Reid, on Articles, Patent Trends & Activity

    One technique for categorizing patents related to Fluid Catalytic Cracking is to group them in certain categories:  those related to catalyst zeolite, matrix or the catalyst per se, their synthesis or crossover patents directed to additive/FCC catalyst systems; catalyst additives per se, such as metals passivation catalysts, octane additives or combustion promoters; reactor internals; regenerator internals; FCC-related process conditions, operations, and treatment of FCC feed or products; or incorporation of the FCC in a broader process, and ancillary FCC-related processes.  In 2017, there was a concentration in the final category, with lighter representation in all other areas.

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  4. From A[pple] to Z[eroclick]: The Federal Circuit Overrules District Court in Zeroclick, LLC v. Apple, Inc.

    Posted on 11.06.18 William Reid, on Patent Related Court Rulings, Patent Trends & Activity, Recent News & Articles

    In Zeroclick, LLC v. Apple Inc., 2017-1267 (Fed. Cir. June 1, 2018), the Federal Circuit overruled the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for improperly interpreting claims regarding the application of 35 U.S.C. §112, ¶ 6.  The case related to an appeal from an action where Zeroclick had sued Apple for infringement of claims 2 and 52 of U.S. Patent No. 7,818,691 (‘691 Patent) and claim 19 of U.S. Patent No. 8,549,443 (‘443 Patent).  The district court had found the claims invalid as being indefinite.[1]  The court had construed the claims as reciting means-plus-function elements but did not find correspondingly sufficient structure in the specification.[2]

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  5. Steve Jobs: Think Different, Think About the Box

    Posted on 23.05.18 William Reid, on Articles, Patent Trends & Activity

    In the world of electronics, no one has appreciated and successfully employed the importance of the integration of packaging design and engineering, like Apple.  Everyone in the field of intellectual property are aware of the considerable number of utility patents owned by Apple.  What they may not be as familiar with is their activity in the area of design patents.  As described in the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, this has been due in large part to the relationship between designer, Jonathan Ive, and the brilliant Steve Jobs.  The book points out that in contrast to the typical engineering-driven design of products in most companies, at Apple, product and packaging design involves an iterative conversation between the designers and engineers to find elegant simplicity:

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  6. Strong Nonobviousness Push-Back to the District Court for the District of Delaware Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc.

    Posted on 28.07.17 William Reid, on Articles, Patent Related Court Rulings

    In Millenium Pharmaceuticals Inc., v. Sandoz Inc., 2015-2066, 2016-1008, 2016-1009, 2016-1010, 2016-1283, 2016-1762 (Fed. Cir. July 17, 2017), the Federal Circuit pulled no punches in overruling the Districts Court’s finding of patent invalidity for U.S. Patent No. 6,713,446 (446 Patent), exclusively licensed by Millennium.  The case related to Velcade®, used in chemotherapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma.  Such was the drug’s effectiveness that it “changed the decades-old standard of care for multiple myeloma and has saved thousands of lives.

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  7. Bobbing For Apples: Claim Construction in ContentGuard v. Apple

    Posted on 25.07.17 William Reid, on Articles

    In a nonprecedential, but nevertheless interesting case concerning several patents related to digital rights management for computers and other devices, the Federal Circuit in ContentGuard Holdings, Inc., v. Apple Inc., 2016-1916, 2016-2007 (Fed. Cir. July 12, 2017), agreed with the District Court’s construction of the claims, where both Parties’ proposed constructions had been rejected.1 The suit involved several of ContentGuard’s patents: U.S. Patent No. 6,963,859 (859 Patent), U.S. 7,823,072 (072 Patent), U.S. Patent No. 8,370,956 (956 Patent), U.S. Patent No. 8,393,007 (007 Patent), and U.S. Patent No. 8,001,053 (053 Patent), and alleged infringement by Apple.2 Ultimately, the District Court entered final judgement in favor of Apple.3

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  8. Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents – 2016, Part III: Light Olefins Production

    Posted on 22.05.17 William Reid, on Articles, Patent Trends & Activity

    Conventional techniques available to refiners having FCC units for increasing light olefin production (not employing significant capital expense), have included: (1) catalyst approaches, such as reducing the unit cell size of the Y-zeolite used, or employing octane additives to crack naphtha range material to light olefins; (2) modifying operating conditions to drive conversion levels up and increase olefinicities; and (3) combining hardware modifications and alternative feedstocks. This last option includes processing large amounts/quantities of Light Straight-Run Naphtha (LSN), Light Coke Naphtha (LCN) and Natural Gas Condensate (Liquid – NGL). Some new technologies are also available, however, due to the heat-balance constraints imposed by the processing of large quantities of light feedstocks, changes to the process and to hardware have been necessitated. To date, there have only been a very few of these units built and operated and the others are still in the R&D stage as there are still considerable issues with their development that need to be sorted-out/worked through.

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  9. The IP Manager’s Playbook: Leveraging the Tools of the USPTO, Part II – Track One – When There is a Need for Speed

    Posted on 02.05.17 William Reid, on Articles, IP Manager's Playbook, Patent Resources

    This is the second article in a series related to programs initiated by the Patent Office to assist patent practitioners; for part one in this series, Awaiting the Return of P3, Click Here. This article discusses the Track One program. Track One is one of three programs directed to expediting the front end of patent prosecution. Besides Track One, the other programs include the patent prosecution highway and Accelerated Examination. The value of these programs is evident when one considers that total prosecution time is dominated by the time waiting to receive an Office Action. In fact, this time amounts to over 60% of the total prosecution time. So, any effort to reduce overall patent prosecution time must affect the time awaiting the first office action. Track One addresses this. The saved time translates to earlier issue dates, which can aid the client in terms of licensing opportunities, or in blocking the patent applications of the client’s competitors, and potentially reduce prosecution costs.

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  10. Enhanced Oil Recovery Patents – 2016 (Part 2) Radiation-Assisted Oil Recovery

    Posted on 13.04.17 William Reid, on Articles, Patent Resources, Patent Trends & Activity

    Enhanced oil recovery techniques can loosely be grouped into methods conducted at ambient temperatures and those at high temperature. Ambient temperature methods include techniques using water flooding, solvent or surfactant injection, and cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS). High-temperature techniques function by heating recoverable material in the reservoir to lower its viscosity and improve flowability. Such techniques typically use steam, i.e., steam injection in various ways, although radiation assisted oil recovery would also fall into this group. However, while conventional heat treatments using steam are effective, they can sometimes result in a wastewater stream that is not desirable. While radiation techniques may additionally utilize other injectable streams, they need not rely on a separate heat-input stream to transfer heat, so typically don’t generate the wastewater streams characteristic of steam injection.

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