Bottom line: Software patent specifications require disclosure of an algorithm for all means-plus-function limitations. Otherwise, the claim may be invalid for being indefinite. The problem may not be related solely to means limitations since a non-means limitation could be impliedly construed as a means-plus-function limitation even without using the trigger word … [Read more...]
Patent infringement defenses
Patent infringement defenses are those defenses that avoid or reduce liability for patent infringement after patent infringement is established by the patent owner.
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Development of new product lines Businesses track new products and developments of their competitors. They attend trade shows, receive information from mutual clients about new products offered by others. In response, companies may attempt to introduce a competitive alternative. In doing so, they may reverse engineer (i.e., purchase and take apart) their competitors … [Read more...]
Under § 286, a defendant’s liability for patent infringement is limited to the preceding six years. Laches used to be a defense that would cut that six year time period even shorter. However, in SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC (S. Ct. 2017), the Supreme Court held that laches is no longer a defense to patent infringement. This means that the six year … [Read more...]
Under Section 271(a), activities considered to be infringing a patent when performed wholly in the United States may be transformed into non-infringing activities if some of those activities are performed outside of the United States. In this sense, a company’s global operations may help the company to avoid patent infringement liability. 35 USC Section 271(a) states … [Read more...]
In AGIS, Inc. v. Life360, Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 28, 2016), AGIS (patent owner) held a patent directed to a cellular communication system that allows multiple cellular phone users to monitor the location of others and their status via a visual display. Symbols generated on the visual display (e.g., user’s cellular phone) represented the locations of the other users. In the … [Read more...]
Bottom line: A claim with a means plus function limitation may invalidate the claim if the claim and the specification are not properly drafted. As such, it may be prudent to avoid language that implicates means plus function such as solely functional language and the operative trigger term “means.” Moreover, this case (Media Rights Technologies v. Capital One Financial … [Read more...]
What is a patent study? At a minimum, a patent study is a review of an issued patent to check for the patent’s term, a check to determine whether maintenance fees have been paid, a review of the claims to formulate an opinion on claim scope, a review the patent’s specification and a check to determine whether other parent and child applications exist as well as foreign … [Read more...]
Bottom line: Under Williamson v. Citrix Online (en banc Fed. Cir. 2015), the Federal Circuit, en banc, lowered the standard back to the pre-2004 standard for when a claim limitation is to be construed as a means plus function (MPF) limitation even when the patent drafter did not intend the claim limitation to be construed as a MPF limitation, thereby increasing the odds that a … [Read more...]