New England IP Blog

Covering intellectual property developments in New England, and other developments that impact New England companies.

Three Years of Alice: Federal Circuit Cases Upholding Patent Eligibility Under Alice Step 2

This post follows our previous post summarizing Federal Circuit cases upholding software patent claims on Alice Step 1 grounds.  Here, Step 2 decisions are explored in more detail, with a focus on additional lessons learned during the Step 2 analysis.

Surviving Step 2—which requires that the claims include “significantly more” than the abstract idea itself—often hinges on a factor that is found in, but is typically not the focus of, the Step 1 cases: whether the claim elements give rise to an inventive concept when considered as an ordered combination, including how the elements function in the particular arrangement claimed.  Indeed, at least three of the four cases below depend on the “ordered combination” analysis, showing that this is a key hallmark of patent eligibility on Step 2 grounds. Continue Reading

Court Extinguishes Parties’ Motions to Strike in LED Patent Dispute

Although motions to strike are generally difficult to win, when successful they can significantly dim the opposing party’s prospects for victory on particular claims or defenses.  In one recent patent infringement action out of Massachusetts, each party moved to strike certain elements of the other side’s pleadings–but the Court quickly snuffed out the dueling motions. Continue Reading

BPLA Panel with Judge Young on Reverse Payments after Actavis

On October 26, the Boston Patent Law Association will host a panel featuring Judge William Young to discuss the legal landscape following the Supreme Court’s  2014 opinion in Actavis v. FTC. In that case, the Supreme Court held that large and unexplained payments in the settlement of Hatch-Waxman patent lawsuits may raise antitrust issues. The BPLA panel is expected to discuss these “pay-for-delay” cases and tips for settling Hatch-Waxman litigation. More information about the panel can be found here.

 

Three Years of Alice: Federal Circuit Cases Upholding Patent Eligibility Under Alice Step 1

It has now been over three years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its transformative patent decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank.  During that time, the Federal Circuit has issued only a precious few decisions upholding the validity of software patent claims.  Thus, it is critical that patent applicants and practitioners understand the lessons that these cases offer and the hallmarks of software patent eligibility they establish.  While clear eligibility rules remain elusive, the cases that have been decided provide valuable guideposts for drafting patent applications moving forward. Continue Reading

Subpoenas on Customers Blocked in MRI Patent Case

In a recent multi-district case involving patent infringement allegations relating to MRI imaging, Judge Stearns granted motions for protective orders directed to untimely-served subpoenas on third party customers. The case stems from an action filed by NeuroGrafix and others against Brainlab, Inc., Brainlab AG, and Brainlab Medzinische Computersysteme GmbH (collectively, “Brainlab”), among other defendants, alleging infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 5,560,360, related to a neurography system. Continue Reading

Barbic to Host Webinar on Recent Patent Eligibility Decisions

Recent decisions in patent cases from the Supreme Court, Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continue to shape the patent litigation landscape. Additionally, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) occasionally updates its patent eligibility guidance to illustrate how patent examiners should evaluate claims for patent subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. On Thursday, September 28, Proskauer’s Andrej Barbic will be hosting a webinar addressing some of the more significant developments with respect to patent eligibility, with a focus on the impact on the life sciences industry. The webinar is through the Knowledge Group and is scheduled for Thursday, September 28, 2017, from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST.

Judge Talwani Dismisses Diagnostic Patent Infringement Case under Section 101

In a recent patent infringement case relating to a method for diagnosing a neuro-muscular disorder, Judge Indira Talwani in the District of Massachusetts found the asserted patent claims to be patent ineligible because the claims were directed to a naturally occurring interaction. The case involved Athena Diagnostics and its licensees who sought to enforce U.S. Patent No. 7,267,820 (the “‘820 patent”) against Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC, d/b/a Mayo Medical Laboratories, and Mayo Clinic (“Mayo”). At the outset, Mayo moved to dismiss the complaint alleging that the ‘820 patent was patent-ineligible for applying well-known techniques to a law of nature. Continue Reading

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