New England IP Blog

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

Patrick Niedermeier

Patrick Niedermeier

Patent Counsel

Patrick J. Niedermeier is Patent Counsel in the Litigation Department and Intellectual Property Group.

Patrick represents clients from large corporations to start-up entities before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is experienced in all phases of patent prosecution, including accelerated examination, provisional filings, continuation practice, appeal briefing, design patents and foreign patent strategy. He also has prosecuted several trademark filings to registration.

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Supreme Court Opens the Floodgates for Foreign Lost Profits Damages

In a 7-2 decision issued late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patentees can recover damages resulting from the exportation of certain components to foreign jurisdictions, where those components are then incorporated into an infringing system used outside of the United States.  The Court’s decision reversed a Federal Circuit ruling that the patent … Continue Reading

USPTO Updates Patent Eligibility Guidance in View of Federal Circuit Berkheimer Opinion

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued a memorandum to its patent examining corps that changes the way examiners should evaluate the question of whether a claim element is “well-understood, routine, conventional” when making a § 101 eligibility determination.  The changes outlined in the memo were prompted by the recent Federal Circuit decision … Continue Reading

Court Makes Motion to Dismiss in Trademark Dispute Magically Disappear

A basic tenet of litigation is that the court must have personal jurisdiction over the parties to the case.  In one recent decision, an out-of-state defendant in a trademark infringement dispute could not use a motion to dismiss to escape from the reach of the District of Connecticut court.  The court found sufficient evidence to show that it had personal … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Holds That IPR Time-Bar Determinations Can Be Appealed

Earlier this week, the Federal Circuit issued an en banc opinion in Wi-Fi One v. Broadcom that holds the PTAB’s determinations of whether an IPR petition was timely filed under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) are appealable.  In reaching this decision, the en banc court overruled an earlier panel’s decision that such time-bar determinations are final and nonappealable … Continue Reading

First-to-File Rule Brings Venue of Camera Patent Fight into Focus

Federal courts have long honored the age-old principle of “first come, first served”—when presented with two competing lawsuits involving the same parties in different courts, priority is generally awarded to the first-filed lawsuit with a few, specifically-defined exceptions.  In one recent decision, a Massachusetts court shuttered a declaratory judgment plaintiff’s request for resolution of the … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Court Bounces Untimely Extrinsic Evidence in Claim Construction Phase

In order to carry out the “just, speedy, and inexpensive determination” of the cases before them, courts rely on scheduling orders to ensure that cases move forward in a timely and efficient manner.  In patent cases, where there are several complex phases—including claim construction and expert depositions—the deadlines set forth in the scheduling order must … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Decides to Transfer Case in View of TC Heartland Venue Standard

Less than two months ago, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Group Brands LLC—which significantly changed the way that venue in patent infringement cases would be determined.  Under TC Heartland, infringement actions can only be filed where the defendant is incorporated, or where the defendant has committed acts of … Continue Reading

Some Cardiac Monitoring Patents Beat Alice Challenge, While Others Fail to Survive

In the time since Alice changed the landscape of patent eligibility for certain types of inventions, the Federal Circuit has begun pumping out opinions interpreting this landmark Supreme Court case. The expanding body of law has enabled lower courts to find their rhythm when utilizing the Alice test to determine subject matter eligibility. In one recent … Continue Reading

Court Denies Attempt to Prevent “Plain and Ordinary” Claim Construction Proposals

The presumption that claim terms should be interpreted using their plain and ordinary meaning, absent express intent to the contrary, has long been a staple in claim construction. Parties often submit proposed constructions that ask the court to give certain terms their ordinary and customary meaning—the meaning that the terms would have to those skilled in … Continue Reading

Mobile Payment Patent Remains Legal Tender after Alice Challenge

In the post-Alice world, patents that relate in any material way to financial processes or systems have come under increased attacks in the early stages of infringement litigation—as defendants aim to secure a cheap and fast exit from the controversy. While such challenges are often successful, such an outcome is not guaranteed. In one recent case, a … Continue Reading

Even in Light of Reexam, Court Declines to Stay Brite-Strike Patent Litigation

For defendants in patent infringement cases, the strategy of filing for reexamination of the patent-in-suit with the U.S. Patent Office is a common tactic to short-circuit costly litigation—as defendants typically request a stay of the litigation while the reexam proceeds. Such stays, however, are not automatic but instead left up to the court’s discretion. In … Continue Reading

Court Throws Out Back Massager Trade Dress Infringement Claims on Motion to Dismiss

As the first-filed paper in nearly any litigation, the complaint is typically subject to rigorous scrutiny from the named defendant to identify any flaws that may dispatch the case via a motion to dismiss. A plaintiff in the District of Connecticut recently felt this pain, as its complaint was dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) for failing … Continue Reading

Clean Bill of Health for Tuberculosis Testing Patents in Eligibility Challenge

After the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Alice, Mayo, and Myriad that narrowed the bounds of patentable subject matter, defendants have routinely asked courts to invalidate patents in certain technology areas—such as software and biotechnology—as patent ineligible. A recent decision out of the District of Massachusetts offers a prescription for success for patentees in surviving such an eligibility challenge. In … Continue Reading

Accused Infringer Secures Patent Invalidity in Eyeglass Screw Case

Declaratory judgment actions can be a useful way for entities threatened with patent infringement to go on the offensive.  In one such matter in the District of Massachusetts, a declaratory judgment plaintiff turned the tables on a patentee by invalidating two patents relating to eyeglass screw technology at the summary judgment stage.… Continue Reading

Forecast Unfavorable for Inventory Software Patent

Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank shifted the contours of patent-eligible subject matter, district courts have wielded the two-part test set forth in that decision to dispatch scores of business method patents as being directed to unpatentable abstract ideas.  In a recent example, the Massachusetts district court invalidated a patent … Continue Reading

Laches Defense Loses its Luster in LED Patent Dispute

In determining whether a laches defense applies to thwart a claim of patent infringement, courts must often shine a light upon murky and complicated factual scenarios. A Massachusetts court recently navigated such a scenario in granting the plaintiff’s motion for judgment, deciding that the complex web of facts did not support a defense of laches … Continue Reading

Franchisee Can’t Work Its Way Out of Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract Litigation on Jurisdictional Grounds

An out-of-state franchisee sought to escape the reach of the Massachusetts District Court in a breach of contract and trademark infringement litigation filed by its Massachusetts-based franchisor. But, the parties quickly discovered that the Court is primed to flex its muscles when deciding jurisdictional questions presented in the franchisee’s motion to dismiss.… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Jury Verdict Stands After Court Ruling on Laches

A Massachusetts court recently denied defendant Kaz’s motions for judgment on the defenses of laches and equitable estoppel, letting stand an earlier jury verdict that found Kaz had infringed Exergen’s patents for temporal thermometers.  As we previously reported, the verdict awarded the plaintiff almost $15 million in damages.… Continue Reading

Plaintiff Secures Sweeping Jury Verdict in Hotly-Contested Patent Fight

In a long-running patent fight involving two medical device manufacturers, a Massachusetts jury determined last week that the defendant Kaz had infringed two of plaintiff Exergen’s patents relating to temporal thermometers, and that the patents are not invalid. The jury also awarded Exergen nearly $15 million in damages.… Continue Reading

Defendant’s Argument to Exclude Damages Theory Heads in the Wrong Direction

Although courts and commentators have turned up the heat on the entire market value rule (EMVR) in recent years, it can be a useful tool for a patentee to obtain significant damages where the evidence shows that the patented feature is the basis of consumer demand for the accused product. Thus, defendants often try to … Continue Reading

Plaintiff Avoids Headache of Having Its Thermometer Patent Invalidated at Summary Judgment

In a recent District of Massachusetts case, a defendant attempted to use the crucible of summary judgment to invalidate the plaintiff’s body temperature detection patents. But, as shown in the Court’s ruling, sometimes that strategy does not produce the desired results.… Continue Reading

In Trademark Dispute, New Hampshire School Website Address Not Taken For Granite

New Hampshire is commonly referred to as the Granite State.  In one recent trademark infringement case, however, a federal court in New Hampshire did not find a likelihood of consumer confusion between website addresses for competing trade schools, where one school uses the term “NH” and the other uses the term “Granite State.”… Continue Reading
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