From the USPTO Director’s Forum Blog on Monday, December 15, 2014:
Following the valuable feedback that we received from the public through written comments and multiple public meetings over the last several months, we are issuing new examination guidance on subject matter eligibility under § 101 in view of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Alice Corp., Myriad, and Mayo. You can find the guidance in a Federal Register notice officially published on December 16, 2014, entitled “2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility.” Claim examples have been developed to illustrate the analysis set forth in the guidance. A set of examples relating to nature-based products are posted on the USPTO website and a set of examples relating to abstract ideas will be released shortly. This guidance is the latest –but not necessarily the last –iteration of our ongoing implementation of these Supreme Court decisions….
First, the guidance explains the USPTO’s interpretation of subject matter eligibility requirements in view of the Alice Corp., Myriad, and Mayo Supreme Court decisions and sets forth an integrated approach for patent examiners in making determinations regarding subject matter eligibility. This guidance incorporates principles emphasized in Alice Corp. and provides more details than our initial examination instructions issued immediately after the Alice Corp. decision.
Second, the guidance reflects a significant change from the examination guidance previously issued in response to Myriad and Mayo. The changes were triggered by the feedback we solicited and received from the public, as well as refinements necessitated by the Alice Corp. decision.
U.S. Patent Appl. Pub. No. 20080299533: Naughty or nice meter.
JW Note: Wishing a Happy Holidays to all! See you in 2015!
For more holiday TIW? from years past, click here.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:
Undoubtedly, the abstract and background show the uniqueness of the product of this invention. The “Naughty or Nice Meter”, although initiated from the Christmas Holiday season, is a product that allows a visual representation of being “Naughty or Nice”. The product honors and exemplifies the time-honored traditional saying as to whether you have been “Naughty or Nice”. It also transcends the original Christmas Holiday Season to all Holiday seasons and perhaps even birthdays or even a day-to-day “Naughty or Nice Meter.” It could not be said enough that the “Naughty or Nice Meter” is a visual product designed to calibrate if you have been “Naughty or Nice”. No other product exists.
1. A “Naughty or Nice Meter” grading product comprising of 12 behavioral questions, a calculator and a “Meter” numbered in a range from Zero (0) to Sixty (60).
A top post at the AT! Blog recently – and one of my favorites over the past several years. Enjoy!
In the small city of Springfield, Ohio, now stands an 8-foot statue dedicated to the Wright Brother’s patent attorney, Harry Toulmin. Mr. Toulmin was the patent lawyer who prepared and prosecuted the patent for Wilbur and Orville Wright’s flying machine . . . yes, the original airplane.
According to this article at Law.com, Toulmin helped the Wright brothers apply for five patents, including the 1906 flying machine’s patent (U.S. Pat. No. 821,393 or the ‘393 patent). Other Wright patents also include U.S. Pat. Nos. , , , , , and ,
The above article fails to mention, however, that the brothers only turned to Toulmin after the original application they had drafted themselves was rejected by the USPTO. The ‘393 patent drafted by Toulmin had broad claims covering methods of controlling a flying machine, regardless of whetherthe machine was powered. In particular, the patent described a system that allowed the aircraft to be controlled in flight, and specifically a…
View original post 182 more words
U.S. Patent No. 8,609,158: Diane’s manna.
JW Note: Thanks to Guy L. for bringing this patent to our attention. Guy tells us that his favorite quotes also include:
Column 1, Line 24:
“Exhibit G has a combination that is so strong after you quit taking it, that every drug manufacturer on this planet will be wanting to kill me.”
Column 3, Line 12:
“I am almost normal when I take my favorite best method.”
Column 18, Line 10:
Some ingredients include “sand, dirt, rock, volcanic ash…”
Column 20, Line 41:
“The Dr’s had me on $800 per month mood stabilizers”
This is a potent drug with narcotic benefits made from distinctly and uniquely combined and processed interchangeable seed and seed derivatives that are so potent that it removes or alleviates depression, mood disorders, Attention Disorder symptoms, thought disorder, mental illness, pain, right lip retardation symptoms, physical problems, Lymph Node cancer and many other illness symptoms. It removes bumps in the neck within a week or two. It is interchangeable in most aspects. It can be combined and processed with Pharmaceuticals and medicines to create new drugs. These Pharmaceuticals are now long lasting. I prefer the daily dose, but this drug can last months. It is extremely strong or potent and can be made weak to make your little Attention deficit child normal. It is an incredible mood stabilizer and reduces psychosis. Use it for cancer patient and for people with pain issues. It works.
This medicine is a continual drug made from interchangeable ingredients that heals and alleviates the symptoms of many illnesses including cancer and mental illness and pain and many others with the unique benefit it can be combined with medicines like Zyprexa with the benefit of this combination lasting months with a extremely strong, narcotic in nature and easily tamed medicinal benefit for over 21 days. Although please understand, I don’t need to add Zyprexa or Ibuprofen to this medicine because it is good enough to do the job without adding any medicine to it.
This is a food. I used basic food to make this drug. You can use the plants and ingredients from the backyard, the field, or the grocery store to make this drug. This is a medicine that continues inside the human and animal body that will work on most or many symptoms in Exhibit A. Exhibit A and B are a complete or mostly complete list of mine and Micah’s illness symptoms. I started with simple 1 to 3 ingredients combinations of which were all interchangeable, even the processes were interchangeable. Exhibit G has a combination that is so strong after you quit taking it, that every drug manufacturer on this planet will be wanting to kill me. I did it. It is a food combination. This is a food that can be interchanged with many other like kind ingredients. The processes used are many, but I sampled all of them and eliminated many of the side-effects by eliminating combinations that do not work. It is a processed drug. It is a drug. I spent almost 6 years sampling and changing these to make one interchangeable ingredient great one (with many variations) in best methods exhibit and favorite best methods exhibit and have used hundreds and written thousands. They all are good, but some are better than others. The interchangeability of this drug and the number of interchangeability and processing of ingredients up to 7 is so crucial to making strong or weak drugs and the 7 ingredient combination makes this drug continually medicate the body and it can make other medicines continue also. I can use 3 ingredients, 1 or 7, other combinations and more additions and processes them all many ways.
I am a minister who has prayed my way through this medicine.
THE INVENTION CLAIMED IS:
1. A method of treating a human suffering from cancer, pain, and Bipolar disorder consisting essentially of administering to said human therapeutically effective amounts of evening primrose oil, rice, sesame seeds, green beans, coffee, meat, cheese, milk, green tea extract, evening primrose seeds, and wine.
Today the United States Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six of the Washington Redskins’ trademarks, all of which involved the term “redskins.” The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) concluded that “Redskins” was disparaging of Native Americans.
The full opinion of the TTAB can be found here.
The USPTO also issued a media fact sheet explaining what the decision means and what the decision does not mean.
The Supreme Court of the United States holds a defendant, in a patent infringement suit, is not liable for inducing infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) when no one has directly infringed under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) or any other statutory provision.
The opinion for a unanimous Court was delivered by Justice Alito. The decision reversed the Federal Circuit’s decision that essentially made it easier to prove that a company is liable based on the theory of induced infringement
The patent at issue claims a method of delivering electronic data using a “content delivery network.” The patent is assigned to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and exclusively licensed to respondant, Akamai Technologies. One of the steps of the method includes storing certain components of a content provider’s Web site on servers provided by Akamai. This step is known as “tagging.” Petitioner Limelight Networks, Inc. performs several steps claimed in the patent. However, the customers of Limelight Networks (in an arguable assumption) perform their own tagging.
In 2006, Akamai sued Limelight in the United States District Court for District of Massachusetts for infringement. A jury, finding Limelight infringed the patent, awarded more than $40 million in damages. In view of the Federal Circuit’s decision in Muniauction v. Thomson Corp., 532 F.3d 1318 (2008), the District Court granted a motion for reconsideration by Limelight and held that Muniauction precluded a finding of direct infringment under § 271(a). A panel for the Federal Circuit affirmed. However, on en banc review, the Federal Circuit reversed holding a judgment could be found in favor of Akamai based on induced infringement. The Federal Circuit explained that liability could be found when a defendant carries out some of the steps and encourages others to carry out the remaining steps of, even if no one is liable for direct infringement.
In the opinion, the Court stated “[t]he Federal Circuit’s analysis fundamentally misunderstands what is means to infringe a method patent.” The Court concluded that Limelight cannot be liable for inducing infringement that never occurred directly since the steps performed were not attributed to one defendant. The Court warned that the Federal Circuit’s decision would “require the courts to develop two parallel bodies of infringement law: one for liability for direct infringement and one for liability for inducement.” The Court also found Alkamai’s arguments comparing induced infringement to tort law unpersuasive. The case was remanded for further proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court’s opinion. The Court declined to revisit the merits of Muniauction.
Note: The Federal Circuit may revisit and/or clarify the Muniauction decision on remand. The Supreme Court acknowledged the concern that infringement could be avoided by dividing performance of method steps among multiple parties without direction or control. However, the Supreme Court is leaving the opportunity to revisit the Municauction case with the Federal Circuit.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.
Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health and Fitness, Inc. and Highmark, Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys. Inc.
The determination of whether a case is “exceptional” under the attorney fee-shifting provision of The Patent Act is left to a broad discretion of the District Court.
In two slip opinions rendered April 29, 2014, SCOTUS addressed issues regarding awarding attorneys fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 to prevailing parties in “exceptional” patent infringement cases. Under 35 U.S.C. § 285, a District Court is authorized to award attorney’s fees to prevailing parties in “exceptional cases.” The CAFC had used a Brooks Furniture standard defining an “exceptional case as one which involves “material inappropriate conduct” or is both “objectively baseless” and “brought in subjective bad faith.” Under the Brooks Furniture standard, an exceptional case must be established by clear and convincing evidence.
In the opinion delivered by Justice Sotomayor, the Court, in a 9-0 decision, construed the term “exceptional” in its plain and ordinary meaning and held that exceptional means “uncommon,” “rare,” and “not ordinary.” The Court held that the CAFC has applied too rigid of a standard in determining whether a case is an exception case and rejected the Brooks Furniture standard.
According to Justice Sotomayor, the § 285 statute is “patently clear” and imparts flexibility on the District Court to decide whether a case is exceptional. Octane, slip op. at 7. “[A]n ‘exceptional’ case is simply one that stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a party’s litigating position (considering both the governing law and the facts of the case) or the unreasonable manner in which the case was litigated.” Id. at 7-8. Therefore, the intent of the statute only requires that the litigation present either subjective bad faith or exceptionally meritless claims. Additionally, the Court held that a preponderance of the evidence standard is the appropriate standard to use to establish entitlement of fees, rather than a clear and convincing evidence standard. Id. at 11.
Reversed and Remanded
In this opinion, also delivered by Justice Sotomayor, the Court used the Octane case as precedent to unanimously hold that “an appellate court should apply an abuse-of-discretion standard in reviewing all aspects of a district court’s § 285 determination.” Highmark, slip op. at 5.
Vacated and Remanded
Note: The holdings in these cases, relaxing the standard required for district courts to determine whether a case is “exceptional” may aid in thwarting certain “patent trolls” from asserting patent claims that are meritless or brought in bad faith. Stay tuned to see how these rulings affect the litigation process, the legislative process regarding patent reform, and if the holdings will actually send the trolls back under the bridge or if the trolls will just find another way out.