Today, in SCA v. First Quality, the Federal Circuit sitting en banc ruled that the equitable doctrine of laches remains a valid defense in patent infringement actions notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Petrella v. MGM, 134 S. Ct. 1962 (2014), that precludes laches as a defense for copyrights.  This decision

Yesterday, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Williamson v. Citrix that includes an en banc portion that broadens the circumstances in which claim limitations may be deemed means-plus-function limitations.  This appears to be an effort by the court to address concerns that some patent claims directed to computer-implemented or software inventions may be too

Today, June 14, 2013, in Robert Bosch LLC v. Pylon Manufacturing Corp., No. 2011-1363, 1364, an en banc Federal Circuit ruled that parties can appeal a decision on liability in patent infringement cases before there has been a trial on damages or willfulness.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(c), the Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction

Last Friday, May 10, 2013, in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp., No. 2011-1301, the Federal Circuit (en banc) issued a very divided decision in which a majority of the court affirmed that method, computer-readable medium and system patent claims on a computer-implemented invention were not patent eligible under § 101, but there was no majority consensus on the rationale as to why those claims were not patentable subject matter.  As a result, this en banc decision has no precedential value beyond the specific determination of patent eligibility for the particular claims at issue.  The fractured nature of the decision—and even intimations by judges on the court—indicate that this case may be primed for Supreme Court review.

This 135-page decision has seven separate opinions, summarized below.  A few top-level points may be gleaned from them:


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On March 15, 2013, in Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., No. 2012-1014, the Federal Circuit granted Lighting Ballast’s petition for rehearing en banc to decide the following questions: (1) whether the court should overrule Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc., 138 F.3d 1448 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (en

LED TV

  • Patent Peace in South Korea:  Samsung and LG Electronics have settled their contentious patent and trade secret dispute relating to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology that is widely used in flat-panel televisions and computer monitors.  (via CNET)
  • For the second time in a week, the Federal Circuit denied Apple’s request for an en banc

CAFCThis Friday, February 8, an en banc United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear oral arguments in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. (No. 2011-1301), the latest Federal Circuit case to deal with the patentability of software-related patents and so-called business methods.  Given that the technologies claimed in many standard-essential patents are often implemented in standards-compliant products via software, the Federal Circuit’s holding in this case may have resounding consequences for the world of SEPs and SEP-related litigation.

UPDATE: The Federal Circuit issued an en banc decision holding the claims invalid.  Please see our May 13, 2013 post for more details.


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  • nike already shoe comparisonLast week, the United States Supreme Court handed down its unanimous opinion in Already, LLC v. Nike (No. 11-982).  The Court held that Nike’s issuance of a broad covenant not to sue on one of its trademarks extinguished Already’s standing to its counterclaim for invalidity of Nike’s trademark.  While this case involved trademarks, not patents,

Today the Federal Circuit issued a per curiam order (with Judge Newman dissenting) denying a combined petition for a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc in InterDigital Communications v. International Trade Commission (No. 2010-1093) (en banc).  However, along with the order, the panel also issued a new opinion to fully address arguments made by intervenor Nokia (the respondent in the underlying ITC case, Inv. No. 337-TA-613).  In the opinion (written by Judge Bryson), the Court reiterates its prior conclusion (InterDigital Commc’ns v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 690 F.3d 1318 (Fed. Cir. 2012)) that non-practicing entities (NPEs) may satisfy the ITC’s domestic industry requirement through substantial investment in domestic licensing activities, without any need to prove that any licensed products are actually produced domestically.
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UPDATE: The Federal Circuit issued an en banc decision holding the claims invalid.  Please see our May 13, 2013 post for more details.

Today, Tues., Oct. 9, 2012, in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp., No. 2011-1301, the Federal Circuit ordered rehearing en banc on the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions.  The CLS Bank original, and now vacated, decision found a stock trading platform invention patent eligible under a permissive view of § 101 patent eligibility that counseled focusing on more established invalidity defenses under §§ 102, 103 and 112.   But a few weeks later, the Bancorp. decision found that a life insurance policy value tracking invention was not patent eligible and breathed life into the patent eligibility defense against computer-implemented inventions.


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