Administrative Law Judg (ALJ) Lord at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) recently issued an Order striking patent misuse claims against Philips Lighting (Philips) raised by WAC Lighting and other respondents that were premised on Philips filing its Complaint in the ITC without making a license available “on standard (reasonable) and non-discriminatory terms.”  This ruling provides incremental guidance on the specificity needed to plead a competition law claim based on standard essential patents (SEPs), including allegations of specific facts showing the anticompetitive effect of alleged improper SEP licensing activity.
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Patent claims have “limitations.”  Accused infringing products have “elements.”  A patent owner may argue that patent claim “limitations” read onto “elements” of an accused infringing product.  The Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, resolved this divisive issue fifteen years ago: “It is preferable to use the term ‘limitation’ when referring to claim language and the term

Last Thursday, December 5, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309 (“the Innovation Act”), a patent reform bill generally directed to perceived patent litigation abuse by certain patent assertion entities (what some call “patent trolls”).  Prior draft versions of the House bill had gone through several revisions in the past few months (see our September

On Fri., January 25, 2013, in Hall v. Bed Bath & Beyond, No. 2011-1165, the Federal Circuit (Newman, Lourie (dissenting-in-part), and Linn) held that a towel design patent owner properly pled claims of patent infringement, false advertising, misappropriation, and unfair competition.  The Court also held that certain inventor statements on whether the towel was covered by his patent did not create liability for false advertising or false marking.  This case indicates that the pleading requirements for design and utility patents are fairly similar.
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Today, Thu., June 7, 2012, in In re Bill of Lading, No. 2010-1493, the Federal Circuit (Newman (dissent), Prost and O’Malley) ruled that complaints were properly dismissed for not pleading contributory infringement, but they sufficiently pled induced infringement.  This case provides important guidance in pleading patent infringement, which is often a concern in multiple defendant cases.


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