gavelIn an order issued yesterday by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (that just hit the docket this afternoon), Judge James L. Robart granted Microsoft’s long-pending motion for partial summary judgment and invalidated thirteen claims of three patents Motorola alleged as essential to the AVC/H.264 video coding standard.  Although this ruling stems from the infringement portion of the case, and the major issues between the parties involve the RAND breach of contract claims brought by Microsoft over Motorola’s entire 802.11 and H.264-essential patent portfolios, it’s possible that Judge Robart’s ruling could have some future effect on these RAND claims as well.
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Today, Mon., Apr. 16, 2012, in Eurand v. Mylan, No. 2011-1399, the Federal Circuit (Newman, O’Malley and Reyna) reversed a bench trial judgment that pharmaceutical patents would have been obvious because the district court improperly first found obviousness and then looked to secondary indicia to rebut that finding, which led to hindsight selection of secondary indicia to support the district court’s obviousness “hunch.”   The Court ruled that there is no burden-shifting when litigating obviousness – all evidence must be considered before assessing whether the patent challenger met its burden to prove obviousness by clear and convincing evidence.
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Today, Mon., Apr. 9, 2012, in Noah Sys. v. Intuit, No. 2011-1390, the Federal Circuit (Rader, O’Malley and Reyna) ruled that a special purpose computer-implemented means-plus-function limitation was indefinite because the patent specification did not disclose algorithms to all claimed functions.  The Court ruled that expert testimony on the adequacy of the disclosure was

Today, Mon., Mar. 26, 2012, in Ergo Licensing v. Carefusion, No. 2011-1229, the Federal Circuit (Newman (dissenting), Linn and Moore) affirmed a district court’s ruling that claim limitations “control means” and “programmable control means” – that both parties stipulated were means-plus-function limitations – were indefinite because no corresponding structure was disclosed in the specification.  This case provides incremental insight into computer-based means limitations and litigating the gray area of how specific structural disclosure must be to satisfy §112 ¶ 6.
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Today, Fri., Mar. 2, 2012, in MySpace v. Graphon, No. 2011-1149, the Federal Circuit (Newman, Mayer (dissenting) and Plager) affirmed summary judgment that patent claims directed to accessing a database over a network were invalid as anticipated or obvious over the prior art.
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