PTAB Designates Two Decisions Illustrating Bounds of Obviousness Rejections based upon “Design Choice”

On October 15, 2019, the PTAB designated as informative two decisions illustrating the bounds of use of “design choice” by Examiners in support of an obviousness rejection. In Ex parte Spangler, Appeal No. 2018-003800 (Feb. 20, 2019) Ex-parte-Spangler, Appellants’ claimed invention related to a featherseal incorporating two longitudinal tabs that engage with a post on […]

You had me (but apparently not the Federal Circuit) at “propshaft” – Federal Circuit invalidates patent directed to driveshaft technology

In American Axle Manufacturing Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, case number 18-1763, AAM v Neapco the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgement from the District of Delaware finding American Axle Manufacturing’s (AAM’s) method ineligible for patent protection under 35 USC §101. AAM sued Neapco for patent infringement […]

Nike’s battle against Skechers continues – the gloves (or shoes?) come off

Nike has sued Skechers for infringement of 12 of Nike’s design patents.  The complaint alleges that Skechers business strategy is to knock-off the successful designs of it’s competitors, while in previously battles, Skechers has asserted that it merely “takes inspriation” from competitive products, in a process referred to internally as “Skecherizing”.2019-PATENT-Nike-v-Skechers

Work for hire agreements must be entered into before the commissioned work is created

In very limited circumstances, a series of writings executed after creation will be effective, but the writings must confirm a prior agreement, either implicit or explicit, reached before the work was created. Kauffman v Rochester Institute of Technology

Federal Circuit tells PTAB to stay in their lane on certificate of correction issue

Honeywell International Inc. (“Honeywell”) owns US Patent No. 9,157,017 (the ‘017 patent) directed to fluoroalkene compounds used in refrigeration systems.  The ‘017 patent recites a chain of priority dating back to 2002.  During prosecution of the ‘017 patent, Honeywell filed a preliminary amendment in which all 20 original claims were replaced with 20 claims directed […]

PTO Releases New Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance

The release Update with Appendix Oct 2019 includes guidance on determining whether a claim recites one or more abstract idea(s) and if so, if the abstract idea(s) is/are limited to practical applications of the idea, additional examples in the life sciences and data processing categories and a table of cases from the Supreme Court and […]

Prosecution history estoppel does not apply if arguments were “made in a different context”

In MTD Products, Inc. v. Andrei Iancu (MTD), MTD appealed to the Federal Circuit from an IPR decision holding all claims unpatentable of US 8,011,458.  The claims at issue concerned a zero-turn radius vehicle, typically a mower.  The claim term “mechanical control assembly” was at issue and in particular, whether or not the claim term […]

Tug Toy Survives §101 Challenge on Motion to Dismiss

FYF-JB, LLC sued Pet Factory for allegedly infringing its tug-toy patent.  Pet Factory responded with a motion to dismiss, arguing that the asserted claims are not patent eligible, and further, noncompliant with 35 USC §112.  FYF-JB v Pet Factory In particular, FYF-JB’s tug-toy patent (US 9,681,643) describes that a need existed in the art for […]