Yet another poll test

October 18th, 2018

I’m experimenting with a new poll plug-in.  Please take the poll below.



Should claim drafting be put back in the patent bar exam?

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Another poll test

October 18th, 2018

I’m experimenting with a different poll plugin.  Please take the poll below.

Can you see this poll question?

View Results

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October 14th, 2018

The oral argument of the day is from AMERICAN VEHICULAR SCIENCES LLC v. UNIFIED PATENTS INC., No. 2017-2307 (Fed. Cir. June 19, 2018).  The CAFC issued a Rule 36 Judgment in this case.  From what I could glean, an important issue concerned whether the Board panel in an IPR properly applied K/S HIMPP v. Hear-Wear Technologies, LLC, 751 F.3d 1362, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2014) in  an obviousness “rejection.”

In K/S HIMPP v. Hear-Wear Technologies, LLC, Judge Lourie, writing for the court, stated:

We recognize that the Board has subject matter expertise, but the Board cannot accept general conclusions about what is “basic knowledge” or “common sense” as a replacement for documentary evidence for core factual findings in a determination of patentability. Zurko, 258 F.3d at 1385-86. To hold otherwise would be to embark down a slippery slope which would permit the examining process to deviate from the well-established and time-honored requirement that rejections be supported by evidence. It would also ultimately “render the process of appellate review for substantial evidence on the record a meaningless exercise.” Id. at 1386 (citing Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Co. v. Aberdeen & Rockfish R.R. Co., 393 U.S. 87, 91-92, 89 S.Ct. 280, 21 L.Ed.2d 219 (1968)).

K/S HIMPP v. Hear-Wear Technologies, LLC, 751 F.3d 1362, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2014).

You can listen to the oral argument here:


Mark your calendars: Helsinn Oral Argument Date Set

October 13th, 2018

The Supreme Court has set the date for oral argument in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. as December 4, 2018.

Last week the Court also granted leave for the Solicitor General to participate in the oral argument as amicus curiae.  And, Teva Pharmaceuticals filed its brief, available [here].  Also, an interesting admixture of intellectual property professors have signed on to what appears to be the single an amicus brief in support of Teva.

You can see the briefs at the SCOTUS blog: [Link].

Oral argument of the day: Sirona Dental Systems v. Institut Strauman AG, et al.

October 11th, 2018

The oral argument of the day is from SIRONA DENTAL SYS. v. Institut Straumann AG, 892 F.3d 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2018).   I thought this oral argument was interesting for the comments by Judge Moore about the property rights conveyed by a patent and the potential due process rights of the patentee.  It is also interesting for her comments about the rights of a patent challenger in an IPR to be heard with respect to a Board’s proposed combination of references applied to an amended claim (perhaps about 7/9ths through the oral argument).  Note that the oral argument took place in February of 2018 — before the Oil States decision by the Supreme Court.

Sorry, I don’t have time to splice out the particular sound bites on this one.

You can listen to the oral argument here:


Learned Hand’s family nickname “Jowly Pips”

October 9th, 2018

I ran across a C-span video of Professor Constance Jordan discussing her grandfather, Judge Billings Learned Hand.  She remarks at one point in the video that Judge Hand’s family nickname was “Jowly Pips,” which was shortened to “J.”

My grandfather, whom we called J — by the way, it was not because he was Judge that we called him J.  We called him J because everyone in the family had nicknames, and his nickname was Jowly Pips and it was shortened to J.  Don’t ask me why.  That is what it was.

Professor Constance Jordan, granddaughter of Judge Learned Hand.

Link to video: Link.


Oral argument of the day: PGS Geophysical v. Iancu

October 5th, 2018

The oral argument of the day is from PGS GEOPHYSICAL AS v. IANCU, No. 2016-2470 (Fed. Cir. June 7, 2018).  I thought this was a particularly well-argued case.  The oral argument focuses on whether the PTAB made a proper obviousness ruling in view of a combination of references.

You can listen to the oral argument here:


Downturn in visiting judges at the Federal Circuit

October 5th, 2018

It is interesting to note that there has been a significant downturn in the number of visiting judges at the Federal Circuit since Chief Judge Michel retired.  My sense is that even more so than the “Rader” court, the “Prost” court has had fewer visiting judges than the “Michel” court.  During the visit to Chicago this week, no Seventh Circuit or N.D. of Illinois judges sat with the Federal Circuit to hear oral arguments.

That being said, I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing. On more than one occasion I have looked up questionable precedent of the Federal Circuit or CCPA and chalked up the odd ruling to the fact that it was a split decision with a visiting judge making up part of the majority.

Information Age Patent Eligibility

October 4th, 2018

Justice Scalia did not sign on to the portion of Bilski v. Kappos cited below. With Justice Scalia having been replaced by Justice Gorsuch, it will be interesting to see if the subject matter of the below quote gets more traction or even categorical approval once Justice Kennedy’s replacement is installed.

The machine-or-transformation test may well provide a sufficient basis for evaluating processes similar to those in the Industrial Age—for example, inventions grounded in a physical or other tangible form. But there are reasons to doubt whether the test should be the sole criterion for determining the patentability of inventions in the Information Age. As numerous amicus briefs argue, the machine-or-transformation test would create uncertainty as to the patentability of software, advanced diagnostic medicine techniques, and inventions based on linear programming, data compression, and the manipulation of digital signals. See, e.g., Brief for Business Software Alliance 24-25; Brief for Biotechnology Industry Organization et al. 14-27; Brief for Boston Patent Law Association 8-15; Brief for Houston Intellectual Property Law Association 17-22; Brief for Dolby Labs., Inc., et al. 9-10.

In the course of applying the machine-or-transformation test to emerging technologies, courts may pose questions of such intricacy and refinement that they risk obscuring the larger object of securing patents for valuable inventions without transgressing the public domain. The dissent by Judge Rader refers to some of these difficulties. 545 F.3d, at 1015. As a result, in deciding whether previously unforeseen inventions qualify as patentable 3228*3228 “process[es],” it may not make sense to require courts to confine themselves to asking the questions posed by the machine-or-transformation test. Section 101’s terms suggest that new technologies may call for new inquiries. See Benson, supra, at 71, 93 S.Ct. 253 (to “freeze process patents to old technologies, leaving no room for the revelations of the new, onrushing technology[,] . . . is not our purpose”).

Bilski v. Kappos, 130 S. Ct. 3218, 3227-28 (2010)(Justice Kennedy writing for himself, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Thomas and Alito).

Mark Your Calendar

September 29th, 2018

On the heels of his address to the IPO in Chicago this past week, Director Iancu will also be a featured speaker at the AIPLA annual meeting.