Archive for September, 2015

Denver PTAB Firing on All Cylinders

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The Denver PTAB appears to be firing on all cylinders these days.  This past month the PTAB conducted its first hearing in which the entire panel of judges was located in Denver.  As luck would have it, I happened to be arguing one of the two cases heard that day.  So, I got to be a little part of Denver PTAB history.

Oral Argument of the Week: Retirement Capital Access v. US Bancorp

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The oral argument of the week was argued about seven weeks ago and received a Rule 36 decision.  It covers several interesting issues, such as whether the presence of a means plus function limitation should make a claim patent eligible.  The one issue that I thought got lost in the discussion of means plus function claims, however, is the the issue of preemption.  Namely, if a claim includes a means plus function claim and the means is limited to the structure disclosed in the specification, how could such a claim possibly preempt all the other means of performing that function?  Therefore, how could the claim as a whole preempt the purported abstract idea?

The oral argument also addressed whether evidence should be required to prove that something was an abstract idea.

And, Judge Lourie endeared himself to patent prosecutors everywhere by inquiring whether all business methods should be deemed patent ineligible:  [Listen].

You can listen to the entire oral argument [here].

You can read the Rule 36 decision [here].

Pope Closes Federal Circuit

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

From the Federal Circuit web site:

Due to the anticipated disruption of access to the Court by its facilities falling inside the security perimeter during the Papal visit, by order of the Court, the Clerk’s Office of United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will close on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at 3:30 p.m., ET. The Court will remain closed Wednesday, September 23, 2015, and will reopen on Thursday, September 24, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. For purposes of computing time, and for motions to enlarge time under Fed. R. App. Proc. 26 and Fed. Cir. R. 26, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, will be considered a “legal holiday.”

Streamlined, Expedited Ex Parte Appeals for Small Entities

Friday, September 18th, 2015

If you did not see the recent notice about expedited ex parte appeals at the USPTO, the Federal Register notice is available [here].

Judge Kara Stoll Welcomed to the Federal Circuit

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Judge Kara Stoll sat with her first panel of the Federal Circuit this past week. Chief Judge Prost welcomed her to the court:  [Listen].

It is somewhat uncanny how over the years new judges and visiting judges often sit with the Chief Judge on their first panel at the court.