April 30, 2015

Federal Circuit Court Decisions For Week Ending April 17, 2015

In re 55 Brake LLC, No. 2014-1554, April 13, 2015 (nonprecedential); Patent No. 6,450,587

Key point(s):

  • The description of specific embodiments in the specification does not preclude interpreting the claims as being broader than those embodiments.

Ineos USA LLC, v. Berry Plastics Corporation, No. 2014-1540, April 16, 2015 (precedential) (3-0); U.S. Patent No. 6,846,863

Key point(s):

  • In a claim to a chemical composition, an element having a percentage-by-weight range including a minimum of 0 is an optional element.
  • An element including a percentage-by-weight range with a minimum higher than 0 is anticipated either by: (1) one or more specific percentages that fall within the claimed range; or (2) an overlapping range, unless the recited range is shown to be “critical to the invention.”

Belden, Inc., v. Berk-Tek LLC, No. 2014-1676, April 17, 2015 (nonprecedential); U.S. Patent Nos. 7,977,575 and 7,663,061

Key point(s):

  • If the specification does not define or use a term recited in the claims, a court may look to a dictionary to define the claim term.
  • A product does not automatically become a product-by-process claim simply because a limitation recites a process characteristic.
  • Conclusory, unsupported assertions by experts as to the definition of a claim term are “not useful” to a tribunal.

In re: Trivita, Inc., No. 2014-1383, April 17, 2015 (precedential) (3-0); U.S. Trademark Application No. 77/658,158

Key point(s):

  • A mark is not registrable if it is merely descriptive of the goods for which registration is sought.
  • Even where a mark is not actually descriptive of the goods being sold, so long as customers may reasonably believe that the mark merely describes the goods being sold it is not registrable.

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