September 5, 2017

Federal Circuit Court Decisions For Week Ending August 18, 2017

Visual Memory LLC v. NVIDIA Corp., No. 2016-2254 (August 15, 2017) (Precedential, 2-1) Patent No. 5,953,740 (‘740 patent)

Key point(s):

  • An invention directed to an improvement in functionality of a computer system can be patent-eligible subject matter even though primarily concerning the categorization and storage of data within computer memory.
  • Description of benefits over the art and advantages in a patent specification may be relevant to establishing an invention is directed to an improvement in functionality.

Georgetown Rail Equipment Co. v. Holland L.P., No. 2016-2297 (August 1, 2017) (precedential, 3-0) Patent No. 7,616,329 (‘329 patent)

Key point(s):

  • A preamble can describe a principal intended use of the invention without imparting a structural limitation or otherwise limiting the scope of the claims.
  • A third-party contractor operating at the behest of an accused infringer to perform portions of a patented process does not avoid liability for direct infringement.

Gold Standard Instruments, LLC v. US Endodontics, LLC, No. 2016-2597 (August 16, 2017) (nonprecedential) Patent No. 8,727,773 (‘773 patent)

Key point(s):

  • A mere cautioning or discouraging statement in a prior art reference is not necessarily enough to “teach away” from a possible solution if one skilled in the art would still be motivated to attempt the solution. The degree of “teaching away” depends on the particular facts.

Cronos Technologies, LLC. v. Expedia, Inc., Nos. 2016-2528, 2016-2529, 2016-2530 (August 17, 2017) (nonprecedential) Patent No. 5,664,110 (‘110 patent)

Key point(s):

  • Doctrine of Equivalents cannot be used to cover subject matter specifically excluded from a term’s meaning, as construed during claim construction.

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