September 28, 2015

Federal Circuit Court Decisions For Week Ending September 18, 2015

TNS Media Research, LLC v. Tivo Research and Analytics, Inc., No. 2014-1668, 2015-1518, September 16, 2015 (Nonprecedential); Patent Nos. 7,729,940, 8,000,993, and 8,112,301

Key point(s):

  • Although a district court has great latitude in how it conducts the claim construction process, the parties must be involved.

Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 2014-1802, September 17, 2015 (Precedential) (2-1); Patent Nos. 5,946,647, 8,046,721, and 8,074,172

Key point(s):

  • Evidence showing that a patented feature impacted customers’ decisions to choose a product having the feature can be sufficient to show irreparable harm.
  • When a product having a patented feature has an “ecosystem effect,” it is less likely that monetary damages are calculable.

R+L Carriers, Inc. v. Qualcomm, Inc., No. 2014-1718, September 17, 2015 (Precedential) (3-0); Patent No. 6,401,078

Key point(s):

  • To determine whether or not a claim is narrowed by amendment during reexamination, the purpose of the amendment and the intention of the patentee are not relevant. Instead, the scope of the claim, before and after the amendment, is compared based on a normal claim construction analysis.

AdjustaCam, LLC v. Newegg, Inc., No. 2013-1665, -1666, -1667, September 17, 2015 (Nonprecedential); Patent No. 5,855,343

Key point(s):

  • A final judgment is appealable only as to the subject of the final judgment.
  • Whether a case is sufficiently “exceptional” to warrant recovery of attorney fees and expert fees is decided by district courts based on case-by-case analysis using the preponderance of the evidence burden of proof.

Astornet Technologies, Inc. v. BAE Systems, Inc., No. 2014-1854, 2005-1006, 2005-1007, September 17, 2015 (Precedential) (3-0); Patent No. 7,639,844

Key point(s):

  • The requirement to file a case in the Court of Federal Claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1498 is not limited to claims against the United States, but applies to all claims arising from use or manufacture of the patented subject matter by the United States.

SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, No. 2013-1564, September 18, 2015 (Precedential) (6-5) (en banc); Patent No. 6,375,646

Key point(s):

  • Laches can be still used as a defense to legal relief (i.e., damages), as well as equitable relief, in patent law.
  • Laches can be used as a defense to injunctive relief for an ongoing event, as long as the eBay four-factor test favors the laches defense.
  • Laches normally cannot be used as a defense to ongoing royalties.

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