March 22, 2013

Federal Circuit Decisions for Week Ending March 8, 2013

Move, Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance, Ltd., No. 2012-1342 (March 4, 2013) (precedential) (3-0) Patent No. 5,032,989

Key point:

  • Under the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in Akamai, liability for indirect infringement can arise when the steps of a method claim are performed by more than one entity, provided the other requirements for inducement are met.

Radio Systems Corp. v. Lalor, No. 2012-1233 (March 6, 2013) (precedential) (2-1) Patent Nos. 6,830,014 & 7,267,082

Key points:

  • Equitable estoppel can benefit successors-in-interest when privity has been established.
  • Equitable estoppel does not bar a lawsuit based on a CIP patent that had not issued at the time the patentee sent its original demand letter asserting the parent patent.

Asia Pacific Microsystems, Inc. v. International Trade Commission, No. 2012-1225 (March 6, 2013) (nonprecedential) (3-0)

Key point:

  • An appellant’s failure to challenge findings of contributory infringement in its opening brief, which focused only on the alternate ground of induced infringement, waived the issue of contributory infringement on appeal. 

In re Hubbell, No. 2011-1547 (March 7, 2013) (precedential) (2-1) Application No. 10/650,509

Key points:

  • A complete identity of inventors or common ownership is not a prerequisite to an obviousness-type double patenting rejection.
  • An applicant cannot overcome an obviousness-type double patenting rejection with a terminal disclaimer based on overlapping inventorship, if the issued patent and pending application are not commonly owned.
  • The “two-way” obviousness test does not apply when the PTO is not solely responsible for a delay that results in the issuance of patent from a later filed application for an improvement before the allowance of an earlier filed application for a basic invention. 

Function Media, L.L.C. v Kappos, No. 2012-1380 (March 7, 2013) (nonprecedential) (3-0) Patent Nos. 7,249,059 and 7,240,025

Key point:

  • The PTO is barred from maintaining an inter partes reexamination of patent claims once a final decision has been entered in a civil action holding that the third-party requester failed to sustain the burden of proving the invalidity of those claims.

In re Hartman, No. 2013-1070 (March 8, 2013) (nonprecedential) (3-0) Application No. 11/003,123

Key point:

  • Claims that fail to particularly point out and distinctly claim what the applicant considers her invention are indefinite under 35 U.S.C. §112, ¶2.

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