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  • Posts by Ronald E. Cahill
    Partner

    Ronald E. Cahill co-chairs Nutter’s Intellectual Property Department and the firm’s IP Litigation practice group, and is a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Litigation Departments. Ron works with clients of ...

Posted in Litigation, Patents

On January 22, the Supreme Court clarified an important issue of patent law that had been left open since the enactment of the America Invents Act several years ago. 

The patent laws bar a person from receiving a patent on an invention that was “on sale” before the effective filing date of the patent application claiming that invention. The Supreme Court had previously announced that the “on sale bar” came into effect when the invention was “the subject of a commercial offer for sale” and was “ready for patenting”—that is, it must be sufficiently developed that a patent application could be filed, and there must be a commercial offer for sale. If these conditions are met, the offer can bar a subsequent patent application. The appeals court confirmed that this is true even when the offer for sale was confidential. 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released final rules on January 9, 2015 implementing changes to the way in which Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) is calculated in view of the recent Novartis v. Lee case.

Posted in Litigation, Patents

The equitable defense of laches may not be at the forefront of most patent practitioners’ minds, but the recent Federal Circuit decision in SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products illustrates that the defense can have teeth. Patent owners looking to mitigate the risk of an accused infringer successfully employing the defense should consider preventative action in the period before filing a lawsuit. Practitioners may also want to continue monitoring the law in this area, as an en banc rehearing has been requested to consider the possible impact of a recent Supreme Court ruling with regard to laches in the context of copyright infringement.

In late June, the United States Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International that may have broad-reaching implications on patenting software. At issue in the case was whether claims to a computer-implemented system and method for mitigating “settlement risk” in financial transactions are eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the claims were directed to an abstract idea and, although implemented on a computer, were not patentable.

Today’s long-awaited decision by the United States Supreme Court in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. ___ (2014) may have broad-reaching implications on patenting software. At issue in the case was whether claims to a computer-implemented system and method for mitigating “settlement risk” in financial transactions are eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the claims were directed to an abstract idea and, although implemented on a computer, were not patentable.

This week the Federal Circuit again raised the bar for succeeding on claims of active inducement of infringement, holding that an alleged infringer’s “good-faith belief of invalidity may negate the requisite intent for induced infringement.” In doing so, it created an additional reason for companies to obtain opinions from counsel on the validity of competitors’ patents.

Maximizing the protection and value of intellectual property assets is often the cornerstone of a business's success and even survival. In this blog, Nutter's Intellectual Property attorneys provide news updates and practical tips in patent portfolio development, IP litigation, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing.

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