China and India recently revised their patent office guidelines for the examination of software-related inventions. In both cases the guidelines broaden the scope of patent eligible subject matter and generally create a positive climate for patenting software-related inventions.
It probably comes as no surprise that inventions that are obvious aren’t eligible for patents. Yet arguments over obviousness land in the court all the time. A recent ruling by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears all patent-related appeals) in Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. illustrates several arguments that can arise when the obviousness of an invention — and therefore the validity of its patent — is at issue.
Exhausted yet? Anyone who has ever tried to avoid the high prices of toner cartridges by purchasing refills from so-called remanufacturers will be interested in a recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court — and many patentees should be interested, too. In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., the Court provided some important clarifications to the patent exhaustion doctrine that limits a patentee’s rights.
Oops — they did it again. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected yet another software patent. The court, which hears all appeals involving patents, found that the patent was for a patent-ineligible invention.
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has dramatically tightened the restrictions on where patent owners can file infringement lawsuits. The court’s unanimous ruling is expected to rein in the “forum shopping” that so often occurs in patent infringement cases, where patentees try to file in judicial districts considered to be more plaintiff-friendly, such as the defendant-dreaded Eastern District of Texas.
In a recent article in the journal Cybaris, Jay Erstling—along with Indian patent attorneys Vindhya S. Mani, Divyanshu Srivastava, Mukundan Chakrapani—discuss the progress of patent law in India. They cover issues such as exclusions from patentability under Indian patent law, disclosure requirements, the compulsory
Business method patents on software have had a tough time in the courts in recent years. But a recent ruling may now provide some hope for patent holders. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Trading Technologies Int’l, Inc. v. CQG, Inc. marks a rare example of the court finding software to be patent-eligible. The ruling provides valuable guidance on just what it takes for these patents to withstand judicial scrutiny.
When the inventors of a new design process admitted that they had mentally performed the patented steps themselves, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals took them at their word. The patent holders in Synopsys, Inc. v. Mentor Graphics Corp. ultimately failed the two-step abstract ideas test.