The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the court that hears all appeals of patent cases, continues to invalidate patents directed to abstract ideas. It applies the test established in 2014 by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a recent case, it ruled that a patent covering voting methods and systems providing for “auto-verification” of ballots was invalid as attempting to patent an abstract idea.
Copyright ruling hits third-party software support providers Purchasers of software know that it’s not just the license that can take a bite out of their wallets — it’s also the costly maintenance contracts. Smelling an opportunity, third-party providers have begun offering licensees cheaper maintenance and support alternatives. But one software company has struck back, and the favorable ruling it obtained in its copyright infringement lawsuit against a third-party provider may make it harder for such businesses to compete.
You might think it would be easier to prove infringement of a patented system having multiple components. The more parts, the more opportunity to prove infringement. Not so. As one patentee learned the hard way, more parts means more to prove.
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that hears all appeals of patent-related cases, continues to engage in abstract thinking — thinking about the patent-eligibility of abstract ideas, that is. In the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, the Federal Circuit has repeatedly reviewed whether patents are invalid because they covered patent-ineligible inventions. In this case, for example, the plaintiff ended up having four patents wiped out as invalid on this basis.
Inventors in the pursuit of “personalized medicine” patents were likely discouraged by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in The Cleveland Clinic Foundation v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, which involved a diagnostic method. The court’s ruling highlights the difficulty of obtaining patents for such methods.
A patent applicant’s first round of appeals is to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). But if a patent applicant receives a negative ruling from the PTAB, it isn’t necessarily the end of the road. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals made that clear in a case where it faulted the Board for failing to adequately lay out just why an invention was obvious and therefore unpatentable.
If you thought the most competitive designers around are found on reality shows, think again. A recent case decided by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates that the claws can come out in the world of affordable home design, too. And, as the plaintiff learned, copyright law provides only limited protection.
What’s a copyright holder to do when counterfeit products show up on the massive online marketplace Amazon.com? Well, one thing it will have trouble doing is successfully suing Amazon for infringement, as seen in Milo & Gabby LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc.
The decision in Apple, Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc. probably wasn’t what the patent-holder ordered. Late last year, both the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears all appeals in patent cases) reviewed Ameranth Inc.’s patents for a computerized restaurant menu system, ultimately sending Ameranth back to the kitchen.
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