Federal Circuit

Federal Circuit - The FindLaw Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Two summers ago, a unanimous Supreme Court struck down patent protection for a computerized method of reducing "settlement risk" in financial transactions. Since that case, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, IP attorneys and courts alike have struggled with how to treat software, computerized business methods.

But, the Federal Circuit's recent Enfish ruling may provide some guidance, opening the door to broader patent eligibility for inventions that might otherwise have been rejected for being abstract.

Federal Circuit's Decision Could Invalidate 13,500 Patents

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals stands poised with its finger potentially over the big red button that would potentially invalidate some 13,500 continuation patents filed with the USPTO -- with 13,500 being a conservative number. If the court rules in favor of defendant HTC, right or wrong, it could spell a tidal wave of litigation over continued patents whose applications were filed the same day as the original parent application.

Thinking About Cutting Hair Isn't Patentable, Federal Cir. Rules

More and more it seems that the limitations of what can be patented are defined only by the USPTO's ability to craft walls around petitioner's dance steps -- which are likely patentable. In this piece, we look at the non-precedential case of In re Brown.

So, can you patent a haircutting selection technique? Most likely not, especially if you characterize it the way the Patent Trial and Appeals Board did.

Coleman's Armband Flotation Patent Suit Decided by Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit dealt recently with one of its more nuanced patent infringement stipulations. In Sports Dimension, Inc. v. Coleman Company, Inc., the circuit court determined that the slight tapering angle and inclusion of flotation armbands were "functional" and not primarily ornamental in nature.

A declaratory judgment of non-infringement in favor of rival petitioner was vacated. It verifies something that patent lawyers already understand: nothing is entirely functional or ornamental on a finished consumer product.

SimpleAir Suit: Google Doesn't Have to Pay $85 Million After All

Google has walked away victorious in a suit brought against it first in 2011 by SimpleAir in which allegations that Google violated patent law with its cloud computing services. Judge Wallach concluded that "no reasonable jury could have found patent infringement" under proper claim construction.

It's shaping up to be a good couple of days for the giant Internet company as it also posted a victory in its legal dispute with GeoTag.

Fossil Magnetic Fastener Suit Clarifies 1999 Lanham Amendment

Most of you are probably not aware that the magnetic fasteners that you have on your bags are all part of a controversial intellectual property case that was just decided. Romag, the patent holder of those magnetic button fasteners successfully brought a suit against Fossil and other companies for selling counterfeits of its fasteners in Fossil bags. But "real" and "fake" can assume different meanings when dealing with certain foreign countries. The company one, but just not as much as it hoped.

The case reaffirms the rules that laches is still a viable defense in IP suits, and that damages awards can be reduced for wanting of willful disregard for trademark rights.

Vacuum Toilet Patent Dispute Decided by Federal Circuit

A recent federal case brought both victory and defeat to two companies battling over patent disagreement related to vacuum toilets in commercial airplanes. The court addressed a number of pressing issues including the doctrine of assignor estoppel and whether or not a coin could reasonably be considered a "tool."

DE Has Specific Jurisdiction Over Pharma Co. Mylan, Federal Circ. Rules

The Federal Circuit gave a nod to the famous personal jurisdiction case International Shoe by making the determination that the West Virginia pharma company Mylan purposefully availed itself of Delaware law through its actions in seeking FDA approval to market generics.

The circuit's decision comes on the heels of two major plaintiffs' suits against Mylan: Acorda and AstroZeneca.

Foreign Furniture Firm Floundering in Forum Fracas

Have you ever seen one of those armchairs built to look as if it were modeled after a B-52 bomber? Well, the maker of these retro-cool furniture pieces is bringing a lawsuit against a Canadian company for infringing on its IP, but there seems to be a little trouble with the proper venue ...

The Federal Circuit Now Recognizes a Limited Patent-Agent Privilege

A split Federal Circuit just recognized a limited privilege enjoyed by patent agents citing a number of factors including "reason and experience" of the current litigation realities.

Although patent agents already enjoy a higher level of intimacy with clients, this will be the first time intellectual property courts have come out and said that anyone besides a patent attorney may refuse to reveal confidential information about client patents.