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Ex parte Quist (BPAI)

On Board review, if the appellant raises the issue as to whether the examiner’s conclusion of obviousness was in error, based in part on the proffered evidence of secondary considerations, the panel must consider if the examiner erred in determining patentability, based upon the totality of the record. In such instances, the Board panel must consider anew all the relevant evidence of obviousness, both for and against, in view of the argument on the issue. One such instance requiring a reweighing is seen in the present appeal – if the Appellants argue that the Examiner erred in determining that the weight of the evidence supports a conclusion of obviousness, the Board must review that conclusion of obviousness anew to see if the preponderance of relevant evidence properly before the Office supports that conclusion.

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Lincoln v. Transamerica Life

Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Western Re-serve Life Assurance Company of Ohio, and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company (collectively, Transamerica) appeal from a final decision of the district court denying Transamerica’s motion for judgment as a matter of law that it does not infringe claims 35-39 and 42 of U.S. Pat. No. 7,089,201 (the ’201 patent). Because the evidence of record does not support the jury’s verdict of infringement, we reverse and remand.

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RIAA v. Library of Congress

By law, the Copyright Royalty Board sets the terms and rates for copyright royalties when copyright owners and licensees fail to negotiate terms and rates themselves. As part of its statutory mandate, the Board sets royalty terms and rates for what is known as the § 115 statutory license. That license allows individuals to make their own recordings of copyrighted musical works for distribution to the public without the consent of the copyright owner.

In carrying out its statutory responsibilities under 17 U.S.C. § 115, the Board instituted a 1.5 percent per month late fee for late royalty payments. It also implemented a pennyrate royalty structure for cell phone ringtones, under which copyright owners receive 24 cents for every ringtone sold using their copyrighted work.

The Recording Industry Association of America challenges those two aspects of the Board’s decision, arguing that they were arbitrary and capricious for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act. We conclude that the Board’s decision was reasonable and reasonably explained. We therefore affirm the Board’s determination.

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Golan v. Holder

Plaintiffs brought this action challenging the constitutionality of Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”), Pub. L. No. 103-465, § 514, 108 Stat. 4809, 4976–81 (1994) (codified as amended at 17 U.S.C. §§ 104A, 109), which granted copyright protection to various foreign works that were previously in the public domain in the United States. The district court granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that Section 514 violates plaintiffs’ freedom of expression under the First Amendment. In Case No. 09-1234, the government appeals the district court’s order granting plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and denying the government’s motion, arguing that Section 514 is a valid, content-neutral regulation of speech. In Case No. 09-1261, plaintiffs cross-appeal, contending that the statute is facially invalid and that they are entitled to injunctive relief. Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we reverse the judgment of the district court and conclude that Section 514 of the URAA is not violative of the First Amendment.

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Bilski v. Kappos

Petitioners’ patent application seeks protection for a claimed invention that explains how commodities buyers and sellers in the energy market can protect, or hedge, against the risk of price changes. The key claims are claim 1, which describes a series of steps instructing how to hedge risk, and claim 4, which places the claim 1 concept into a simple mathematical formula. The remaining claims explain how claims 1 and 4 can be applied to allow energy suppliers and consumers to minimize the risks resulting from fluctuations in market demand. The patent examiner rejected the application on the grounds that the invention is not implemented on a specific apparatus, merely manipulates an abstract idea, and solves a purely mathematical problem. The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences agreed and affirmed. The Federal Circuit, in turn, affirmed. The en banc court rejected its prior test for determining whether a claimed invention was a patentable “process” under Patent Act, 35 U. S. C. §101—i.e., whether the invention produced a “useful, concrete, and tangible result,” see, e.g., State Street Bank & Trust Co v. Signature Financial Group, Inc., 149 F. 3d 1368, 1373—holding instead that a claimed process is patent eligible if: (1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing. Concluding that this “machine-or-transformation test”is the sole test for determining patent eligibility of a “process” under §101, the court applied the test and held that the application was not patent eligible.

Held: The judgment is affirmed.

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Mee Indus. v. Dow Chem. Co.

This case comprises the respective appeal and cross-appeal of Mee Industries (“Mee”) and Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) in a malicious prosecution suit brought by Mee against Dow. Mee brought this suit in response to a patent infringement suit filed in the Middle District of Florida by Dow against Mee and Florida Power Corporation, a Mee customer. That case was ultimately resolved in Mee’s favor. In the instant case, a jury verdict was entered in Mee’s favor for the previously stipulated amount of its attorneys’ fees in the patent infringement case. On appeal, Mee argues that the district court erred by granting Dow’s Rule 50(a) motion on the issue of punitive damages and excluding evidence of Mee’s damages relating to loss of goodwill under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(c)(1). In its cross-appeal, Dow argues that the district court erred by denying Dow’s Rule 50(b) motions on the issues of lack of probable cause and its advice-of-counsel defense. This case presents two close questions, but after carefully considering the parties’ briefs, thoroughly investigating the record, and having heard oral arguments, we affirm.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. v. Alpine Elec. of Am., Inc.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. (Britannica) is the as-signee of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,051,018 (the ’018 patent) and 7,082,437 (the ’437 patent). The ’018 and ’437 patents relate to a multimedia database search system for retriev-ing textual and graphical information. Britannica sued Alpine Electronics of America, Inc., Alpine Electronics, Inc., DENSO Corporation, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Magellan Navigation, Inc., American Honda Motor Company, Inc., TomTom, Inc., and Garmin International, Inc. (collectively, Defendants), alleging infringement of the ’018 and ’437 patents. The Defendants moved for summary judgment that the patents in suit are invalid as anticipated by Britannica’s published foreign application. The district court granted their motion for summary judgment, declared the ’018 and ’437 patents invalid as anticipated, and dismissed the cases. See Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. v. Alpine Elecs. of Am., Inc., 643 F. Supp. 2d 874 (S.D. Tex. 2009). Britannica appeals. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

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Wordtech Sys., Inc. v. Integrated Networks Solutions, Inc.

This is a patent infringement case involving technol-ogy for automated duplication of compact discs. Wordtech Systems, Inc. (“Wordtech”) sued Integrated Networks Solutions, Inc. (“INSC”) and its employees Nasser Khatemi and Hamid Assadian (collectively “Defendants”) in the District Court for the Eastern District of California for infringement of U.S. Patents No. 6,141,298 (“’298 patent”), No. 6,532,198 (“’198 patent”), and No. 6,822,932 (“’932 patent”). A jury found INSC, Khatemi, and As-sadian each liable for direct infringement, contributory infringement, and inducement of infringement, and awarded damages. Khatemi and Assadian appeal the liability verdicts against them as individuals; all three defendants appeal damages and the district court’s denial of their motion for leave to amend their answer to allege invalidity defenses. Because the jury instructions lacked legal tests necessary to determine Khatemi and As-sadian’s individual liability, and because the damages verdict conflicts with the clear weight of the evidence, we reverse the district court’s denial of Defendants’ motion for new trial and remand. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Defendants’ motion for leave to amend, we affirm that ruling.

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Krispy Kreme in Court Fight Over Secret Recipe

Published June 18, 2010| NewsCore

Famed doughnut company Krispy Kreme is suing the operators of its last remaining New York City store over a claim that they cooked up their own recipe when they ran out of "key proprietary Krispy Kreme ingredients," the New York Post reported Friday.

"Only a very limited number of Krispy Kreme employees have access to the recipe," which is kept in a safe at the company's headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Manhattan federal suit claims.

Full story.

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Advanced Magnetic Closures, Inc. v. Rome Fastener Corp.

Advanced Magnetic Closures, Inc. (“AMC”) brought an action against Rome Fastener Corp., Rome Fastener Sales Corp., Romag Fasteners Inc., and Rings Wire, Inc. (collec-tively “Romag”) for allegedly infringing U.S. Patent No. 5,572,773 (the “’773 patent”). After AMC finished pre-senting its case in chief, the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York (the “district court”) granted Ro-mag’s Rule 50(a) motion for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”). The district court subsequently assessed attorney’s fees and costs against AMC under 35 U.S.C. § 285 based on (1) the ’773 patent applicants’ inequitable “PTO”) and (2) AMC’s litigation misconduct. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1927, the court also held AMC’s attorneys jointly and severally liable for a portion of Romag’s attor-ney’s fees, including the law firm Abelman, Frayne & Schwab (“Abelman”) and David Jaroslawicz—the sole member of Jaroslawicz & Jaros, LLC. AMC, Abelman, and Mr. Jaroslawicz all appealed the judgment to this court. But Abelman subsequently settled with Romag, and this court dismissed Abelman’s appeal. Advanced Magnetic Closures, Inc. v. Rome Fastener Corp., 331 F. App’x 732, 733 (Fed. Cir. 2009). We affirm the district court’s holding that the ’773 patent is unenforceable based on inequitable conduct and its award of 35 U.S.C. § 285 attorney’s fees and costs against AMC, but we reverse its 28 U.S.C. § 1927 sanction against Mr. Jaroslawicz.

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