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Teva Pharma. USA v. Sandoz, Inc.

This case comes to us on remand from the Supreme Court, which vacated our earlier opinion reversing the district court’s judgment that certain claims were not indefinite (Group I claims), and affirming the district court’s holdings that other claims (Group II claims) were valid and infringed.2 Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 723 F.3d 1363 (Fed. Cir. 2013), vacated, Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 831 (2015). Relevant to the Group I claims, the Supreme Court held that the ultimate construction of a claim term is a question of law, subject to de novo review, and that underlying subsidiary fact findings are subject to clear error review. Teva, 135 S. Ct. at 837–38, 841–42. During that same time, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. (Nautilus II), 134 S. Ct. 2120 (2014), addressing the standard for indefiniteness. On remand, the parties submitted supplemental briefing explaining how the appeal should be resolved in light of the Supreme Court’s Teva decision. See Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., No. 12-1567 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 20, 2015), ECF No. 137. Applying the legal standards set forth in the Supreme Court’s Teva and Nautilus II decisions, we hold that the Group I claims are invalid for indefiniteness.

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Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC

Richard A. Williamson (“Williamson”), as trustee for the At Home Corporation Bondholders’ Liquidating Trust, owns U.S. Patent No. 6,155,840 (the “’840 patent”) and appeals from the stipulated final judgment in favor of defendants Citrix Online, LLC; Citrix Systems, Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; Adobe Systems, Inc.; Webex Communications, Inc.; Cisco Webex, LLC; Cisco Systems, Inc.; and International Business Machines Corporation (collectively, “Appellees”). Because the district court erroneously construed the limitations “graphical display representative of a classroom” and “first graphical display comprising . . . a classroom region,” we vacate the judgment of non-infringement of claims 1–7 and 17–24 of the ’840 patent. Because the district court correctly construed the limitation “distributed learning control module,” we affirm the judgment of invalidity of claims 8– 12 of the ’840 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 1122, para. 2. Accordingly, we remand.

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Microsoft Corp. v. Proxyconn, Inc.

This appeal arises from the inter partes review (“IPR”) of U.S. Patent No. 6,757,717 (“’717 patent”) owned by Proxyconn, Inc. (“Proxyconn”). The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) concluded that all of the challenged claims except claim 24 were unpatentable as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102 alone or additionally as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. See Microsoft Corp. v. Proxyconn, Inc., IPR2012-00026 and IPR2013-00109, Paper No. 73 (PTAB Feb. 19, 2014) (“Board Decision”). Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”) appeals the Board’s determination that claim 24 is patentable. Proxyconn cross-appeals, challenging the Board’s use of the broadest reasonable interpretation standard of claim construction during IPRs, its unpatentability determinations, and its denial of Proxyconn’s motion to amend. Then–Deputy Director, now Director, of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“Director”) intervened for the limited purpose of addressing the Board’s use of the broadest reasonable interpretation standard and its denial of Proxyconn’s motion to amend. For the reasons stated below, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, and vacate-in-part and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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GTNX, Inc.. v. INTTRA, Inc.

At the request of GTNX, Inc., the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instituted “covered business method patent” review proceedings for four patents owned by INTTRA, Inc. A few months later, the Board reconsidered its institution decisions, determined that institution of proceedings in these matters violated a statutory proscription, vacated the institution decisions, and terminated the proceedings. GTNX, Inc. v. INTTRA, Inc., CBM2014-00073 et al., 2014 WL 7723800 (PTAB Dec. 10, 2014). GTNX appeals, and INTTRA moves to dismiss the appeal. We grant the motion. In addition, treating the appeal in the alternative as a mandamus petition, we deny mandamus relief.

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Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc.v. Sequenom, Inc.

This appeal is from a grant of summary judgment of invalidity of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (“the ’540 patent”). The United States District Court for the Northern District of California found that the asserted claims of the ’540 patent are not directed to patent eligible subject matter and are therefore invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. For the reasons explained below, we affirm.

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OIP Techs., Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.

OIP Technologies alleges that Amazon.com infringes a patent that relates to a method of price optimization in an e-commerce environment. The district court granted judgment on the pleadings, concluding that the patent does not claim patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Because we agree with the district court that the patent-in-suit claims no more than an abstract idea coupled with routine data-gathering steps and conventional computer activity, we affirm.

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Kaneka Corp. v. Xiamen Kingdomway Grp. Co.

Kaneka Corporation sued Defendants Xiamen Kingdomway Group Company, Pacific Rainbow International Inc., and Shenzhou Biology and Technology Co., Ltd., in the Central District of California, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,910,340 (the ’340 Patent). The district court granted summary judgment of noninfringement based on the district court’s claim construction. Kaneka appealed. For the reasons that follow, we affirm-in-part, vacate-in-part, and remand.

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Alps South, LLC v. Ohio Willow Wood Co.

Alps South, LLC (Alps) sued The Ohio Willow Wood Company (OWW), asserting infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,552,109 (the ’109 patent). Among other pre- and post-trial motions, OWW filed an unsuccessful motion to dismiss contending that Alps lacked standing to sue under the Patent Act. At trial, a jury found that the ’109 patent was valid and that OWW had willfully infringed. OWW now appeals the denial of its motion to dismiss for lack of standing. In addition, OWW appeals the denial of its motion for judgment as a matter of law of invalidity and no willful infringement and the decisions relating to enhanced damages, permanent injunction, attorneys’ fees, and contempt. Alps cross-appeals the decision declining to further enhance the damages award as well as the decision relating to OWW’s absolute intervening rights defense. Because the district court erred when it denied OWW’s motion to dismiss for lack of standing, we now reverse, vacate the judgment below, and remand with instructions to dismiss this action.

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Sorensen v. WD-40 Co.

Plaintiff Jeffrey Sorensen is the founder and CEO of Inhibitor Technology Corporation, which produces a line of rust inhibiting products containing a substance called volatile corrosion inhibitor (“VCI”). This line of products is branded with the federally registered trademark THE INHIBITOR. That word mark is owned by Sorensen; he also claims common law trademark rights in a design mark associated with his products, an orange and black crosshair.

In 2011, the WD-40 Company, the well known maker of spray lubricant, introduced a new sub-brand of products known as the WD-40 Specialist product line. According to Sorensen, the branding for these products infringes upon his marks. In particular, one of the WD-40 products—WD-40 Specialist Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor, which contains VCI and has a purpose similar to that of Sorensen’s products—contains on its packaging both the word “inhibitor” and an orange crosshair. So, Sorensen filed suit against WD 40 in the Northern District of Illinois, alleging trademark inȬ fringement and unfair competition under both federal and Illinois law.

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of WD-40 on all counts. It found that WD-40’s use of the word “inhibitor” on the label of WD-40 Specialist Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor was a non-trademark descriptive fair use of the word. As to the crosshair mark, the district court found that Sorensen had not presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact as to a likelihood of confusion. Sorensen appeals the grant of summary judgment. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

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Shire Dev., LLC v. Watson Pharma., Inc.

This case returns to us on remand from the Supreme Court. In Shire Development, LLC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 746 F.3d 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2014), we decided an appeal by defendant-appellants (collectively, Watson) from a decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The district court found, among other things, that Watson infringed plaintiffsappellees’ (collectively, Shire’s) patent under the district court’s constructions of the asserted claims. We reversed the district court’s constructions of two claim terms and remanded for further proceedings.

Following our decision in this case, the Supreme Court issued Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 831 (2015), which clarified how this court should review a district court’s construction of a claim term. The Court also vacated and remanded our Shire decision for further consideration in light of this new standard of review. Shire Dev., LLC v. Watson Pharm., Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1174 (2015). Because this case does not involve factual findings to which we owe deference under Teva, we again reverse the district court’s constructions of the disputed claim terms and subsequent findings of infringement, and remand for further proceedings.

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