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Fordham Conference 2015 – US Patent Law Developments

Dimitrios T Drivas (White & Case) gave the speedy run down on the following points and cases, which some might find useful for following up on points of interest:

Supreme Court

The decision that in exceptional cases reasonable attorney’s fees may be paid to the prevailing party (an exception to the rule that each party bears its own costs in the USA). The exception was interpreted to mean some sort of ‘bad faith’ by the Federal Circuit overturning the District Court decision. The Supreme Court found that the District Court’s decision should be given due deference.

‘Indefiniteness’ has gone from ‘insoluble ambiguity’ to ‘fails to inform with reasonable certainty’.

Induced infringement (Limel [...]

Cloned Sheep And Other Patent Eligibility Issues In The U.S.

Last week, in In Re Roslin Institute, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that cloned cattle, sheep, pigs and goats are non-patent eligible subject matter under 35 USC § 101. While the result that these cloned animals cannot be patented may not be surprising, the basis for the court’s finding–that the claimed subject matter was ineligible under the “product of nature” doctrine, has some scratching their heads. A more logical way to understand the decision is to read the court’s holding as finding that the cloned animals are non-patent eligible subject matter because they cannot be distinguished from naturally occurring animals.

The patent application at iss [...]

The Court of Turin on the patentability of software

By ruling of 21 February 2014, the Court of Turin decided a case between the US corporation Rovi and a number of Italian consumers electronics manufacturers. These had produced / imported set-top-boxes equipped with Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) that allegedly made use of the Rovi EPG patents, although without being covered by the Rovi licensing scheme. The Turin Court ruling is interesting as it tackles – one of the very few in the Italian case law – the issue of software patentability, reaching conclusions opposite to those of the UK courts in the Rovi versus Virgin Media saga.

The case had commenced with the filing by the Italian manufacturers of a nullity action against patents [...]

New USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines Raise More Questions Than They Answer

The USPTO has issued new Guidance For Determining Subject Matter Eligibility to help examiners apply the principles of Myriad and Prometheus to any claim “reciting or involving laws of nature/natural principles, natural phenomena, and/or natural products.” The guidelines focus on a “signficantly different” test, and include lists of factors that weigh towards and against patent eligibility. The guidelines also include several examples applying the new analytical framework to sample claims. The guidelines do not apply to claims that raise “abstract idea” issues, which are still to be examined under MPEP 2106(II).

This article delves into the details of the guidelines, and you can read a [...]

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Isolated Human Genes May Not Be Patented

On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the “ACLU/Myriad” gene patents case (Association For Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.). In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Thomas, the Court held that “a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated, but that cDNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring.” Thus, the Court held that human genes may not be patented.

Background

This case stems from a declaratory judgment action brought to challenge certain claims in seven patents related to Myriad’s discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and t [...]

Legro Gartneri A/S v. Svegro AB, Stockholms tingsrätt (Stockholm District Court), 26 April 2012

The Stockholm District Court held the Swedish part of a European patent concerning a method of growing two or more plants invalid, due to lack of inventive step. Despite requests for limitations by the proprietor the patent was declared invalid in its entirety. Infringement, exceptions to patentability and prior use rights were also considered by the Court.

A summary of this case will be posted on http://www.Kluweriplaw.com

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