Friday, June 24, 2011

Invalidity (Burden of Proof)


  • "[W]e now hold that an accused infringer cannot obtain the benefit of the lower burden of proof that prevails in an interference proceeding simply by alleging, as a defense to infringement, that the asserted patent is invalid based upon a co-pending patent unless common claimed subject matter is first identified and an adjudication of priority is sought."

Derivation Defense


  • In order to establish derivation, Creative was required to “prove both prior conception of the invention by another and communication of that conception to the patentee.” Eaton Corp. v. Rockwell Int’l Corp., 323 F.3d 1332, 1334 (Fed. Cir. 2003).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Enhanced Damages

  • "Seagate removed the presumption of willful infringement flowing from an infringer’s failure to exercise due care to avoid infringement, but Seagate did not change the application of the Read factors with respect to enhancement of damages when willful infringement under §285 is found. We thus vacate the district court’s denial of enhanced damages, and remand to the district court to redetermine whether enhanced damages are warranted under the guidance of Read, 970 F.2d at 826, that the 'paramount determination in deciding to grant enhancement and the amount thereof is the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct based on all the facts and circumstances.'”
  • We believe that the court is in the best position for making the determination of reasonableness.  This court therefore holds that the objective determination of recklessness, even though predicated on underlying mixed questions of law and fact, is best decided by the judge as a question of law subject to de novo review.

  • When a defense or noninfringement theory asserted by an infringer is purely legal (e.g., claim construction), the objective recklessness of such a theory is a purely legal question to be determined by the judge. When the objective prong turns on fact questions, as related, for example, to anticipation, or on legal questions dependent on the underlying facts, as related, for example, to questions of obviousness, the judge remains the final arbiter of whether the defense was reasonable, even when the underlying fact question is sent to a jury.

  • [T]he ultimate legal question of whether a reasonable person would have considered there to be a high likelihood of infringement of a valid patent should always be decided as a matter of law by the judge.

Analogous Prior Art


  • "A reference qualifies as prior art for an obviousness determination under § 103 only when it is analogous to the claimed invention."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Induced Infringement

Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S. A.
  • “[W]e now hold that induced infringement under §271(b) requires knowledge that the induced acts constitute patent infringement.”

  • The knowledge requirement can be met by showing willful blindness.

  • “While the Courts of Appeals articulate the doctrine of willful blindness in slightly different ways, all appear to agree on two basic requirements: (1) the defendant must subjectively believe that there is a high probability that a fact exists and (2) the defendant must take deliberate actions to avoid learning of that fact. We think these requirements give willful blindness an appropriately limited scope that surpasses recklessness and negligence. Under this formulation, a willfully blind defendant is one who takes deliberate actions to avoid confirming a high probability of wrongdoing and who can almost be said to have actually known the critical facts.”

  • “Taken together, this evidence was more than sufficient for a jury to find that Pentalpha subjectively believed there was a high probability that SEB’s fryer was patented, that Pentalpha took deliberate steps to avoid knowing that fact, and that it therefore willfully blinded itself to the infringing nature of Sunbeam’s sales.”

  • "The existence of a substantial non-infringing use does not preclude a finding of inducement." (See Contributory Infringement.)

  • "It is not disputed that the [accused] products could infringe.  However, such testimony alone is not sufficient to find inducement of infringement of a method patent.  Evidence of actual use of each limitation is required."