As discussed in a recent post, On May 21, 2024, the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision in LKQ Corp. v. GM Global Tech. Operations LLC, significantly impacting design patent law. The court overturned the long-standing RosenDurling test, a two-part test used to assess the obviousness of design patents. This decision is expected to have far-reaching implications for patent practitioners and clients alike.Continue Reading Federal Circuit Abandons Rosen-Durling Test for Design Patent Obviousness

In LKQ v. GM, a May 21, 2024 en banc decision on an appeal of an IPR final written decision determining that the challenged claim of GM’s U.S. Design Patent No. D797,625 (directed to the design for a vehicle front fender) was not obvious, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB’s decision, overruling the RosenDurling test for obviousness of design patents and articulating general guidance for a new obviousness test it determined was more consistent with Supreme Court authority, in particular the “flexible standards” applied in Smith v. Whitman Saddle Co., 148 U.S. 674 (1893), Graham v. John Deere, 383 U.S. 1 (1966), and KSR v. Teleflex, 550 U.S. 398 (2007). Continue Reading Federal Circuit Reframes Test for Obviousness of Design Patents

The Federal Circuit recently upheld the Patent Office’s decision to reject claims in four separate reexamination cases due to obviousness-type double patenting (ODP). In re Cellect, LLC, Appeal Nos. 22-1293, -1294, -1295, -1296 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 28, 2023). This decision is important because it expands ODP, a doctrine judges developed long ago, when patents

On June 30th, the Federal Circuit granted a petition for re-hearing en banc in LKQ Corp. v. GM Global Tech. Operations LLC.[1] LKQ, an auto parts repair vendor for GM, successfully petitioned for inter partes review of GM’s design patent for a front fender design,[2] arguing it was anticipated by a prior art reference (Lain) and obvious over Lian alone or in combination with a brochure for the 2010 Hyundai Tucson. The PTAB ultimately affirmed the patentability of GM’s claimed design, prompting LKQ to appeal to the Federal Circuit. On appeal, LKQ argued that the PTAB’s obviousness analysis utilized tests overruled by the Supreme Court’s decision in KSR, and, as such, the obviousness standard for design patents should mirror the standard for utility patents set forth in KSR. However, a three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit disagreed, noting in relevant part that “it is not clear the Supreme Court has overruled” the tests for obviousness applied by the PTAB.Continue Reading Federal Circuit to Decide Whether KSR Applies to Design Patents

Can a petitioner’s reply in an IPR proceeding present new arguments and evidence responding to a proposed claim construction first raised in the patent owner’s response?  In Axonics, Inc. v. Medtronic, Inc., Nos. 2022-1532, 2022-1533 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 7, 2023), the Federal Circuit answered in the affirmative, vacating the PTAB’s final written decision of

After the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., the Patent Office implemented an interim process for the Director to review Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions in AIA trials. The Office sought public feedback on the process last year (link) and received more than 4,000 responses (link)! The process has yet to be formalized via traditional notice and comment rulemaking, though someday, perhaps, it will. Until then, the Patent Office continues to offer new updates and information, most recently on July 24, 2023.Continue Reading PTAB Updates and Expands the Director Review Process and Offers Transparency in Ex Parte Appeals

The Patent Office is not supposed to issue separate patents for the same invention to competing inventors. Several statutory provisions empower the Office to reject pre-AIA patent application claims of the later inventor. But sometimes it’s not clear who is the later inventor. Those provisions are therefore unhelpful. So, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board administers an increasingly rare proceeding called an “interference” to assesses which inventor was the last to invent. Through this proceeding, the Office cancels as unpatentable (under pre-AIA 35 USC § 102(g)) the claims of the inventor the Board determines was last to invent.Continue Reading Patent Interferences May Not Involve Pure AIA Patent

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In Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GMBH v. Mylan Pharms, Inc., No. 21-1981 (Fed. Cir. May 9, 2023), the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s finding that Sanofi’s patent claims were obvious, determining the PTAB used the wrong test for deciding whether an existing patent was “analogous” to the one being challenged.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals had asserted all claims

In Indivior UK Ltd. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories S.A., Appeals 2020-2073, -2142 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 24, 2021), the Federal Circuit affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s final decision canceling claims in Indivior’s patent claiming a polymer matrix-containing film. Certain claims in the patent recited an amount of polymer matrix inadequately disclosed, according to the Board, in a predecessor application to which the patent claimed priority. As a result, the claims’ effective filing date was so late that prior art published between the patent’s actual filing date and its earliest claimed priority date rendered the claims unpatentable. Here the prior art was none other than the Patent Office’s publication of one of the claimed priority applications.
Continue Reading So, You Invented a Numerical Range

Federal Circuit Concludes that Reference Qualifies As Prior Art Based on Reply Evidence

In VidStream LLC v. Twitter Inc., Appeals 2019-1734, -1735, (Fed. Cir. November 25, 2020), the Federal Circuit affirmed a pair of PTAB inter partes review decisions that determined VidStream’s claims, directed to publishing content on social networking websites, are unpatentable as obvious over a five-way combination of references. Important, in this appeal, was the subsidiary conclusion that one of the references – Anselm Bradford & Paul Haine, HTML5 Mastery: Semantics, Standards, and Styling (hereinafter “Bradford”) – qualified as prior art.  On appeal, VidStream did not challenge the PTAB’s determination of obviousness if Bradford qualified as a prior art reference.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Concludes that Reference Qualifies As Prior Art Based on Reply Evidence