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April 2016 — How Not to Undersell the Invention in a Patent Application

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY IN A PATENT: In in re: Morsa, the Federal Circuit held a patent, which was drafted and prosecuted by an inventor himself, to be invalid as anticipated over a prior art reference. In finding anticipation, the Federal Circuit partially relied on the statements in the patent regarding the knowledge a PHOSITA would have.
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October 2015 — Federal Circuit Gives Patent Office Wide Discretion in Inter Partes Review

In in re Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC, the Federal Circuit held that the decision by the USPTO to institute an Inter Partes Review is not appealable and that the USPTO is free to use the "broadest reasonable interpretation standard" of claim construction during the review.
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July 2015 — The Supreme Court Issues a Pro-Patentee Decision -- Still Manages to Overturn the Federal Circuit

In what is likely to be a boon for patentees in court, the Supreme Court recently ruled that a good faith belief in the invalidity of a patent is not a defense against an allegation of inducement of infringement.  The decision in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems continues the trend of the Supreme Court in overturning the Federal Circuit on seemingly fundamental issues of patent law.
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March 2015 — "Reasonably Certain" is Definite Enough

Patents are required to be written in a way that puts the public on notice of the boundaries of the claimed invention.  More specifically, the patent claims must “particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter which the applicant regards as the invention.”  This is known as the definiteness standard.  If a patent does not meet this standard, then it is invalid for indefiniteness and cannot be enforced.
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February 2015 — Claim Construction-Finding of Subsidiary Facts Reviewed for Clear Error

During patent litigation, the trial court determines the scope of the patent rights by determining what the claims in the patent cover.  In making this determination the trial court must ascertain the meaning of words and phrases in a process called “claim construction.”  This determination is based on intrinsic evidence (i.e. what is in written in the patent or made of record during the patent application process) or extrinsic evidence (e.g. expert testimony, dictionaries, etc.). Intrinsic evidence is a matter of law whereas extrinsic evidence requires the court to make findings based on facts presented by the parties at trial, also known as “subsidiary facts”.
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