In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals reconfirmed that decisions of a trial court interpreting the meaning of terms used in patent claims are not given deference on appeal. Instead, the court of appeals reviews patent claim interpretations de novo, and need not give the trial court decisions any weight.
For nearly twenty years, the federal courts have addressed the interpretation of the claims in a patent as a question of law, rather than a question of fact. This standard has meant that the court of appeals owed no deference to the findings of the trial courts on matters of claim interpretation, and the lack of deference is widely believed to contribute to an inordinately high reversal rate on appeal. Now the Federal Circuit has decided to take a closer look at whether it should give deference to the lower court rulings.
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals criticized the parties involved for the use of excessive hyperbole in their written submissions to the court, urging instead that counsel should offer a straightforward recital of the facts without the use of such shrill language. Clients sometimes believe that their attorneys should be "aggressive" to win, but this recent decision proves yet again that sound legal skills coupled with professional behavior trumps aggressive tactics and harsh language.
In a decision this week, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated a group of patents held by Soverain Software LLC and asserted against many companies for practicing electronic commerce, including use of a shopping cart model for sales transactions.
In the America Invents Act, Congress amended the false marking statute to remove the "qui tam" provision allowing any member of the public to file a complaint based on false patent marking. In a recent ruling, the court of appeals held that the amendment was constitutional.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently addressed whether a party may be liable for patent infringement when two different parties combine to perform the acts necessary for patent infringement, but where neither party separately performs all of the steps required to infringe a patent.
The Southern District of New York has approved a settlement among electronic book publishers and distributors to resolve an antitrust dispute that may result in lower e-book prices.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has concluded that settlement agreements are not privileged communications and therefore are not immune from discovery.
BLG achieved a victory on summary judgment for its client Star Asia USA in a lawsuit filed by Great Neck Saw Manufacturers. In the lawsuit, Great Neck asserted that Star Asia's folding utility knives sold under the Titan trademark infringed trade dress and patent rights held by Great Neck, in accordance with folding knives sold by Great Neck under the Sheffield, Craftsman, and Husky brands.
BLG attorney Larry Graham teamed up with Beresford Booth in defending their client Atlas Equipment Company against charges that their slurry pumps infringed a trade dress owned by Weir Slurry Group and Weir Minerals.