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MBHB snippets Alert - August 14, 2015

The Federal Circuit issued a unanimous en banc decision yesterday regarding when joint tortfeasors may be held liable for literal infringement in Akamai Technologies Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. In its opinion, the court held that method claims can be literally infringed when individual steps of a claimed method are performed by more than one actor under certain circumstances.
MBHB snippets Alert - July 22, 2015

In a seriously fractured decision, the Federal Circuit construed the provisions of the Biologics Price Control and Innovation Act (BPCIA or Act) in Amgen Inc. et al. v. Sandoz Inc. In doing so, the court limited the information available to biologic drug makers regarding a competitor’s application for a biosimilar product (adopting Sandoz’s argument). On the other hand, the decision extended the statutory exclusivity period enjoyed by innovator biologic drug makers relating to when the biosimilar applicant can enter the marketplace (as Amgen argued).
The patent statute makes it clear that subject matter that would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art as of the effective filing date of a patent application is not patentable. The considerations relevant to obviousness have been set for some time: (1) the scope and content of the prior art; (2) the level of ordinary skill in the art; (3) the differences between the claimed subject matter and the prior art; and (4) secondary considerations of non-obviousness. There has, however, been much litigation on how courts are to apply these considerations to determine whether an invention would have been obvious and therefore not patentable.
The America Invents Act (AIA) created several adjudicative proceedings within the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, including inter partes review, post-grant review, and covered business method review (IPR, PGR, and CBM, respectively). The AIA also provided explicit estoppel provisions with respect to District Court litigation for those proceedings.
In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court held on March 24, 2015, that issue preclusion may apply to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decisions (B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc.).
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