ITC Finds Kodak’s Digital Capture Patent Invalid

On May 21, 2012, the U.S. International Trade Commission’s Judge Thomas Pender issued a notice in the patent infringement battle brought by Eastman Kodak against Apple, Inc. and Research In Motion, Ltd. The decision noted that Apple and RIM infringed upon one of the claims in Kodak’s digital capture patent, but that Kodak’s patent was invalid because of the “obviousness” of claim 15 of the patent. As such, Apple and RIM did not violate 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(1) with respect to Kodak’s patent.


Resolving Differences: How the Federal Circuit Treats Divergent USPTO and District Court Rulings

The following article discussing what happens when the Federal Circuit is faced with conflicting USPTO and district court determinations comes courtesy of Lisa Dolak, Professor of Law at Syracuse University and Practice Center Contritor.

Concurrent litigation and reexamination proceedings, although related in that they concern the same patent(s) and (typically, presumably) at least some of the same claims, proceed independently. And, different standards govern validity and claim construction in the two venues. As the Federal Circuit explained in In re Swanson, 540 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2008):

In civil litigation, a challenger who attacks the validity of patent claims must overcome the presumption of validity with clear and convincing evidence that the patent is invalid. . . . In [USPTO] examinations and reexaminations, the standard of proof – a preponderance of evidence – is substantially lower than in a civil case; there is no presumption of validity.

Id. at 1376. Additionally, “unlike in district courts, in reexamination proceedings ‘[c]laims are given ‘their broadest reasonable interpretation, consistent with the specification. . .’’” Id. at 1377-78 (quoting In re Trans Texas Holdings Corp., 498 F.3d 1290, 1296-97 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (quoting In re Yamamoto, 740 F.2d 1569, 1571 (Fed. Cir. 1984))). Accordingly, as the Federal Circuit has noted, “the two forums take different approaches in determining validity and on the same evidence could quite correctly come to different conclusions.” Ethicon, Inc. v. Quigg, 849 F.2d 1422, 1428 (Fed. Cir. 1988). (more…)

Microsoft v. i4i Revisited

Written by Brandon Baum , of baum legal and Practice Center Contributor.

I recently commented that the Microsoft v. i4i case did not change the law. After all, the Supreme Court simply confirmed that the statutory presumption of validity afforded patents under 35 U.S.C. 282 could only be overcome with “clear and convincing evidence” of invalidity — nothing new. However, upon a more careful reading (prompted by a Facebook post by Fordham Prof. Jeanne Fromer), I now realize I was mistaken.

In the following passage, the Supreme Court explains that a patent provides the user with a “right to use” the patented invention, and not merely the right to exclude others from using the patented invention.














That changes everything, and will make patents ever so much more valuable. By the stroke of a pen, the wealth of America’s inventors has been vastly increased. I sure hope they don’t try to “fix” this.



Microsoft v. i4i – Awaiting a Burdensome Decision by the Supreme Court

In the Microsoft Corp. v. i4i, the Supreme Court must determine whether the burden of proof for parties alleging patent invalidity should be changed from a clear and convincing standard to a preponderance of the evidence standard.   Oral arguments took place on April 18, 2011 and the Court’s decision is expected by the end of June 2011.  While we wait for this potentially precedential opinion, Garth M. Dahlen, Ph.D., Partner at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP, brings us up to speed with a comprehensive discussion on the history of the case, the oral arguments and possible outcomes.

In the pending case of Microsoft v. i4i, the Supreme Court must decide whether the Federal Circuit’s requirement of clear and convincing evidence is proper for an invalidity defense, even though the prior art relied upon by the Defendant was not considered by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

The oral arguments were heard April 18, 2011. Prior to the oral arguments, the smart money was on Microsoft , but based on comments by the Justices during oral arguments, it is not clear that Microsoft has an advantage going forward. (more…)

Microsoft v. i4i: Amici Make Strong Argument for Supreme Court Review of Patent Invalidity Standard

Clement S. RobertsThe following post comes from one of our newest Practice Center Contributor’s Clement S. Roberts.  Mr. Roberts is a founding partner at Durie Tangri where his practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and on complex commercial cases with a high-technology component.

A broad spectrum of academics and industry lined up Friday to support Microsoft’s request for Supreme Court review of its ongoing patent litigation against i4i.  In the underlying litigation, i4i won a pile of money on a patent dealing with the idea of separately storing metacodes and text in a markup language document.    While the litigation has an interesting factual history, the issue on appeal is a purely legal one – namely the application of the “clear and convincing evidence” standard to questions of invalidity.

As most people reading this blog already know, in order to invalidate a patent, a defendant must prove that the patent is invalid by “clear and convincing” evidence.  Ostensibly, this rule exists in order to reflect deference to the fact that the patent has been examined and found valid by an expert at the Patent and Trademark Office.    See e.g. American Hoist & Derrick co. v. Sowa & Sons, Inc, 725 F.2d 1350 at 1359 (Fed. Cir. 1984) (taking note of “the deference that is due to a qualified government agency presumed to have properly done its job.”).

Especially when taken together, however, the amicus briefs in Microsoft v. i4i overwhelmingly show that this is an exceptionally bad rule – at least when applied (as it is now) to all questions of invalidity. (more…)