In the Supreme Court's pivotal decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank, Int'l (2014), computer-implemented inventions were considered unpatentable if they were directed to an abstract idea. Since that time, many applications have been rejected and issued patents invalidated on the grounds that they were directed to an abstract idea and therefore contained unpatentable subject matter. In Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corporation (2016), the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a clarifying decision that should stem the tide and provides an important clarification to support the patentability of many computer-implemented inventions.
The patent statutes provide that an invention cannot be patented when the inventor has placed the invention on sale more than a year before the filing date of the patent application. The so-called "on-sale bar" is clearly applicable when an inventor manufactures an item and sells it directly to others, but its application is less obvious when the inventor does not make or sell the item, and instead buys a quantity of it from a supplier. In a recent decision, the court held that the invention is on sale--and the patent will be barred--in such cases.
The fist-inventor-to-file provision of the America Invents Act takes effect on March 16, 2013. After a long history of granting patents to the first applicant to invent an invention, the new law will now award a patent to the first applicant to file an application for the invention.
Certain aspects of the America Invents Act are effective beginning September 16, 2012.
The Senate has passed a patent reform bill that would incorporate several significant changes including a first-to-file system, enlarged post-grant patent review procedures, and many others.
In a statistically rare event, BLG attorneys have achieved a decision upholding the patentability of the claims of a patent related to a laryngoscope for their client Verathon.
BLG attorneys, together with associate counsel in the U.K., prevailed in a key opposition proceeding at the European Patent Office in a matter related to a laryngoscope patent owned by our client Verathon. In an important decision relating to this key video laryngoscope technology, the central claims of the patent were confirmed as being valid.