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Trademarks

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Related News

Enfish Decision Breathes New Life Into Computer-Implemented Patents

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.

Trial Court Claim Interpretation Given No Deference On Appeal

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.

Supreme Court to Consider Awards to Successful Patent Defendants

The patent statutes allow the award of attorneys’ fees in a patent infringement lawsuit to the prevailing party—plaintiff or defendant—in exceptional cases. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has long held that a prevailing accused infringer must prove the plaintiff's position was objectively unreasonable and that it was subjectively (that is, knowingly) asserted in bad faith. Some companies that have been sued for patent infringement contend that the standard should be lowered, making it easier for a successful defendant to recover its fees when defending against a weak patent infringement case. Now the Supreme Court has agreed to consider that question.