Select Page

Patent Litigation
University of California, Hastings School of Law
Baum, Brandon Drew

Bringing Suit
a.       Patent: right to make, use, sell, offer for sale, import – exclude only for the life of the patent in the US [20 yrs]                                                                i.      “anything under the sun made by man” Diamond
b.       Avoid DJ: no different rules for patent, is there an actual controversy in the jx of sufficient immediacy, danger of injury (watch language that triggers)
                                                               i.      Gives other party venue, timing, certainty
                                                              ii.      Ele-by-ele analysis w/need to license suff w/out threat to sue (Sandisk)
c.        Suit must name all owners of patent/all must approve
                                                               i.      Must sue under proper name (Uniboard /Lans) ASK FOR CHAIN OF TITLE
d.       Alt to lit:
                                                               i.      Licensing
                                                              ii.      Mediation
                                                            iii.      Cease and desist letter (watch DJ: use MAY infringe & desire to negotiate)
                                                            iv.      ITC action
                                                             v.      Foreign litigation
                                                            vi.      Marking and damages accrual (more later)
e.        Prep:
                                                               i.      Analyze patent/pros history
                                                              ii.      Infringement analysis (Rule 11)  investigate and construe claims/apply
1.       Obligation to conduct sufficient pretrial litigation
2.       Nonfrivolous construction, even if wrong, not alwys sanctionable (Antonious
a.       Construction must be nonfrivolous and reasonable
                                                            iii.      Validity analysis
                                                            iv.      Willful infringement analysis (s284 treble for willful)
1.       Ray Niro: Multiply the potential recovery times the odds of prevailing, minus the expected investment.  If the number is positive, go forward. 
2.       Notice req’d for damages  (BUT could result in)
a.       Declaratory judgment action
b.       Charge of unfair competition
c.        Trade disparagement
d.       Alternative – sue first!
                                                             v.      Analyze response:
1.       Potential counter claims
2.       Strategic objectives
3.       Market position
4.       Review issued patents and pending
                                                            vi.      Elements of notice: 35 U.S.C. § 287(a) satisfied when
1.       (a) the recipient is informed of the identity of the patent,
2.       (b) the activity that is believed to be an infringement, and
3.       (c) accompanied by a proposal to abate the infringement, whether by license or otherwise.
a.       Can seek up to six years prior or notice forward
                                                          vii.      Old rule: FRCP 8 notice pleading/short and plain stmt
1.       Now more specificity req’d
      II.            Claim Construction (question of law, through PHOSITA)
a.       Markman hearing
                                                               i.      If a court interprets, can be overturned – sometimes better not to interpret
1.       If jury decides, likely will not be overturned
                                                              ii.      Not an “obligatory exercise in redundancy” NTP – court can refuse to interpret
                                                            iii.      Briefing:
1.       Characterize types of claim construction dispute
2.       Supporting line of cases
3.       Identify theme
4.       Supporting evidence/declarations
5.       Rounds of briefing (wns, argmt, client, demonstratives)
b.       Claim v. accused product (although product v. product is strategy)
c.        Spec: can be used for lexicography, interpret claims in light of, may not alone expand scope
d.       PHE: expressly disclaimed or given up during prosc?  May not be claimed in lit
Format Requirements for Claims
preamble: tells what was invented (“recyclable cup holder”), not a source of limitations.
                                                               i.      “comprising” – A + B, and anything else.  Strongest, “open” claim (open to add’l elemnts)
                                                              ii.      “consisting of” – A + B and nothing else.  Weakest, “closed” claim.
1.       independent v. dependent claims
Alternative styles:
1) “means + function” style (§ 122, ¶ 6)
                                                               i.      e.g., claims “means for doing X…” Must have more than one limitation. 
                                                             ii.      DEFINITENESS req: spec must identify structures that perform the related function (not “here’s a funcation, incl. all structures)
                                                           iii.      Absence of “means” is rebuttable presumption that it is NOT MPF
3) Cannot use DOE to push boundaries of 112(6) (Al-Site)
                                                               i.      Can’t say structurally equivalent and NOW infringes 112(6)
1.       DOE can broaden range of functions but not structures (can’t jump through 2 hoops)
Methods of Claim Interpretation:
                                                               i.      1) Peripheral Claiming – claims describe “outer boundary” of legal rights. 
                                                              ii.      Claims cannot be expanded beyond what is taught in the scope (Blue Sky wound)
Rules of Claim Construction
                                                               i.      Philips (Fed. Cir. 2005) –construed contextually, intrinsic and extrinsic evidence—not simple dictionary literalism.

ner Jenkinson)
    IV.            Invalidity (282, 102, 103, 112)
a.       Presumed valid/admin deference to PTO (282)
                                                               i.      Demo invalidity by C&C
                                                              ii.      Claims are invalidated – if all invalid, then patent in unenforceable
b.       Invalidating prior art – knowledge that existed at or before the time of the invention or app
                                                               i.      If prior art, then not new 102/nonobvious 103
                                                              ii.      Must be RTP Pfaff
                                                            iii.      102(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent,
c.        Obviousness — Combination Patents (KSR) NO HINDISGHT
                                                               i.      Interrelated teachings (combo – probably two = obvi Leapfrog, three is a stretch, not impossible MediaTech)
                                                              ii.      Demands known or present in the marketplace
                                                            iii.      Apparent reason to combine
                                                            iv.      Accused infringer will argue:
1.       Market pressure or design need would solve known problem
2.       Finite # of solutions to ID’able problem
3.       Combined in a predictable manner
4.       Substitutes one component for another
5.       Improves on prior art – not sufficient step forward
                                                             v.      Patentee will argue:
1.       Commercial success
2.       Long felt need
3.       Copying and licensing by others
4.       Unexpected results
                                                            vi.      JURY INST:
1.       PHOSITA level at time of invention
2.       Scope and content of prior art
3.       Difference if any between claimed invention and prior art
4.       Factors against obviousness; (patentee will argue)
a.       Commercial success
b.       Long felt need
c.        Unsuccessful attempts by others
d.       Unexpected/superior results
e.        Teaching away
f.        Copying or acceptance (licensing) by others