By Sebastian Stock
In Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, the Federal Circuit broadened potential patent infringement claims by no longer requiring a defendant perform all the steps of a patented method before direct infringement occurs. As the dust settles from Akamai, should courts expect an influx of patent infringement suits.
Akamai Technologies, Inc. began in 2006 when Akamai Technologies, Inc. (“Akamai”) sued Limelight Networks, Inc. (“Limelight”), claiming infringement of claims on its patent related to its content delivery network (“CDN”). A CDN is a platform of proxy servers designed to directly deliver end-user internet content. CDN’s are widely used – they carry nearly half of the world’s internet traffic.
By Gwen Wei
Does anybody remember how B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries started anymore?
B&B Hardware is a labyrinthine case grown out of simple roots: in 1993, B&B Hardware (“B&B”) trademarked “Sealtight”. Hargis Industries (“Hargis”) applied for a trademark on “Sealtite” in 1996. When B&B opposed Hargis’s application, Hargis sought to have B&B’s trademark cancelled. B&B retorted with a suit for infringement. This eventually led to a brief wrangle before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”), where the board found there was a likelihood of confusion between the two marks. But retelling the full twenty years of its litigious history, as Justice Alito later remarked, could fill a long, unhappy book. Over the decades, B&B Hardware has devolved into a slapfest as the case was dismissed and refiled and remanded, surging all the way to the Supreme Court and back again. The case’s significance no longer lies in its eventual final verdict—whether B&B or Hargis gets to seal the deal, as it were—but in the precedent that it sets.
By Don Wang
In 2011 Congress enacted the Leahy-Smith American Invents Act (AIA), which established a new Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) within the Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) and instituted several new administrative proceedings to review certain issues of patentability. Ever since, patents before the Board have been perishing like Game of Throne wedding guests (or as Judge Rader puts it: PTAB are the “death squads killing property rights”). Unsurprisingly, unhappy patent owners seized their first possible opportunity to challenge various aspects of PTAB proceedings. This led to the Supreme Court hearing of Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, No. 15-446. The oral argument was conducted on April 25, 2016, and the transcript can be found here.
There are two questions on appeal, but the Court focuses almost exclusively on the first question: which claim construction standard should be used in a PTAB proceeding, the “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard (BRI) or the “plain and ordinary meaning” standard? The BRI is the claim construction standard applied by PTO during a patent examination.
By Tyler Quillin
Remember Google Glass? The spectacles Google
developed that allowed users to have hands-free, smart technology integrated into their eyewear.
Well, Google Glass did not do as well as projected, and Google ceased production in 2015. However, Google and Samsung are now rumored to be taking “wearable technology,” like Google Glass, to another level.
Both Google and Samsung are reportedly developing similar “smart” contact lenses. News surfaced on April 5, 2016 that Samsung submitted a patent application for contact lenses with built-in cameras and other features. And both companies’ patent applications describe contact lenses containing a camera, sensors to detect movement, and antennae to interface with smart devices. Some speculate that blinking could control the lenses, which poses potential concerns over accidental commands. However, by placing the device directly on the eye, the companies hope to improve clarity and accuracy, features that Google Glass lacked. Continue reading
By Miriam Swedlow
On March 21, 2016, Sequenom, Inc. asked the Supreme Court to review a decision from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that rendered invalid the company’s patent directed towards detecting paternally inherited cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in a pregnant woman’s blood.
In 1996, two doctors discovered the presence of cffDNA in maternal plasma and serum. Once discovered, the doctors used established laboratory techniques to separate and amplify the genetic material to identify paternally inherited DNA and perform genetic diagnostic tests on it. Sequenom, Inc. commercialized the method as its MaterniT21 prenatal diagnostic test. Utilizing the test allows pregnant women to screen for many prenatal defects without having to undergo dangerous and invasive procedures into the uterus. Continue reading