The Federal Circuit
Several interesting legal and business developments took place at the Federal Circuit over the past month.
In Xitronix Corp. v. KLA-Tencor Corp., No. 2016-2746, 2018 WL 798662 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 9, 2018), the court transferred an antitrust action to the 5th Circuit after holding that it lacked jurisdiction. Patent law, it reasoned, was not a “necessary element” of one of the claims, as required to support jurisdiction.
In Nalco Co. v. Chem-Mod, LLC, No. 2017-1036, 2018 WL 1055851 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 27, 2018), the court reversed the Northern District of Illinois’s dismissal of a patent infringement complaint due to purported factual pleading deficiencies. The patent-in-suit related to removing mercury (a toxic pollutant) from flue gas created from coal combustion at coal-fired plants.
In Aatrix Software, Inc. v. Green Shades Software, Inc., No. 2017-1452, 2018 WL 843288 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 14, 2018), the court reversed the Middle District of Florida’s dismissal of a patent infringement case, which was based on a finding of patent ineligibility. The Federal Circuit found that the asserted claim, directed to a “data processing system,” was not directed to an abstract idea, and emphasized that claims to “pure date” and “transitory signals” can be eligible.
WCM Indus., Inc. v. IPS Corp., No. 2016-2211, 2018 WL 707803 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 5, 2018), the court gave some life to the relatively rare doctrine of equivalents, reversing the Western District of Tennessee’s post-trial grant of JMOL overturning the jury’s verdict of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents.
The U.S. International Trade Commission
The Commission issued one notice of exclusion order—specifically a limited exclusion order in the case of In the Matter of Certain Composite Aerogel Insulation Materials and Methods for Manufacturing the Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-1003. The exclusion order prohibits unlicensed entry of infringing composite aerosol insulation materials made by the respondents, Guangdong Alison Hi-Tech Co., Ltd. (Guangzhou, China) and Nano Tech Co., Ltd. (Shaoxing, China).
Source: Section 337 Commission Notices (available at https://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/337.htm).