In a non-precedential decision issued in In re Bhagat, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that claims directed to certain lipid compositions were ineligible for patenting under 35 USC § 101. Did the court do more or less harm by rendering its decision without much explanation?
In the non-precedential decision issued in Exergen Corp. v. Kaz USA, Inc., Judge Moore considered the time and money it took to develop the invention at issue when deciding that the claims satisfy the patent eligibility requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 101. While other patent eligibility decisions make clear that an inventor’s investment will not always be relevant, Exergen offers an interesting way to evaluate whether claim elements relate to more than “well-understood, routine and conventional” activity.
The USPTO issued a two page memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps noting that some of the USPTO’s written description guidance pertaining to antibody claims is “outdated.” The memo specifically notes withdrawal of the “newly characterized antigen test” for written description of antibodies, and advises that additional written description examination guidance is forthcoming.
In Mallinckrodt Hospital Prods. IP Ltd. v. Praxair Distrib., Inc., Judge Sleet of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware invalidated personalized method of treatment claims under 35 USC § 101 as being directed to a natural phenomenon. If the Federal Circuit affirms the decision, will it leave room to draw a line that spares other methods of treatment?
In Novartis v. Lee (Fed. Cir. 2014), the Federal Circuit agreed with the USPTO that “time spent in a continued examination” does not count towards the three years the USPTO is allotted to examine a patent before if it must award Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) for “B” delay. Under the USPTO’s rules, filing a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) stops that PTA clock, but in Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Matal, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found that the clock should keep running when the USPTO mishandles an RCE. So, exactly when does an RCE stop the PTA clock?