Litigation Quality Patent PatentCast

Although ZeroClick's finger gesture patents were temporarily brought back to life on appeal, Apple has ample avenues to kill it off permanently on remand back to the trial court in the Northern District of California.  The patent, which was drafted pro se by a doctor who wanted to improve the patient charting process without having to click on a pointer, was not invalid on the ground that it should be interpreted in means plus function form (if it were so interpreted, it would likely have stayed dead).  Apple does not appear worried.  Apple appears to have simply used the opportunity on a relatively weak patent to try to undermine a huge swath of all software patents that might have been subject to means plus function rules.  Had Apple been successful, many more software patents would have been put on life support.  However, the Federal Circuit reversed Apple's win below, and the result is that software patent claims are more likely to survive if they recite terms like "User Interface Code" or "Program Code," which makes them more likely to be considered sufficiently definite structure (like "circuit" is for hardware), and less likely to fall under the more challenging means plus function rules.

Direct download: Completed_Zero_Click.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

As the CEO of a technologies company, have you thought about what would happen if your top engineers walked out the door with a patentable idea and started a very profitable business? Every employment agreement these days should have a clause obligating employees to assign their rights and invention to your company. However, this doesn’t always happen. Every engineer will leave their current position at some point, and some of them will leave with extremely valuable ideas in their heads that they have been moonlighting on.

In today’s PatentCast, discover how an engineer walked out with valuable patentable ideas when his company was focused on GPS technologies for surveying applications. This former employer lost out on the “Big Win” when they could have had a very profitable idea without expensive or risky litigation.  

Direct download: SIRF_completed.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

Is Your Patent Attorney Getting You the Right Claims? The first episode was about Litigation Quality Patent Claim Criteria. We went through the twelve, high-level claim criteria areas that you can use as a checklist to assess Litigation Quality Patent claims. Whether you’re getting those claims that have been through those considerations or not. And today, we’re going to ask the other half of that question: what about claim scope? Am I getting Litigation Quality Patent Claim Scope when I’m filing my patent application? How can you tell?  

If you missed it, click here to listen to episode 1.

Direct download: Complete_p2_right_claim_.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

Today we have a special Ask the Patent Attorney two-episode edition, answering the question: "Is my patent attorney getting me the right claims?" To answer that question, we’re going to break this up into two parts. The first part is the Litigation Quality Patent Claim Criteria, and the second part is the Litigation Quality Patent Claim Scope. You need to have both to assess and give you a proper answer to the question that maybe isn’t frequently asked but should be asked. If I were a client of a patent attorney, this is the top of my asked questions.


Direct download: completed_p1.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:00am CDT

This is an important case from 2014. It is part of our post-Alice software series of Litigation Quality PatentCasts because it’s about an important decision that’s often cited in prosecution literature, in IPRs, and in litigation in favor of patent eligibility for software claims in certain circumstances. Alice is the Supreme Court decision, and it has set the bar and the two-step Alice test for analyzing whether claims are patent-eligible subject matter, or whether they’re too abstract, to be patentable.

Direct download: Completed_digital_river.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

In this installment of the Post-Alice Software Series, the Federal Circuit burns off some of the fog surrounding software claims at Step 2 of the Alice inquiry.  The case of SAP vs. Investpic appears to directly answer, for the first time, whether a claim can lack the “inventive concept” needed to survive Alice, even though the claims are “groundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant” as well as non-obvious.  Now we know that an “inventive concept” cannot be found in the non-abstract realm, e.g., the claimed improvement can’t be an improvement to merely abstract “math.” 

Direct download: Completed_SAP.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 6:30pm CDT

In this enlightening review of Microsoft's successful non-infringement defense against Mastermine's software patent relating to pivot tables, Craige exposes the 4 layers that must be considered to properly interpret a patent claim.  Craige provides crucial insights into the subtleties of each layer that make the difference between successful patent enforcement and just getting close but falling short, as Mastermine did with their claims.  As a bonus, Craige takes this case as a rare opportunity to explore hybrid claiming techniques, showing the factors that courts look at to decide when to permit both method and apparatus elements to be recited in the same claim - which can produce very powerful claims, for example, to protect software! 

Direct download: Completed_Mastermine_7-13-18.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

When is software that automates a human task patentable?

When is it too abstract to be patentable? In this special edition of the post-Alice software PatentCast series, Craige explains how the automation software claims were indeed patentable. Craige extracts key themes that pop up in many software litigations, and explains how to apply the lessons learned to create and enforce Litigation Quality Patents®

Direct download: completed_audio_MCRO.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

No! Common sense or ordinary creativity cannot substitute for reasoned analysis and evidence! This puts a bar, albeit a low bar, on the PTO’s ability to waive their hands and find patent claims obvious. Listen to Craige explain how Apple and the PTO could not get over this bar to invalidate an early “IOT” claim.

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Direct download: Completed_Dss_v_Apple_2.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 5:00pm CDT

Disaster befalls a patent owner whom they decided not to tell the Patent Office about 61 sales using the claimed intervention before the patent’s critical date. Craige explains how they hurt themselves in the patent office, which led to them losing their patent, getting sued for tortious interference, and paying the competitors legal fees on top of damages!

Direct download: Completed_Energy_Vs._Heat_on_the_Fly.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:51pm CDT

Did you know... fear from being sued and future business losses does not give you the right to sue a patent owner to get their patent declared invalid/ not infringed? Craige explains how manufacturers can defend themselves by a “DJ” (declaratory judgment) attack under some facts, but not others

Direct download: Completed_Allied_minerals_vs_osmi.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

visit: to get your copy of the Patent Flowchart. Most patents get rejected at least once. What is going on? Axiom during patent prosecution: "The key is to get out of the PTO as fast as possible with Litigation Quality Patent claims that cover a Commercially Valuable Choke Point."

Direct download: Why_is_my_Patent_getting_Rejected_Completed.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

Good news! You could be sued in fewer places!

Business owners will be relieved to know that their risk of being sued for patent infringement in some far away and unfriendly court just went down! Find out how a patent spat over supercomputers can keep you from traveling so far to defend against a charge of patent infringement.  


Direct download: ATPA_In_Re_Cray.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

In this episode of Ask The Patent Attorney Craige analyzes Michael Powell v Home Depot to answer one of our most frequently asked question, “How can I Monetize my patent asset?”  

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Direct download: How_can_I_monetize_my_patent_Asset.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

In this episode, Craige Thompson answers the frequently asked question "How do international patents work?" Craige discusses his perspective about the international patent process.

Direct download: How_do_international_patents_work.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

Should you file a provisional or a non-provisional? There is no one size fits all answer. The best choice depends on your unique business situation and strategy. Craige explains what makes these two filings similar and different from each other so you can make a more fully informed decision.  

Direct download: ATPA_Prov_v_non_Prov.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

The Alice barrier to software just got cut down a couple notches! 

Is this sleepy little case going to shake up prosecution and litigation of software patents?

Tawfiq uncovers how it might have just become harder to invalidate software claims, under step 2 of Alice in District Court, while Craige explains the potential sea change that promises to hold the patent examiners back from sloppy Alice rejections. Help is on the way for protecting software.

Direct download: New_and_Improved_Berkhimer_v_HP.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

 Did the word "couple" really need to be interpreted twice by the PTO, twice by the Federal Circuit, and once by the District Court? In today’s IPR PTABCast, Craige explains how the proper constructions of a single word can toggle a patent between validity and invalidity, and what you can do to avoid millions of dollars of litigation expenses by adding one clarifying word. 

Direct download: InRe_Power_integrations.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

Patent claims can be invalid if a prior art reference teaches almost all the claimed features and any missing features must “necessarily” be present when you follow the Prior art teachings.  

In this IPR PTABCast Craige explains how Southwire’s industry-changing process patent defeated the inherence attack but succumbed to the “obviousness” attack.

Direct download: SouthwirevCerrrowire.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

In today’s Briefing, Craige discusses six options that you can choose from when launching your idea into the market. If you want to safely maintain proprietary control and ownership of your idea, you need to understand the trade-offs and benefits of each of these 6 choices.

Direct download: Completed.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

Craige reviews a case study of obviousness by tracing how common errors in lazy drafting and greedy claiming that lead inexorably to weak patents. In Owens Corning v. Fast felt, the federal Circuit shoots down a patent on gravure deposited nail tabs for roof shingles, even though the claims survived the inter partes review process.

Direct download: Completed._This_is_the_most_resent_one.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

3 lessons on How to Patent Software Claims

Since the Supreme Court tightened the law for patenting software inventions in a case called Alice, businesses have been uncertain about the fate of software patents. In the years since Alice, the law has started to settle. In this PatentCast, Craige explains why Microsoft was unable to kill off software claims owned by Enfish, and he shares 3 valuable Litigation Quality Patent lessons and 3 business takeaways from Enfish decision by the Federal Circuit.

Direct download: Completed_Enfish_1.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 12:24pm CDT

Software is patentable – we do it here at TPL all the time. But many software inventions die a slow, and painful death in the patent office. Many others are killed off in litigation – all due to a Supreme Court case called Alice. Alice shapes which software claims thrive, and which don’t survive. In today’s EPG case, Craige explores how to identify whether claims will survive Alice. Craige also offers some Litigation Quality Patent practice pointers – including “red flag” phrases that are symptoms of potentially weak claims.  

Direct download: EPG_Case.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 12:19pm CDT

Businesses accused of patent infringement have some sophisticated strategies at their command. Conversely, patent owners must have litigation savvy counsel who knows how to think strategically (i.e., chess rather than checkers). In this PatentCast,™ Craige draws business and patent lessons involving an infringed capacitor patent.

Direct download: Presidio_v_ATC.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 5:30pm CDT

On this episode of LQP Ask the Patent Attorney Craige answers this FAQ "Can I even get a patent on my idea?" 

Direct download: ATPA_Can_i_even_get_a_Patent_on_my_Idea.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

In this episode of the Litigation Quality PatentCast Craige explains how Arctic Cat Successfully enforced and monetized its patent with a patent license to Honda and in litigation against BRP, the maker of an infringing “Sea-Doo” personal watercraft.

This case has 4 great business lessons involving how to

1) Overcome obviousness

2) Mark your products with your patent number

3) Get an on-going royalty and

4) Treble damages from the infringer!

Direct download: Arctic_Cat_vs._Bombardier_1.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

3 Keys to protect your important business deals

Proper due diligence and contracts can protect a business deal from dragging you, your company into a risky position though protracted patent litigation that scares your customers, shareholders, suppliers, employees, and licensees, not to mention the exorbitant legal expenses and potential money damages. In this PatentCast, Craige explains how a recent expansion of the “Single Actor Rule” exposes more businesses to patent infringement risk and 3 cost-effective steps you should consider to avoid patent litigation- even if you are just licensing a trademark or selling an unpatentable product.

Direct download: David_v._Travel_Sentry.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 12:55pm CDT

Many sophisticated patent clients have learned from other patent attorneys that long claims are bad and short claims are good. 

Craige explodes this fallacy with case studies about how a long claim can be ideal or a raw deal, depending on its structure. 

Craige exposes the secret ingredient that is essential for every claim, irrespective of its word count.

Direct download: LQP_ATPA__long_claims_bad.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT

Software is patentable when you follow the rules. Craige analyzes how the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) invalidated issued software claims because the claim drafter simply framed the claims in a way that was too abstract. This illustrates an avoidable, but all too common, flaw that leads to the demise of many software claims.

Direct download: Hartman_New__Improved..mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

Man Bites Dog! Shocking news! It’s not every day the USPTO stands up for owners of patents. This episode of the IPR PTAB Cast describes the hurdles that the PTAB has erected to stop harassment of patent holders so they don't have to suffer unwarranted serial IPR attacks.

Direct download: IPRPTA1.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:00am CDT

Craige answers this FAQ and adds a bonus answer to a should ask question (SAQ) for an often-overlooked way to monetize your invention.

Direct download: 18-01-11_Ask_The_Patent_Attorney.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 12:40pm CDT

Patent owners gain another small victory!

The Patent office’s strongest weapon against patent claim is BRI or “Broadest reasonable interpretation”, but BRI is “unreasonable” when it is contrary to general claims construction principles. The Federal Circuit finds “body: does not mean whatever the examiner thinks it means under BRI especially when the specification uses that term in a very consistent way. Lesson: it pays to be consistent.

Direct download: IPR_PTABCast_In_re_Smith_International.mp3
Category:patent law -- posted at: 3:30am CDT