Motion for Summary Judgment as to Defenses of Improper Inventorship & Derivation

An improper inventorship defense rests on the statutory requirement that a patent is invalid if more or fewer than the true inventors are named.

A defense of “derivation”, on the other hand, requires proof of both prior conception of the invention by another and communication of that conception to the patentee.

Both defenses require proof by clear and convincing evidence.

This case presents an interesting situation in which the defendant claimed that the plaintiff wasn’t the inventor, but did not identify who else was.  Given that the procedural context was the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as to the defendant’s improper inventorship defense, the issue presented was thus whether Defendant had created a genuine issue of material fact regarding its defenses of improper inventorship and derivation.

On the derivation defense, the issue was whether the Defendant had adduced proof that the “entirety” of the invention was conceived by others.

Service of process overseas

Texas lawyers are spoiled when it comes to service of process.  We get to serve process in civil suits using certified mail, return receipt request in state court.  And in the same way that state court procedures tend to bleed into federal court practice, even where the federal rule is not the same (think who pays for expert discovery) the state rules on service of process influence practice in federal court as well.

In part for that reason, in part because other nations have this perplexing tendency not to follow the Texas rules of civil procedure, and in part because agreements tend to eliminate this issue in many cases, the actual requirements for service of process on foreign defendants are terra incognito-ish for many practitioners, and can present obstacles when not rigorously followed, as this decision shows.

Expert’s Opinions v. Court’s Claims Construction

A recurring issue in patent cases is when a technical expert’s opinion is consistent with the Court’s claims construction, and simply opines whether infringement exists under the construction, and when it is not.  A recent case provided three useful examples where an expert did – but in some cases did not – proffer opinions that were consistent with the claim constructions the jury would have to consider, or was otherwise permissible.

Private Securities Fraud Class Action Certified

Class actions are not the most common form of cat in the Eastern District of Texas, but they are filed from time to time.  This case provides an interesting look at the standards applied to motions to certify a class, as well as to the standards applied by district judges reviewing reports and recommendations regarding class certification, as well as a thick block of analysis on the specific requirements of private securities fraud class actions as set forth in Amgen.  If you’re addressing similar issues, the two opinions are worth a close study.  If you’re not, this is an hour of your life you can keep.

Motion to Stay Pending Resolution of IPR

Defendants sought a stay pending IPR.  Judge Mitchell reviewed the relevant factors and determined that a stay was not warranted.  First, there was no showing of any case-specific prejudice.  Second, the defendants’ delay in filing their IPR peition weighed against a stay, as the motion wasn’t filed until shortly before claim construction briefing was to begin.  Third, and most importantly,

101 Motion Denied w/o Prejudice Pending Claim Construction; Case Stayed Pending CBM Review

Defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings under FRCP 12(c) alleging lack of patentable subject matter in this case, and asked the Court to invalidate the asserted claims on the basis that they are directed to the abstract idea of “offering, tracking, and processing discounts”—a concept Defendants contended is a longstanding commercial practice.

In its opinion, the Court