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Three lessons from the Federal Circuit’s recent 101 reversal in XY v Trans Ova Genetics.

Reported by John O’Quinn and Hannah Bedard on

Less than a month ago, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court decision and concluded that although the ‘599 patent used mathematical equations to improve the flow cytometry method, the use of the math was aimed at improving a method itself. Therefore, as O’Quinn and Bedard emphasize, the claims are not directed at an abstract idea and the court did not need to apply step two of Alice. In this article, O’Quinn and Bedard highlight important lessons to take away from this recent Federal Circuit decision:

The court’s decision details several principles underlying the section 101 analysis and offers lessons for litigants addressing eligibility determinations.

As stated in the article, these lessons include the importance of making a strong case at Step One, articulating how the claims represent an improvement, and utilizing precedent to determine patent eligibility.

Litigants addressing section 101 challenges should focus on articulating what the claimed invention is, how it relates to the prior art, and how the claims compare to others that courts have already held to be eligible, or ineligible, under section 101.

For more information on this case, see our coverage.

Court of Appeals Upholds Mighty Mug’s Trade Victory Against Patent-Infringing Chinese Imports

Reported by

Shortly after Mighty Mug released its popular patented feature that prevents its mug from being knocked over and causing accidental spills, infringers began selling cheap knockoffs and shipping them from China to the United States. The district court granted a general exclusion order (GEO), which prohibits importation of these inferiorly made products. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appels for the Federal Circuit upheld this exclusion order. The article emphasizes:

[The court] ruled that a patent claim is only extinguished upon a final judgment of invalidity or unpatentability by a federal court and that the ITC’s interpretation of section 337, that the rescission of an exclusion order only occurs upon such subsequent action by a federal court, was correct.”

For more information on this case, view our coverage.

Apple v. Prepear: Does Apple Really Need All the Fruit?

Reported by Nicole Page of

Apple’s opposition to the Prepear’s app logo is based on two legal theories according to Nicole Page of IP Watchdog: (1) consumer confusion and (2) brand dilution by blurring. In the article, Page emphasizes that while all trademark owners have a right to protect their marks and ensure the safety of their brand’s market value, there is a line between bullying and business. And as the article points out, Apple would not be the first large company to be accused of engaging in trademark bullying. Additionally, the famous Apple logo is widely recognized across the globe. Page provides her thoughts on this issue:

I think most people would not make the leap from computers and phones to food preparation – that’s an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison. I also don’t think that a company with enormous market share in a number of areas gets to claim that by virtue of its fame, it should have the right to prevent other companies in other markets from developing brands and using trademarks just because it is so famous.”