Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights:

  • an article discussing how a “Federal Circuit panel homed in on the question of how to define ‘inventor’ and ‘individual’ in a test case for artificial intelligence inventorship”;
  • another article highlighting how a recent supplemental brief argued that a pending Supreme Court case “will not clarify” questions about Section 101 patent eligibility; and
  • a third article addressing how the Federal Circuit recently held that it is not a defense to willful patent infringement when a “district court . . . judicially correct[s] claims when there are ‘obvious minor typographical and clerical errors in patents’ without changing the scope of the claim.”

Samantha Handler published an article for Bloomberg Law discussing how, in Thaler v. Vidal, a Federal Circuit panel heard the argument that “the term ‘individual’ as used in the Patent Act should be interpreted broadly, extending to artificial intelligence machines.” Handler emphasized how two of the judges “centered their questions on how to plainly define ‘individual,’ hesitating at the notion of zero human involvement in the creation of AI-generated inventions.” As the article highlights, Circuit Judge Richard G. Taranto “noted that in some cases it would be ‘odd’ to list an AI as an inventor . . . [a]rtificial intelligence refers to a capability, he said, citing dictionary definitions.”

Ryan Davis wrote an article for Law360 addressing Neapco’s supplemental brief in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC. Davis explained how, in Neapco’s brief, the company “urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the solicitor general’s argument that taking the case will clarify the law on eligibility, saying it will only increase confusion.” As the article notes, “Neapco maintained that the case hinges on an 1854 Supreme Court ruling involving the telegraph known as O’Reilly v. Morse, which held that an invention is not patent eligible if it discloses nothing more than a natural law and covers only a result.” According to Neapco, Davis noted, this case “‘only tangentially’ implicates the more recent Mayo and Alice patent eligibility decisions that the government says have led to uncertainty, so it can’t be used to clarify them.”

Matthew Schutte authored an article for IPWatchdog discussing how, in Pavo Solutions LLC v. Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the Federal Circuit “held that reliance on an obvious minor clerical error in the claim language is not a valid defense to willful infringement.” As the article notes, the Court rejected Kingston’s argument “that it could not have the requisite intent to willfully infringe because it could not have anticipated the court changing the claim language,” a change that allegedly changed the scope of the claim. Rather, Schutte emphasized, the Federal Circuit “explained that a minor clerical error does not remake the claim.”