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, ”[i]f cert is granted, this [patent] case will ask the nation’s highest court to clarify the written description requirement under 35 U.S.C. § 112”;
  • another article highlighting how the Federal Circuit recently ruled that inventions were unpatentable “[b]ecause the ‘patents are directed to a natural law together with conventional steps to detect or quantify the manifestation of that law’”; and
  • a third article addressing how “[t]he Federal Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision backing a jury’s noninfringement finding in a patent suit against Amazon over diaper-monitoring technology.”

Steve Brachmann wrote an article for IPWatchdog discussing how ”the U.S. Supreme Court received several amicus briefs filed in support of the petition for writ of certiorari filed in Biogen International GmbH v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.” According to the article, an amicus brief filed by the Chemistry and the Law Division (CHAL) of the American Chemical Society urged that ”the underlying Federal Circuit decision will create uncertainty among patent practitioners on how to draft patent applications to pass Section 112 muster.” The article also highlighted how the “the New England Legal Foundation (NELF) noted that the issues presented on appeal are of great importance to the biotechnology and health care industries well established in the New England region.” Moreoever, Brachmann discussed how “the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) jointly filed an amicus brief arguing that the Federal Circuit’s formulation of the written description requirement, including the need to show human clinical evidence proving the efficacy of a claimed therapeutic method, would make it nearly impossible to obtain patent protection for new methods of treatment.”

Samantha Handler and Kelcee Griffis co-authored an article for Bloomberg Law discussing how, in CareDx, Inc. v. Natera, Inc., “CareDX Inc. failed to save its patents related to organ transplant rejection tests, as the Federal Circuit affirmed that the inventions are ineligible for patents.” As the article notes, the Federal Circuit ruled that ”[t]he patents—which describe a breakthrough way to measure organ transplant rejection with a blood test—observe a natural phenomenon, meaning they’re not eligible for patent protection under US Supreme Court precedent.”

Jasmin Jackson published an article for Law360 addressing how, in Innovation Sciences, LLC v., Inc., the Federal Circuit found that the district court “correctly upheld Inc.’s . . . win against patent-holding company Innovation Sciences LLC, which claimed that some of Amazon’s Alexa-powered smart devices infringed a trio of patents for a device that sends a mobile alert when a diaper is full.” According to Jackson, “[t]he panel also affirmed [Eastern District of Texas] Judge Mazzant’s May 2021 order denying Innovation Sciences’ bid for a new trial or a judgment as a matter of law, ruling that ‘substantial evidence supports a finding of anticipation.'” Jackson noted, however, that “the Federal Circuit reversed Judge Mazzant’s decision to award Amazon about $126,000 in costs over two graphics used as evidence during the patent trial.”