Category Archives: Cases to Watch

Federal Circuit Trends of 2016

Authors: Alissa Lipton, Eric Raciti
Editor: Lauren J. Dreyer

Join us as we review what has been an exciting year at the Federal Circuit and help ring in 2017 with a New Year’s reception at Finnegan’s Boston office on Wednesday, January 11, 2017! We will provide insights on the top Federal Circuit decisions and trends of 2016.

Below, we highlight some of the issues we will discuss on January 11:
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Animating 101: Court Clarifies Application of Patent-Eligibility Test Under Alice

Author: Forrest A. Jones
Editor: Kevin D. Rodkey

In McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America, Inc., No. 15-1080 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 13, 2016), the Federal Circuit reversed a district court’s finding that patents directed to processes for automated lip synchronization animation methods were directed to patent-ineligible abstract ideas. In doing so, the Court provided additional guidance for applying the abstract idea prong the two-step patent eligible subject matter test first articulated in Alice.

The patents at issue involved processes for automatically animating lip synchronization of computer-generated characters. The claimed methods apply rules assigned to a timed transcript and various animation frames to automatically set the facial expressions, rather than by being set by a human animator. The district court held that the claims were directed to an abstract idea, finding that the claims were not limited to specific rules and the “novel portions of [the] invention are claimed too broadly.”

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Spotlight on Upcoming Oral Arguments – September, 2016

Spotlight on Upcoming Oral Arguments – August 2016

Author: Umber Aggarwal*
Editor: Lauren J. Dreyer

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Asetek Danmark v. CMI USA, No. 16-1026, Courtroom 201

In this appeal, the Federal Circuit will address infringement, validity, damages, and an injunction in an appeal involving computer cooling systems. Defendant-appellant CMI USA argues that its accused products lack a “removably attached” heat exchanging interface because the interface is not designed to be removed during use. In response, Patentee-appellee Asetek contends, among other things, that the jury’s infringement verdict is supported by substantial evidence, including the undisputed fact that the interfaces of the accused products are held in place by removable screws.

The Federal Circuit will also address whether the patent is valid over certain prior art and whether Asetek’s damages expert, as CMI contends, improperly asserted a lost-profits claim under the guise of a reasonable royalty. Finally, the Federal Circuit will address whether the district court abused its discretion by specifically naming CMI’s affiliate (Cooler Master) in a permanent injunction where the district court found that the non-party affiliate was working in active concert with CMI to infringe in the U.S.

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