For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, March 14, 2016, we will discuss the following cases:
In re Smith (Fed. Cir. March 10, 2016) (available here). Ray and Amanda Smith own a patent directed to a wagering card game that uses a real or a virtual standard deck of cards. The examiner rejected the claims of the patent asserting that the claims are directed to a new set of rules for playing cards with a standard deck. On appeal, the PTAB affirmed the examiner’s rejection finding that the claims are directed to patent ineligible subject matter under Alice. On appeal to the Federal Circuit, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s decision.
In re: Queens University at Kingston, et. al (Fed. Cir. March 1, 2016) (available here). Queens University sued Samsung for patent infringement. During fact discovery, Queens University refused to produce communications with its non-attorney patent agents asserting that the communications were privileged. The magistrate judge granted Samsung’s motion to compel those communications asserting that the communications were not protected under any privilege. Queens filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Federal Circuit, requesting the court to withdraw the order from the lower court compelling production. The Federal Circuit granted Queens University’s petition.