For the second time in two years, the Federal Circuit has held claims in Cleveland Clinic’s patents invalid for claiming ineligible subject matter. The patents at issue in Cleveland Clinic Found. v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 9451 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 1, 2019) (“Cleveland Clinic II”), were linked to the same natural law as the three patents at issue in Cleveland Clinic Found. v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, 859 F.3d 1352 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (“Cleveland Clinic I”): the correlation between cardiovascular disease and levels of the heme protein myeloperoxidase (“MPO”) in a subject’s blood.
Another week….another split Federal Circuit decision on 35 U.S.C. Section 101. This time, in SRI Int’l, Inc. v. Cisco Sys., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 8249 (Fed. Cir. March 20, 2019), a divided panel held a network security patent eligible under Alice Step 1. This case highlights the difficulties in resolving one of the major threads in the post-Alice caselaw: the level of specificity that Section 101 requires.
On March 4, 2019, the Supreme Court issued two unanimous decisions of interest to copyright practitioners. In both cases, the Court resolved a split among the Circuit courts and repudiated Ninth Circuit positions.
In Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Servs., LLC, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3645 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 6, 2019), the Federal Circuit issued another fractured decision applying 35 U.S.C. Section 101. Athena is the court’s eighth 2-1 decision in the Section 101 arena in the past year-and-a-half.
The Federal Circuit issued a decision on February 1st in Prism Techs. LLC v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3281 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 1, 2019), that reads like a primer on civil procedure. The case is noteworthy because it presents a thicket of procedural issues that would be worthy of any Civil Procedure exam. It also is an example of the Federal Circuit’s reluctance to definitively articulate how Iqbal and Twombly have impacted federal pleading standards in patent cases.