Sean Murray and Jeremiah Helm Discuss Recent Fed. Circ. Case in Law360

In the latest installment of Knobbe Martens’ monthly Law360 series on notable Federal Circuit decisions, partners Sean Murray and Jeremiah Helm discussed a recent case that demonstrated how evidence of a company’s own prior products can invalidate a patent asserted against it.

The article focuses on Weber Inc. v. Provisur Technologies Inc., in which Provisur sued Weber for infringement of two patents related to food preparation devices. The Federal Circuit ruled that operating manuals distributed with the defendant's prior products constituted printed publications that could invalidate the plaintiff's patents in an inter partes review proceeding.  Key to the decision was the company’s practice of providing manuals to its customers and to anyone that requested one.

In terms of actionable takeaways for companies and practitioners, Murray and Helm noted: “The Weber decision is good news for companies that have an established history of selling products in a particular field or product space.” The authors concluded: “While an IPR petitioner cannot rely on its prior products to invalidate a patent, it can rely on printed publications disclosing those products, such as operating manuals and brochures. The Weber decision makes that easier to do.”

Read the full article here.