A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Denies Priority to a Patent Claim, Thus Invalidating It Based on Prior Art

In a May 8, 2015 ruling, Judge P. Kevin Castel found a patent claim to be invalid over prior art despite the patentee’s claim of earlier priority for the claim at issue. Relying on Federal Circuit precedent, the Court noted where a defendant produces prior art with a date preceding the filing date of the patent at issue, the burden shifts to the patentee to provide evidence and argument at least creating an issue of fact that the claim is supported by the written description of the patent from which it claims priority. If the patentee does so, the burden shifts back to the defendant to show by clear and convincing evidence that the earlier written description does not support the claim. In invalidating the claim at issue, Judge Castel wrote:
Under the Videotek burden-shifting framework described earlier, the defendants met their initial burden of production by identifying prior art—the Flex Binders—which, the parties agree, would invalidate Claim 20 if it cannot claim the benefit of the ’640 Patent’s earlier filing date. It was then incumbent upon Chizmar to produce “evidence and argument” that creates a genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether the disclosures of the ’640 Patent satisfy the written description requirement. This Chizmar has failed to do. Accordingly, Claim 20 of the ’140 Patent is invalid as anticipated by the Flex Binders.
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