TTAB Procedure

Lack of Algorithm in Specification Renders Means-Plus-Function Claim Indefinite

The Eastern District of Texas held that the only asserted claim of U.S. Patent No. 6,452,515 was indefinite because “the term ‘[means] for encoding these labels in a random order’” (alterations in original) invokes 35 USC § 112 ¶ 6, and “the specification of the ‘515 Patent does not disclose an algorithm for performing the encoding function required by this limitation.” Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Google LLC, No. 18-cv-00501-JRG-RSP (E.D.Tex. May 1, 2020). The asserted claim from the ‘515 Patent, claim 1, is reproduced here: 1. A video encoder for processing a sequence of animated pictures, said encoder comprising:      means for dividing a screen window occupied by said sequence into X rows and Y columns;      means for separately encoding each one of the X·Y parts of each picture of the sequence thus obtained; and      means for associating, to each of said parts, a specific label indicating a position of the part in the window, and for encoding these labels in a random order. During a prior claim construction hearing, the court found that claim 1 invoked 35 USC § 112, ¶ 6 because the claim uses “the words ‘means’ followed by a function. Moreover, the claim language… Read More »Lack of Algorithm in Specification Renders Means-Plus-Function Claim Indefinite

TTAB Requires Cross-Examination By Oral Deposition in CAPTAIN CANNABIS Battle

In a precedential decision in a cancellation proceeding, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has ruled that Petitioner Laverne J. Andrusiek must cross-examine, by oral deposition, Respondent Cosmic Crusaders LLC’s witnesses who provided direct testimony via written declaration.  Laverne Andrusiek v. Cosmic Crusaders LLC   Andrusiek contends that he created a comic book character named “Captain Cannabis” in the 1970s, and operates a website identifying various books and other works related to that character since that time. Cosmic Crusaders appears to be associated with a cannabis activist under the moniker of “Captain Cannabis,” and related media, including a “Cosmic Crusaders” comic featuring a “Captain Cannabis” character. Cosmic Crusaders obtained the registration at issue for CAPTAIN CANNABIS , for comic books in Class 16, in 2015.   Andrusiek sought leave to cross-examine Cosmic Crusader’s witnesses by written questions, citing, as factual background, to the inconvenience and expense of conducting oral cross-examinations. Andrusiek was identified as being in Washington state, while Cosmic Crusader’s witnesses were identified as being in Tampa, Florida. Andrusiek cited 37 CFR 2.124(b)(3) as basis for the request:   A party desiring to take cross-examination, by written questions, of a witness who has provided testimony by affidavit or declaration… Read More »TTAB Requires Cross-Examination By Oral Deposition in CAPTAIN CANNABIS Battle