by Dennis Crouch
When I talked with PTO Director Andrei Iancu a few months ago, he lamented that the Federal Circuit is now finding the manufacturing of Truck Axles and operation of Garage Door Openers ineligible for patenting. The Federal Circuit panel has rewritten its Axle decision — now holding that American Axle’s asserted claim 1 might be eligible; Claim 22 remains ineligible.
The court was evenly divided six-to-six on the en banc petition. That meant the en banc petition is denied for lack of majority. The minimal changes made by Judge Dyk to his original opinion were just enough to avoid full rehearing. Still, half of the court thought that the opinion went too far in expanding the ineligibility hammer.
I’ll post this here for now, but will follow up with more later today.
- En Banc Denial with Five Separate Opinions. [AmericanAx En banc Denial].
- New Panel Decision penned by Judge Dyk and Joined by Judge Taranto; Judge Moore in dissent. [AmericanAx New Opinion].
- Original Panel Decision penned by Judge Dyk and Joined by Judge Taranto; Judge Moore in dissent. [AmericanAx Original Op].
- Crouch, Hey Mechanical Engineers: Your Patents are Also Ineligible, Patently-O (October 3, 2019).
- Crouch, Validity Goulash: Functional Claim Language, Patent Eligibility, and Pick-up Truck Drive Shafts, Patently-O (December 15, 2019).
- U.S. Patent 7,774,911.