2014年1月29日 星期三

用專利學地理 - 巴西

用專利學地理 - 巴西



專利局網站:
http://www.inpi.gov.br/


巴西於1978年就加入PCT,算是老牌的專利成員。
發明具有新穎性、進步性與工業可利用性,可獲得發明專利,期限20年(專利權時效可能因為審查時間過久而減少,不過巴西專利保障10年)
若發明為形狀、構造的改變,可以提出新型專利(採登記制,如果發明專利不准,可以改請為新型登記),期限15年(專利權時效保障7年)
新與原創在物品上的裝飾條紋、顏色,可提出設計專利申請,期限15年

實際審查要求,應於申請日(或優先權日)後3年內提出

專利無效:
獲准專利後6個月內,專利可依職權或被任何人提出無效程序
可以部份無效,不用對全部請求範圍提出無效

法定不予專利的事項:
違反道德、公眾安全與秩序、健康的事情,另為單純發現、科學原理、數學方法、抽象概念、商業、會計、財務、教育、廣告、規則、對獎、調查計畫、原理等方法、文學、建築、藝術、科學工作、美術創作、純電腦程式、資訊表達、遊戲規則、人類或動物的外科手術、診斷方法、自然發現的生物材料、基因等。

新穎性優惠期:
申請日(或優先權日)前12個月內被發明人本身、非發明人授意、第三方直接或間接從發明人取得而公開的事項,可以不被列入新穎性考量。

專利申請必要資訊:
申請人姓名與地址
發明人姓名、地址與公民身份(citizenship)
發明、新型或設計的名稱、摘要、說明書
權利範圍
圖式
外國人的申請案應翻譯為葡萄牙文
外國申請案進入巴西應具備優先權文件及其翻譯,優先權文件應於正式申請案提出後30日內補齊
第一國申請案的檢索報告,如果有的話
另需:代理人委託書(POA)、讓渡書(assignment)
以上資訊會經過初步審查程序確認是否可取得申請日(preliminary examination)

商標申請必要資訊:
商標名稱,文字與/或圖形
類別
與商標連結的商品或服務的描述
聯絡方式
申請人資料

其他:
接受因為單一性或是發明人意願的分割申請案,分割案規定如一般國家
專利申請案將會被強制公開,除非於申請日後16個月內撤回申請案
發明申請案於申請日(或優先權日)後18個月早期公開
加速審查綠色科技(替代能源,交通運輸,節能,農業和廢棄物管理)的發明申請案
這個國家的費用日期卡得很僅,比較短

從圖表來看,專利申請案(包括國外案)逐年上升。商標申請案為大宗,這可以想像,畢竟是金磚四/五國之一:


專利申請案多數為外國人:


專利以生醫產業為主:


多數專利申請案是從PCT進入:


Ron
資料參考:WIPO, http://www.inpi.gov.br/, http://www.brazilpatents.com/

新穎性優惠期的筆記

筆記

新穎性優惠期的筆記

不要把「新穎性優惠期(grace period)」與「優先權日(priority date)」混淆了,前者通常需要依照各國的國內專利法規定,為專利申請前的一段時間內經授權或非經授權的公開事實(依照各國規定),可以排除該申請案的新穎性的阻礙。這類公開揭露內容正式名稱為「non-prejudicial disclosures」

這類新穎性優惠期多半為6個月或12個月。

所謂的公開事實包括出於意願的(willful)或是非出於意願的(non-willful)與該申請案有關的印刷品公開、產品販售、口頭告知、公眾已知與使用等。以下介紹幾個國家的相關規定:

中華民國
(updated on May 5, 2017)我國新穎性優惠期已經修法,可參考:我國專利優惠期審查基準修訂(http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2017/04/blog-post_19.html

(修法後發明新型新穎性優惠期延長至12個月,但設計維持6個月,修法內容可參考以上連結)
中華民國專利第22條規定發明與新型專利的新穎性排除條款:
申請人有下列情事之一,並於其事實發生後六個月內申請,該事實非屬第一項各款或前項不得取得發明專利之情事:
一、因實驗而公開者。
二、因於刊物發表者。
三、因陳列於政府主辦或認可之展覽會者。
四、非出於其本意而洩漏者。
申請人主張前項第一款至第三款之情事者,應於申請時敘明其事實及其年、月、日,並應於專利專責機關指定期間內檢附證明文件。

設計專利相關規定則在專利法第122條:
申請人有下列情事之一,並於其事實發生後六個月內申請,該事實非屬第一項各款或前項不得取得設計專利之情事:
一、因於刊物發表者。
二、因陳列於政府主辦或認可之展覽會者。
三、非出於其本意而洩漏者。
申請人主張前項第一款及第二款之情事者,應於申請時敘明事實及其年、月、日,並應於專利專責機關指定期間內檢附證明文件。

歐洲
歐洲專利提供6個月新穎性優惠期,但不包括出於意願的公開,也就是除了非出於本意的洩漏之外,申請人或相關被授權的公開都不得主張新穎性優惠期。

EPC第55條訂出兩種型式的Non-prejudicial disclosures:非己意公開,以及巴黎公約中規定的國際展覽中的公開。
Article 55
Non-prejudicial disclosures
(1) For the application of Article 54, a disclosure of the invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred no earlier than six months preceding the filing of the European patent application and if it was due to, or in consequence of:
(a) an evident abuse in relation to the applicant or his legal predecessor, or
(b) the fact that the applicant or his legal predecessor has displayed the invention at an official, or officially recognised, international exhibition falling within the terms of the Convention on international exhibitions signed at Paris on 22 November 1928 and last revised on 30 November 1972.
(2) In the case of paragraph 1(b), paragraph 1 shall apply only if the applicant states, when filing the European patent application, that the invention has been so displayed and files a supporting certificate within the time limit and under the conditions laid down in the Implementing Regulations.

日本
日本專利提供的新穎性優惠期為申請案申請日前6個月。與多數國家一般,應於申請時提出已經在前公開的聲明。

美國
在AIA改革法案之前,相關的新穎性優惠可見於102(b)規定,申請日前一年內在美國國內外已專利、印刷品,或美國國內公開使用或販售,相關發明仍可排除這類公開。

在AIA改革法案實施之後(2013/3/16),相關規定見於102(b)(1)(2),也就是在美國的有效申請日前一年內發明人、共同發明人或其直接或間接的揭露內容不得成為新穎性的引證前案。

澳洲:
12個月(任何方式的公開)

巴西:
12個月(任何方式的公開)

加拿大:
12個月(任何方式的公開)

中國:
6個月(國際展覽會公開、學術公開、科技會議公開、非出於己意的公開)
補充Jan.29,2014(感謝網友提供資訊)
中国专利法施行细则第31条第1款:「规定的学术会议或者技术会议,是指国务院有关主管部门或者全国性学术团体组织召开的学术会议或技术会议,不包括省以下或者受国务院各部委或全国性学会委托或者以其名义组织召开的学术会议或技术会议。

印度:
12個月(政府認可的公開、學術公開、公開工作、非出於己意的公開)

韓國:
12個月(任何方式的公開)

俄國:
6個月(任何方式的公開)

當需要主張新穎性優惠期時,除非的確有需要,否則該案也有國外申請案時,需考慮該國相關規定,避免先前揭露內容反而是成為一個阻礙。

資料來源:
http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/d8df66ffe4ea0dbac1257ab0004f2002/$FILE/grace_period_en.pdf

補充Jan.29,2014
巴黎公約中提到的國際展覽會的暫時保護規定中,仍是要各會員國以各國國內法規定為主,但優惠期不應超過優先權可以提供的長度(如公約第4條規定優先權的期限)

[原文]
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property

Article 11
Inventions, Utility Models, Industrial Designs, Marks: Temporary Protection at Certain International Exhibitions

(1) The countries of the Union shall, in conformity with their domestic legislation, grant temporary protection to patentable inventions, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks, in respect of goods exhibited at official or officially recognized international exhibitions held in the territory of any of them.

(2) Such temporary protection shall not extend the periods provided by Article 4. If, later, the right of priority is invoked, the authorities of any country may provide that the period shall start from the date of introduction of the goods into the exhibition.

(3) Each country may require, as proof of the identity of the article exhibited and of the date of its introduction, such documentary evidence as it considers necessary.
Ron

2014年1月28日 星期二

"adapted to"用法如何?前言效力如何?(about Claims)

這件訴訟解開來看,至少有兩個議題:
"adapted to"用法如何?是否可以擴大解釋專利範圍?
前言preamble是否用以限縮專利可實施範圍?
但解釋範圍時,圖示很重要。

CAFC案Aspex Eyewear v. Marchon Eyewear

這是另一個討論權利範圍功能性用語的案例,比如權利範圍中使用"adapted to/configured to"的涵蓋範圍爭議。
(前一篇討論:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2014/01/configured-toabout-claims.html)

"adapted to"用在權利範圍中某個元件的功能描述上,至少字面上看來是可以讓這個元件的解釋更廣,而不限於這個元件原本(說明書所描述)能夠執行的結構/功能上。

Aspex對Marchon提出侵權告訴,被告物品是曾經被告過的可附掛另一鏡框的眼鏡,此案例提供的議題涉及"一事不再理(res judicata)",以及對於既已判斷的案例之後發生的侵權物的禁反言原則(estoppel)。

系爭專利為美國專利RE37,545,這個專利就是如同一個普通眼鏡,但是可以外掛一個墨鏡的那種。專利內容揭露一種眼鏡的輔助鏡片,一個眼鏡上有兩個鏡框,一個是主要的,另一為輔助的,主要的鏡框就連接眼鏡的兩側延伸耳掛的部分,具
有兩個磁性元件,可以連結到輔助鏡框上的磁性元件。

侵權爭議就在磁性元件上,地院判決不侵權就是因為一事不再理(res judicata)原則下的判斷,然而上訴法院CAFC駁回此決定。
事情經過關於專利範圍中的功能性用語,先參考以下Claim 23:

23. An eyeglass device comprising:

 an auxiliary spectacle frame for supporting auxiliary lenses therein, said frame including a front side, a rear side, and oppositely positioned side portions, each of said side portions having an arm extended therefrom, each of said arms having a rearwardly directed free end for securing a magnetic member, and a pair of magnetic members respectively secured in the free ends of said arms, said arms and said
pair of magnetic members adapted to extend across respective side portions of a primary spectacle frame so that said pair of magnetic members can vertically engage corresponding magnetic members on a primary spectacle frame.

Claim 23之前的Claim 22:

22. An eyeglass device comprising:

a primary spectacle frame for supporting primary lenses therein and having two side portion extensions extending rearwardly therefrom and having a front side, a rear side, a top side, and a rear end, each of said rear ends pivotally coupling a leg configured to conform to a user at a distal end thereof, each of said extensions of said primary spectacle frame further having a projection attached to each of said rear sides, and a pair of first magnetic members respectively secured in said projections, said first magnetic members capable of engaging second magnetic members of an auxiliary spectacle frame so that lenses of an auxiliary spectacle frame are located in front of said primary lenses.

從地院的專利範圍解釋中可見其中"adapted to"被很狹窄的方式解釋,如權利範圍描述,輔助鏡框上的磁性元件垂直對應銜接於主要的鏡架上。將權利範圍限縮到這些描述上時,如地院所判,侵權不成立。

對於這個解釋,專利權人Aspex爭辯範圍解釋過窄,認為其中用了"adapted to"應該只是指後面的功能描述為適當的結構"suitable for"或可以達到的功能"capable of",卻非一定按照字面的描述那樣。

在地方法院階段,地院法官認為"adpated to"接近"made to/designed to/configured to"的意思,約略可翻譯"作為...",但也可能解釋廣一些,意思如"capable of/suitable for"。

但在此案審理過程中,在此Claims 22, 23為答辯中新增範圍,且在答辯以及再審程序中又被修正過,再根據專利說明書實施方式的描述"for engaging",表示權利範圍的描述就是為了這個連結關係,使得專利範圍應以較窄的方式解釋,也就如"configured to"的意思,權利範圍中的意思是那對磁性元件延伸而分別跨過主要鏡框的兩臂,使得磁性元件垂直與鏡框上的磁性元件結合。
就是地院解釋專利範圍將adapted to解釋為較窄的configured to,而此"configured to"用語不同於"capable of",若adapted to解釋為configured to,則需要結構特徵,而非僅是可以達到某種功能的描述而已


於是專利權人Aspex上訴,CAFC並不同意地方法院過窄的解釋方式,其中之一理由是,Claim有些修正並非實質上的修正,因此不可過份限縮權利範圍,還有至少以下幾個重點:

爭點一:magnets
比如磁性元件,附屬範圍寫為此為吸鐵(magnet),但獨立項則可以涵蓋到所有吸磁功能的材料才是。另外在獨立項的前言部分(preamble)則應該也不是限制專利範圍解釋的特徵,因為專利審查時也無考量前言的內容。

爭點二:eyeglass
訴訟被告Marchon認為專利範圍應該限縮到前言所界定的「eyeglass device」,這眼鏡有主鏡框與輔助鏡框,但CAFC法官卻認為權利範圍不應被前言(preamble)所限制。
判斷的基礎有二:
一、權利範圍所描述的主鏡框與輔助鏡框並非僅為了一個眼鏡裝置(eyeglass device),而元件主鏡框與輔助鏡框兩個元件可以涵蓋應用到所有眼鏡的相關變化(variations);
二、前言(preamble)並非用來瞭解權利範圍之用,也非用於專利審查之用,當審查委員引用前案時,無須僅針對眼鏡裝置來查詢前案。也就是審查委員查詢前案時僅針對有主鏡框與輔助鏡框兩個元件來檢索而已。
因此,CAFC基於上述兩點,認為前言部份並非限制權利範圍的解釋。

爭點三:rearwardly directed free end
CAFC法官不認同地院對權利範圍中「rearwardly directed free end」的解釋,因為Claim並未解釋何謂"free",而且根據圖示,這句話意思應該是「鏡框兩臂向後延伸,未與鏡框兩側相接」。
根據說明書,請同時參照系爭專利圖示(如本文上),主鏡框10包括有了個具有向後延伸部份11的兩側,與鏡架撐住耳朵的兩個腳12樞接,鏡框10上有兩個磁性元件14,輔助鏡框20則裝有鏡片,也有兩個磁性元件22,兩側有兩臂21向後延伸,與主鏡框10透過磁性元件14, 22結合。

至少基於以上三點,CAFC將此案發回地院重審。

功課:
顯然,就CAFC法官在此案的態度是,"adapted to"確實可以涵蓋更廣的範圍,甚至比"configured to"還廣;且"configured to"的描述還需要結構上的支撐;面對前案僅功能性對應的核駁理由,不錯的答辯方式是利用"configured to"以及所描述的結構;至少在此案可以看出,法官(包括USPTO審查員)對於前言部份的態度是no weight,也就不會用來限制專利範圍解讀,而是更著重於權利範圍中元件的描述以及其中可能隱含的涵蓋範圍;前言部份不會影響專利範圍,也就是不會影像影響專利的獲得,因此面對前案核駁時,專利範圍元件仍是主要要面對的,以功效或前言的描述來答辯效果不大,實務上確實如此。

Ron
資料參考:http://alleylegal.com/2012/03/aspex-eyewear-v-marchon-eyewear-claim-drafting-lessons/

2014年1月27日 星期一

RELECURA - 超好用專利檢索工具

http://www.relecura.com/

一個使用relecura的範例:
http://synergytek.com.tw/blog/2014/01/15/ibm_patent_transaction_assignee_analysis/

Relecura是一個印度公司INDUS TechInnovations開發的專業專利檢索與分析工具,這間公司另有一個針對學生學習的產品:Creonto

Relecura
在此介紹Relecura這個專業又好用的專利檢索與分析工具,包括有APP版與Web版,功能以Web較為完整,除了基本美國專利檢索外,另外還有各種分析工具:技術分類分析、申請人分析、發明人分析、相關技術申請人分析等,甚至可以讓使用者上傳文件,它來幫你分析。因為簡單好用,建議可以從APP開始,在此僅貼上一些截圖,有興趣的可以去免費下載APP,真正專業的網頁工具則將近日於此部落格介紹,不過已經有前輩代理與火力展示,可參考:
http://synergytek.com.tw/blog/tag/relecura/

APP免費又好用,去下載吧!可從Relecura.com網頁開始:

安裝後icon:
執行後開始介面,提供幾種檢索方式:
從檢索選項可以得到可檢索的資料庫範圍:
檢索結果清楚明瞭,受限手機的顯示大小:
點入一篇專利可見完整內容,包括圖示:
可以針對檢索結果做圖表分析、關鍵字分析、引用案分析...:
可以循環繼續取得深入的結果:
簡易專利地圖,技術分類包括國際分類IPC、美國專利分類USC與美國-歐洲合作分類CPC:
提供各種技術分類檢索與說明:
如果登入服務,可以使用匯出、匯入、我的最愛、分享等服務:
對個別專利進行關鍵字分析:
可以取得特定專利檢索結果的相關技術分類的申請狀況:
可以對特定檢索結果找到主要的申請人,並進而對各公司取得的相關專利瀏覽與分析:
可以匯出結果,這需要登入relecura服務:

Ron
資料參考:Relecura.com、新聚能http://synergytek.com.tw/

2014年1月23日 星期四

你常用"configured to"嗎?(about Claims)

你常用"configured to"嗎?這個寫法效果如何?
這句話是這個案例被討論的理由之一,來自主審法官Rader的意見:
it is usually improper to construe non-functional claim terms in system claims in a way that makes infringement or validity turn on their function.

"configured to"可以解釋為"設為"、"用以"、"配置為"...,常用來描述一個機構、部件名詞的功能,似乎頗有用處,當想要在Claim中將一個元件與其功能連結時,"configured to"就是一個不錯的選擇。相似的轉接詞如used to, used for, provided for, prepared for, adapted to, operable to, for ...。這個用語就差不多是用來等同means-plus-function的用語,並適用專利法112(f)條的解釋,但似乎又可以迴避means-plus-function解釋專利範圍的限制

根據Patently-O部落格報導,這幾年愈來愈多專利的獨立請求項使用"configured to",這應該可以透過簡單檢索取得統計。

舉例來說,蘋果也常用,甚至用在專利名稱,也用在權利範圍,根據該公司的屬性來看,常用來描述虛擬電路(軟體元件),但這在這類專利中頗為正常而有用,與機構案的判讀應稍有不同。

US20130344872
Cell Re-Selection in a Device Configured to Operate According to Multiple Cellular Communication Protocols

10. A wireless user equipment (UE) device configured to communicate using a plurality of radio access technologies (RATs) using a single radio, wherein the UE comprises:
a radio, wherein the radio comprises circuitry configured for wireless communication, wherein the radio is configured for use according to either of a first radio access technology or a second radio access technology;
logic configured to control the radio, wherein the logic is configured to:
...

US 8570449
1. A system comprising:
a display comprising a stack of layers configured to display an image;
multiple elements included in the stack of layers, wherein each of the multiple elements is configured to sense light;
a pressure sensor distinct from the multiple elements and configured to sense a pressure applied to the display; and
a processor configured to detect an object based on output from the multiple elements and output from the pressure sensor.


這個議題涉及之前的案例:
http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2014/01/superior-industries-v-masaba.html
這個案例爭議是一個機構案元件的描述用到"configured to"時的專利範圍是否涵蓋到元件之後的功能?但這個爭議或許在電子與軟體案比較小。

案例Superior Industries v. Masaba (Fed. Cir. 2014)中涉及解釋專利範圍的議題,大概的結果是,系統專利的專利範圍不應涵蓋到這個系統所能執行的功能,這個觀念來自於案例Hewlett–Packard Co. v. Bausch & Lomb Inc., 909 F.2d 1464 (Fed.Cir.1990)。

列舉此案例其中之一系爭專利US7,607,529權利範圍,"configured for"常見用於描述傾卸車的"support frame(支撐架)"的作用,算是一個功能性用語的轉接詞(transition),但此功能性用語所涵蓋的專利範圍在此案例中被挑戰,被認為與被告侵權物無關,即便專利權人自認專利或許不成立,但CAFC仍請地院重新審理,重新解釋專利範圍。

1. A portable conveyor system with a drive-over material receiving opening, the conveyor system comprising:
a longitudinally extending frame comprising a first end and a second end, the first end of the frame configured for connection to a towing vehicle, the second end of the frame configured for transportation over a ground surface, the frame carrying a conveyor belt assembly generally between the first and second ends of the frame, wherein a first portion of the frame adjacent to the first end defines a first frame height, the first portion of the frame configured to rest on the ground surface; and
a drive-over ramp system near the first end of the frame, the drive-over ramp system comprising a first ramp section located on a first side of the frame, a second ramp section located on a second side of the frame, and a third ramp section supported on the frame between the first and second ramp sections, the third ramp section comprising a grate positioned over a portion of the conveyor belt assembly, wherein each of the first and second ramp sections comprises:
a ramp support frame configured for contact with the ground surface and positionable adjacent to the longitudinally extending frame, the ramp support frame comprising a first frame member spaced from the longitudinally extending frame of the conveyor system, the first frame member defining a barrier having a height approximating the first frame height of the longitudinally extending frame; and
a ramp having a first end and a second end spaced from the first end, the first end of the ramp being pivotally connected to the longitudinally extending frame and having a vehicle support surface extending between the first end second ends of the ramp, the ramp being pivotable between a first position with the ramp second end at the height of the barrier and a second position with the ramp second end radially spaced from the first position in a direction toward the third ramp section.
15. A portable material transport vehicle dump system comprising:
a longitudinally extending frame having a first end and a second end, the frame carrying a material conveying system generally from the first end to the second end, the first end of the frame being in close proximity to a ground surface;
a grate supported by the frame near the first end of the frame, the grate being positioned over a portion of the conveyor system;
a pair of ramps connected to the frame on opposite sides of and aligned with the grate, each ramp of the pair of ramps having a first portion engageable with the ground surface and a second portion supported above the ground surface, the second portion defining, in combination with the grate, a drive over surface for a material transport vehicle when second portion is in a first lowered position, the first portion configured to support an earthen ramp at a level with the drive over surface, the second portion of each ramp pivotable away from the first portion while the first portion maintains support of the earthen ramp.
另一案US7,424,943的Claim中也有利用"configured to"來描述支撐架的功能寫法,提到支持部用以支撐靠上支撐部的土斜坡的一端(功能):

2. A portable truck dump comprising:
...
a support frame positionable on the ground adjacent to the first end of the frame on each of the first and second sides of the frame, the support frame comprising a frame member extending along the second end of each of the first and second ramps, the frame member having a height generally equal to a height of the second end of each ramp when the second end of each ramp is supported above the ground, wherein the frame member is configured to support an end of an earthen ramp constructed against the frame member to provide a material transport vehicle access to the first and second ramps to deposit material over the grate, and to maintain the integrity of the earthen ramp when the first and second ramps are pivoted toward the grate.

小結:
雖有美國CAFC法官認為"configured to"後面接著的功能性描述no weight(沒有影響範圍解釋),但這也並非是所有法官的共識;
專利審理期間是否功能性用語有意義,這端賴前後文,特別是結構、元件上的限制,如果是純功能,應該是沒有意義;
"configured to"至少在侵權判斷時是否應該被讀入?這個所謂的「Halliburton rule」可供參考,如果功能性用語無法適用112(f)的解釋,則不允許,相關部落格文章:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2009/10/about-claims-xxvi-functional-whereby.html如果專利申請人無法證明所載功能是可以與前案區隔(證明前案辦不到)或是比較好,專利範圍為不明確

MPEP2114是個很好的結論:
2114 Apparatus and Article Claims - Functional Language
  1. 裝置權利範圍應以結構性特與先前技術區隔
  2. 如果先前技術已經教示發明中結構的特徵,則操作裝置的手段不能使得裝置範圍與前案區隔
  3. 相反地,若是先前技術中的裝置可以執行發明所提供的所有功能,仍非會造成新穎性的爭議

判決資料:
http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/13-1302.Opinion.1-14-2014.1.PDF

Ron
資料參考:Patently-O, CAFC

2014年1月22日 星期三

解釋申請專利範圍應連結有意義的結果(Superior Industries v. Masaba)-about Claims

有關解釋申請專利範圍--應連結有意義的結果(案例Superior Industries v. Masaba)。這件侵權訴訟最後導致不明確的結果,理由是專利範圍解釋不明確,導致無法對比到侵權分析。

這是個沒有前例的CAFC判決。這個案件原本由Superior Industries, Inc.對Masaba, Inc.提出侵權訴訟,系爭專利有5件。

其中有兩件關於車機底架的專利:US7,470,101US7,618,231,專利描述了支撐與底盤系統,用於輸送物品材料,被告Masaba則是製造和銷售自己設計的輸送裝置與支撐系統。
結果地方法院、告訴人、被告對於專利範圍的解釋有爭議

專利範圍解釋在於一些名詞用語,包括:
"channel beam"
"C-shaped channel beam"
"elongate opening"

US7,470,101為例:
1. A telescoping support strut configured to support a conveyor assembly of a portable conveyor system relative to a base frame, the support strut comprising:
a first strut section having a first beam and a second beam and a plurality of braces coupled therebetween, the first and second beams being generally parallel to one another, the first and second beams of the first strut section each having a connector at a first end configured to pivotally connect to the conveyor assembly of the portable conveyor system and a second end;
a second strut section having a first generally C-shaped channel beam and a second generally C-shaped channel beam, the first and second channel beams having a generally equal length and being generally parallel to one another, the first and second channel beams each comprising a perimeter wall and an elongate opening that extends the length of the first and second channel beams, the elongate opening of the first channel beam facing the elongate opening of the second channel beam, the first and second channel beams defining an open space between the respective elongate openings, and a plurality of braces coupled between the first and second channel beams outside of the open space, the first and second channel beams each having a first end configured to pivotally connect to the base frame of the portable conveyor system and a second end configured to receive the second ends of the first and second beams, respectively, of the first strut section, the first strut section movable within the second strut section; and
first and second telescoping hydraulic cylinders extending along the second strut section in the open space between the first and second channel beams, the first and second hydraulic cylinders connected to the first strut section to telescopically extend the first strut section relative to the second strut section.
有關卡車卸料的技術則有:US7,424,943US7,607,529US7,845,482,有爭議的名詞用語為:
US7,845,482
"ramp section"
"U-shaped frame"
"end frame member"
"drive-on ramp"
5. A portable conveyor system with a drive-over material receiving opening, the conveyor system comprising:
a longitudinally extending frame comprising a first end and a second end, the first end of the frame configured for connection to a towing vehicle, the second end of the frame configured for transportation over a ground surface, the frame carrying a conveyor belt assembly generally between the first and second ends of the frame, wherein a first portion of the frame adjacent to the first end defines a first frame height, the first portion of the frame configured to rest on the ground surface; and
a drive-over ramp system near the first end of the frame, the drive-over ramp system comprising a first ramp section pivotally mounted on a first side of the frame, the first ramp section having a first pair of side walls on opposite sides thereof, a second ramp section pivotally on a second side of the frame, the second ramp section having a second pair of side walls on opposite sides thereof, and a third ramp section supported on the frame between the first and second ramp sections, the third ramp section comprising a grate positioned over a portion of the conveyor belt assembly for receiving bulk material from a material transport vehicle and having a third pair of side walls on opposite sides thereof, the first, second and third pair of side walls cooperating to retain excess bulk material deposited by the material transport vehicle on the drive over ramp system, wherein the first and second pair of side walls are moveable relative to the third pair of side walls as the first and second ramp sections pivot from a first lowered position to a second raised position.
US7,607,529
"ramp support frame"
"defining a barrier"
"configured to support an earthen ramp at a level even with the drive over surface"
"maintain support of the earthen ramp"

US7,424,943
"support frame"
"frame member configured to support an end of an earthen ramp constructed against the frame member"
"to provide a material transport vehicle access to the first and second ramps"
"to maintain integrity of the earthen ramp"


系爭專利範圍中有幾個爭議的名詞,在地方法院(District of Minnesota)程序中,法官解釋後,告訴人Superior自己也承認因為這些解釋可能使得侵權不成立,於是從專利侵權訴訟不成立的簡易判決中提出上訴。

討論:
地方法院程序中,一般會由地方法院法官進行專利範圍解釋(claim construction),而專利範圍解釋應該是對相關專利訴訟有意義的結果,否則就沒有需要解釋。

之後案件上訴到CAFC,雖然告訴人Superior挑戰法官對於專利範圍的解釋,但是CAFC在沒有提出實質意見前就因為不明瞭:系爭專利經過修改權利範圍中是否會改變原有專利結果?也就是法官不確定是否專利範圍解釋會影響到侵權分析(被告侵權物並非如專利的設計目的),至少要諮詢更多意見,無法作出不侵權判決,因此作出拒絕上訴理由的決定,併發回重審,同時建議幾個解釋專利範圍的意見。

這個判決頗為罕見,但也合理,如果專利範圍並無涉及如被告物品的功能與目的,大概連解釋都不用了!
特別是,CAFC法官Rader對此作出一些意見:他同意地院的判斷,但也建議解釋專利範圍時,應(整理自Patently-O的報導與CAFC的判決):
(1)因為專利說明書內容並非專利請求範圍,因此不能用來限制專利範圍;
(2)專利範圍一般來說不能限制到說明書所描述的特定實施例中,即便僅有一個實施例;
(3)(與本案有關)"系統"權利範圍應涵蓋一個"系統",而不涵蓋該"系統"所做的事;
(4)解釋系統中非功能性的權利範圍用語,使得配合侵權物的功能,這是不恰當的

Ron
資料參考:Patently-O, CAFC

2014年1月21日 星期二

韓國專利文件與資訊免費英文翻譯

韓國專利免費英文翻譯

過去,為了要瞭解韓文專利,需要找人翻譯,或是從韓國專利局網站付費取得,包括按件付費、日費、月費或年費,但是現在韓國專利局主動提供免費的英文翻譯,自然是機器翻譯。

韓國專利局網站十分吸睛
 

進入專利檢索頁面,介紹可以參考http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2010/09/blog-post_29.html


鍵入檢索資訊後,得到檢索結果,十分貼心的是會在每個案件名稱上註明是否獲准、登記或是核駁的法律狀態


updated on March 26, 2014,補充:

點選進入某一案件後,可以從公開文件的右上方看到一個「machine translation」按鈕


需要鍵入確認碼


可以輕易看到韓英對照翻譯的網頁,也提供Google翻譯功能



專利的法律狀態也可以看到英文翻譯(legal status)

甚至專利的年費狀態也可以看到英文資訊


還可以看到訴訟/訴願資料,不是可以馬上取得有訴訟的案子,於是參考EPO公佈資料
如果專利曾經有訴訟,檢索結果也會馬上得知,以下案例就是在名稱後方看到"Trial"字眼

閱覽專利文件時,又可以看到"Judgment"選項,可以查詢訴訟號碼,並看到細節與歷史,十分受用

這件歷史顯示專利審查核駁後,進入訴訟,最後決定核發專利


Ron
資料來源:EPO, KIPRIS