Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bill Ramey of Ramey & Browning is appointed as an advisor to the Aggie Angel Network effective January 1, 2015

Bill Ramey of Ramey & Browning is appointed as an advisor to the Aggie Angel Network effective January 1, 2015.  The Aggie Angel Network actively seeks to invest in great startup companies. In addition to money, the AAN brings connections, market knowledge, mentoring and operational excellence to early-stage entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies. Bill will utilize his expertise in IP to assist the members of the Aggie Angel Network.

Ramey & Browning is a full-service intellectual property law firm working with a national client base from our Houston, Texas, office. We are dedicated to enhancing client results through efficient practice management, innovative technologies and the use of skilled professionals.

The Aggie Angel Network (AAN) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing quality early-stage investment opportunities for accredited angel investors, and to assisting early-stage high-growth potential technology companies with fundraising and advisory services.

More Deference Given to Patent Claim Constructions of District Judges

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a case opinion that will generally make a district court’s interpretation of patent-claim terms more difficult to reverse on appeal and, thus, will raise the importance of which particular District judge presides over a patent case. In other words, the case will likely raise the importance of venue determinations such as a patent-infringement plaintiff’s choice where to file a patent-infringement suit and determinations on defendants’ motions to transfer.

In Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., No. 13-854, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 628 (January 20, 2015) the Supreme Court held that while a district judge’s construction of the meaning of a patent claim’s term is a matter of law that is reviewed de novo (i.e., without deference) on appeal, factual determinations underlying the construction are instead reviewed for clear error (a more difficult standard for obtaining a different result on appeal). The Court explained that when a district judge construes a patent-claim term using only intrinsic evidence (the patent claims, specification, and prosecution history), the judge’s determination is purely a determination of law that will be reviewed on appeal by the de novo standard. However, when a district judge also considers extrinsic evidence (anything other than the patent claims, specification, and prosecution history; for example, expert testimony) to determine underlying factual disputes—such as how a person of ordinary skill in the art would understand a chart presented in the patent—that factual finding will be reviewed for clear error.

The Teva opinion increases the importance of the determination of which particular district judge presides over a patent case. The meaning of patent-claim terms are of paramount importance in a patent-infringement suit (including potentially affecting a patent claim’s validity). and Teva makes a district judge’s claim construction potentially more difficult to reverse on appeal. For in-stance, in Teva, the district judge—based on the judge’s claim construction—held that the patent claim was sufficiently definite and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal—based in part on disagreement with the district judge’s underlying factual finding—held the patent claim was indefinite. Because the Supreme Court instructed that the district judge’s factual finding was to be reviewed de novo, the Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s ruling.

Ramey & Browning files suit against Invention Resource International and Patent Attorney

Ramey & Browning filed suit against Invention Resource International and patent attorney Emery Tracy on January 27, 2015 on behalf of firm client Eddie Jenkins alleging violation of the Texas Invention Development Services Act, breach of fiduciary duty, malpractice, fraud, and breach of contract.  The suit also alleges that the contract’s arbitration clause is unenforceable.  Attorneys on the case are William P. Ramey, III and Melissa D. Schwaller.

Melissa Schwaller Writes Case Law Review on Promega Corp. v. Life Technologies Corp.

Melissa Schwaller wrote a case law review on the Federal Circuit’s opinion in Promega Corp. v. Life Technologies Corp. for the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) January 2015 Biotech Buzz.  The case law review is available on the AIPLA website.

Bill Ramey Accepts Advisory Council Position with Texas A&M’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship

Bill Ramey was appointed to the Advisory Council for Texas A&M’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship.  His term begins January 1, 2015.  The Advisory Council provides advice and counsel to the center’s leadership team. Composed of companies with a vested interest in the success of entrepreneurs and tomorrow’s business leaders, the Advisory Council ensures that the business community is an integral part of the center’s activities. Leading accounting, banking, consulting, human resources, insurance, investment and legal organizations participate along with recognized, active entrepreneurs.

Ramey & Browning is a full-service intellectual property law firm working with a national client base from our Houston, Texas, office.  We are dedicated to enhancing client results through efficient practice management, innovative technologies and the use of skilled professionals.