Legal Criteria

I. File History Analysis: General 

Review of office actions, rejections, appeals, timeline, estoppels 

  1. Significant issues limiting the scope of the patent 
  2. Some definite issues that may limit the scope of the patent 
  3. Likely issues that may limit the scope of the patent 
  4. Few issues that could possibly limit the scope of the patent 
  5. No apparent issues that would limit the scope of the patent 

II. File History Review B 

Are there issues of priority of another patent application or of patent interference? 

         1.   Yes 

         3.   Maybe 

         5.   No 

III. File History Review C 

Are there issues of patent exhaustion or application of the first sale doctrine that would limit enforceability of the patent? 

         1.   Yes 

         3.   Maybe 

         5.   No 

IV. File History Review D 

Are there issues of enforcement due to expiration of the patent or the application of a statute of limitations barring recovery of damages for infringement of the patent? 

         1.   Yes 

         3.   Maybe 

         5.   No 

V. Specification Review A: Definiteness and Enablement 

How well does the written description of the invention satisfy the requirements of definiteness and enablement? 

         1.   Poorly 

         3.   Moderately 

         5.   Adequately 

VI. Specification Review B: Patentability 

Are there issues of the subject matter of the invention not being patentable, or of public policy disfavoring enforcement of patents in such area? 

         1.   Yes 

         3.   Maybe 

         5.   No 

VII. Re-examination Analysis 

Has the patent been re-examined? 

  1. No 
  2. Yes, significant reduction in scope
  3. Yes, minimal reduction in scope 
  4. Yes, expansion of scope 
  5. Yes, significant expansion of scope 

VIII. Scope of Claims A: General 

What is the scope of the claims of the patent? 

  1. Extremely narrow and specific or not applicable 
  2. Incremental improvement (quite narrow) 
  3. Improvement (reasonably broad) 
  4. Major improvement (broadly inclusive) 
  5. Fundamental (comprise a general principle) 

IX. Scope of Claims B: Claim construction issues 

Are there claim construction issues or Summary Judgment that limited the scope of claims? 

  1. Yes, severely limits applicability 
  2. Yes, limits applicability 
  3. Yes, but would not affect damages 
  4. Yes, minimal impact to assertion 
  5. No 

X. Scope of Claims C: Doctrine of Equivalents issues 

Is there a requirement to rely on the doctrine of equivalents to assert the patent against alleged infringers? 

         1.   Yes 

         3.   Maybe 

         5.   No 

XI. Scope of Claims D: Divided infringement issues 

Are there issues of divided infringement that would limit enforceability of the patent? 

         1.   Yes 

         3.   Maybe 

         5.   No 

XII. Patent Term Remaining (useful life) 

What is the remaining useful life of the patent? 

  1. 0-2 years 
  2. 2-4 years 
  3. 4-8 years 
  4. 8-12 years 
  5. >12 years 

XIII. Litigation history 

Has this patent been litigated before? 

  1. Unknown 
  2. No 
  3. Yes, found valid and infringed 
  4. Yes, settled for >$3M 
  5. Yes, survived motion to dismiss/summary judgment before settlement 

XIV. Litigation Risk 

Do Assignees in this technology/product/licensor area tend to favor litigation? 

  1. No. Assignees tend to be gentlemanly or ignore infringers. 
  2. No. Assignees are typically very open to fair and reasonable [cross] license agreements 
  3. No, but litigation is occasionally used to bring licensees to the negotiating table. 
  4. Yes. Litigation is often used to bring licensees to the negotiating table. 
  5. Yes. Litigation is often used to block others from the marketplace.

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