Some recent patent news
Meanwhile, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has decided an issue of law similar to that in the U.S. Metabolite case which is now in front of our Supreme Court. The EPOs' decision will allow drafters of European patents to use, to some extent, the technique of gratuitous elements in order to get around the ban European Patent Convention Article 52(4) places on patents for "diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body[.]" European law also bans software patents, if you are foolish enough to believe the plain language of the statute.
Today the Wall Street Journal has a good article on RIM v. NTP, where the U.S. Federal Circuit decided that a network system that would infringe a U.S. patent if entirely within the United States would also infringe a patent if one (at least) of the claim elements was located outside the United States but the users and thus the locus of control (so reasoned the court) were located within the United States. However, for a similar method claim, all the steps of the procedure had to be performed within the United States in order for the procedure to infringe the method claim. The WSJ's article is available today online.