Case Law Updates

Federal Circuit Paves the Way for Easier Claim Amendments During Inter Partes Review

Written by: Benjamin E. Leace & Christopher H. Blaszkowski In a long awaited decision, the en banc Federal Circuit ruled today that the patent owner does not bear the burden of demonstrating the patentability of any claim amendments made during an inter partes review (“IPR”).  Depending on how the United States Patent and Trademark Office […]

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Lanham Act’s “Disparagement Clause” for Violating the First Amendment

Declaring that “[s]peech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” the U.S. Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam (No. 15-1293) held that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)) is facially unconstitutional for violating the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.  The salient section of […]

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Supreme Court Issues Important Decision in the Biopharma Sector Favoring Earlier Entrance of Cost-Saving Biosimilars into the US Market

In a closely watched case in the biopharma space (Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen, Inc., No. 15–1039, June 12, 2017), the Supreme Court issued its first ever decision on how to interpret the biosimilar patent dispute provisions of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA).  Most importantly, the Court ruled that biosimilar applicants do not […]

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Supreme Court Limits Patent Owners’ Control Over Patented Articles After Authorized Sale

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a significant decision today that largely answers the question of how much control a patent owner can wield over a patented product after it has been sold, holding that a patent owner’s decision to sell a product exhausts all of its patent rights in that product, regardless of any restrictions […]

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Under Heartland, Patent Litigation Filings in Delaware Expected to Rise

In a long awaited decision having the potential to impact where patent suits are litigated, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC today. TC Heartland confirms that, for the purposes of the venue statute for patent infringement actions—28 U.S.C. § 1400(b)—“resides” is limited to the state […]

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Supreme Court Clarifies Separability Analysis for Copyright Protection of Elements of Industrial Designs

In a second Intellectual-Property-related decision in as many days, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling on March 22, 2017, in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. et al. (No. 15-866), confirming that copyright protection extends to pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works regardless of whether they were created as freestanding art or as […]

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Supreme Court Eliminates Laches Defense in Patent Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decisive ruling today in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC (No. 15-927), eliminating the defense of laches in patent cases. This ruling continues the Supreme Court’s recent trend of overturning Federal Circuit precedent. Laches is an equitable defense in which a plaintiff is barred from […]

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Supreme Court Overrules Federal Circuit’s Seagate Test for Enhanced Damages

In a combined opinion for two cases, Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. (No. 14–1513) and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc.(No. 14–1520), a unanimous Supreme Court rejected the two-part test for awarding enhanced damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284. The Federal Circuit had pronounced this test nearly a decade ago in In re Seagate […]

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Supreme Court: 1) Upholds Use of Broadest Reasonable Interpretation during Inter Partes Review; and 2) Affirms that Inter Partes Review Institution Decisions are Not Appealable

On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a long awaited opinion in Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, 579 U. S. ____ (2016). In its opinion, the Supreme Court squarely sided with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, approving of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) use of the broadest reasonable interpretation […]

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An Unintended Consequence of Transferring All Substantial Rights in a Patent:

In a recent decision, Azure Networks LLC v. CSR PLC (hereafter “Azure Networks”), the Federal Circuit held that the title owner of a patent may not be joined as a co-plaintiff in a patent infringement suit for purposes of standing if the title owner has transferred all substantial rights in the patent. 771 F.3d 1336 […]

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