Patent Reform

  • WhitServe LLC v., Inc.: Laches Remains a Viable Defense to Patent Infringement Allegations

    On July 20, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut in WhitServe LLC v., Inc. rejected an alleged infringer’s laches defense because the patent holder did not have constructive knowledge of the allegedly infringing activities until shortly before filing suit.
  • SCOTUS: Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc.

    The case of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. was argued on October 15, 2014 in the Untied States Supreme Court. Our best read is that the Court is leaning towards adopting a “deferential” standard on factual issues related to claim construction -- although some debate was had amongst the Justices.
  • SCOTUS Alert: The Implications of Akamai and Nautilus

    On June 2, 2014, the Supreme Court directly impacted U.S. patent law with its decisions in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., and Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc.
  • Supreme Court Sets New Standard for Definiteness Determinations in Nautilus Ruling

    In a unanimous ruling issued on June 2nd, the Supreme Court in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. (U.S., No. 13-369) vacated and remanded a Federal Circuit decision concerning the Patent Act’s definiteness requirement.
  • Patent Office Issues New Guidance on Subject-Matter Eligibility

    On March 4, 2014 the United Stated Patent and Trademark Office (“Office”) issued a new Guidance for determining patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  The Office issued the Guidance in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2107 (2013) and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 132 S. Ct. 1289 (2012). Guidance at 1. In both cases, the Court held claims invalid under 35 U.S.C. 101.
  • Could a Supreme Court Ruling Reversing the Federal Circuit’s “Insolubly Indefinite” Standard Appease Capitol Hill?

    The United States Supreme Court is set to address the Federal Circuit’s standard of invalidity for indefiniteness in Biosig Instruments, Inc. v. Nautilis, Inc., long-criticized as a boon for so-called “patent trolls.” The Supreme Court has certified two questions: “(1) whether the Federal Circuit’s acceptance of ambiguous patent claims with multiple reasonable interpretationsso long as the ambiguity is not ‘insoluble’ by a courtdefeats the statutory requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming; and (2) whether the presumption of validity dilutes the requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming.”
  • The Supreme Court Decides that Patentees Always Bear the Burden of Proving Infringement

    A patentee ordinarily bears the burden of proving patent infringement. In Medtronic v. Mirowski Family Ventures, however, the Federal Circuit created an exception to that general rule where a licensee sues a patentee-licensor under the Declaratory Judgment Act seeking a declaration of noninfringement. But in a January 22 decision, a unanimous Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit.
  • H.R. 3309, The Innovation Act

    The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Pub. L. 112-29, 125 Stat. 341 (the “AIA”), enacted on September 16, 2011, is touted as the most significant reform of the Patent Act in recent memory. Among its provisions are those directed to addressing the litigation tactics employed by “patent trolls,” alternatively referred to as patent assertion entities (“PAEs”), patent monetization entities (“PMEs”), and/or non-practicing entities (“NPEs”).
  • Robert Bosch, LLC v. Pylon Manufacturing Corp.

    Generally in patent cases, liability, damages, and willfulness issues are addressed before either party appeals from a district court to the Federal Circuit. Many times, all issues are handled in a single trial. That may change as of last Friday. The Federal Circuit sitting en banc held in a split decision that a party may appeal a district court’s liability decision even though there has been no determination regarding damages or willfulness.
  • Congress Introduces SHIELD Act to Address Frivilous Litigations Brought by Nonpracticing Entities

    On February 27, 2013, Representatives Peter DeFazio (Oregon) and Jason Chaffetz (Utah) introduced the “Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act of 2013 (H.R. 845). The so-called SHIELD Act would amend the remedies available under the federal patent laws. Representative DeFazio believes the bill will protect American innovators and companies from frivolous patent lawsuits filed by nonpracticing entities.