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About this Blog

Welcome to the Snell & Wilmer intellectual property and technology litigation blog! Check here for useful news and information about patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and other IP and technology litigation developments.

Supreme Court Decision Limits Post-Sale Restrictions by Patent Owners

The United States Supreme Court today held in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. that the doctrine of patent exhaustion limits post-sale restrictions by patent owners and that patent rights are exhausted once a product is sold domestically or internationally. Partially continuing the recent theme of unanimous intellectual property decisions (see here and here), […]

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Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Limits Venue in Patent Infringement Suits

By Peter R. Montecuollo and David G. Barker In yet another unanimous intellectual property decision (see here), the United States Supreme Court today held in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC that “reside,” as used in the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), “refers only to the State of incorporation,” and […]

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PM
Former Associate

Glimmers of Justice Gorsuch’s Prospective IP Jurisprudence

On April 10, 2017, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, filling the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia.  While on the Tenth Circuit, Justice Gorsuch wrote opinions on complex trade secret, copyright, and trademark issues in a detail-oriented manner that indicates balanced treatment of intellectual property owners and […]

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Supreme Court Defines Test for Copyright Eligibility of Useful Article Design Features

Today, in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (previously discussed here), the Supreme Court resolved an issue that previously had been the subject of “widespread disagreement” in the federal courts—the proper test for determining when a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection. The Copyright Act protects […]

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Supreme Court Holds Laches May Not Bar Patent Infringement Damages Within 6-Year Statutory Limitations Period

The United States Supreme Court announced today that laches, an affirmative defense based on an injured party’s delay in bringing suit, may not bar patent infringement damages within the six-year period under § 286 of the Patent Act. The Court’s decision in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC reversed the Federal Circuit’s […]

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Supreme Court: Supplying a Single Component of a Patented Invention from the U.S. Is Not Infringement Under Section 271(f)(1)

Today, in Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., the Supreme Court held that a single component of a patented invention, even if “important,” does not trigger liability for infringement under Section 271(f)(1) of the Patent Act. Section 271(f)(1) provides: Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States all […]

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Supreme Court to Decide Patent Infringement Suit Venue Issue with Potentially Immense Implications

The U.S. Supreme Court this week granted TC Heartland, LLC’s (“Heartland’s”) petition for a writ of certiorari regarding the patent infringement venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).  Heartland appealed the Federal Circuit’s refusal to dismiss the case or transfer a patent infringement lawsuit filed against Heartland from Delaware to Indiana, where Heartland is incorporated.  The Supreme […]

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Supreme Court Dismantles $400M Apple Design Patent Award Against Samsung

In Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States today reversed the Federal Circuit’s decision upholding Apple Inc.’s nearly $400 million design patent award against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Apple secured the award after a jury found that Samsung infringed Apple’s design patents covering the iPhone’s iconic front face with rounded corners […]

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Supreme Court to Consider Patent Exhaustion for International Sales

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the patent exhaustion case, Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., Docket No. 15-1189.  The Supreme Court’s decision in this case could significantly affect patent and patent-related transactions both domestically and internationally. Generally speaking, under the “patent exhaustion” doctrine, also known as the “first sale” doctrine, […]

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