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Supreme Court to Review Defenses to Induced Patent Infringement

On December 5, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Commil USA, LLC, v. Cisco Systems, Inc., to decide whether a defendant’s good-faith belief that a patent is invalid is a defense to induced infringement. Previously, a divided panel of the Federal Circuit held that a Texas district court should have allowed evidence that Cisco believed […]

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Supreme Court: Mere Computer Implementation Does Not Make an Abstract Idea Patentable

Today, the Supreme Court in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank unanimously held that all of Alice’s asserted claims were drawn to patent-ineligible abstract ideas.  The Court reaffirmed the framework established in Mayo v. Prometheus for determining whether a claim contains one of the implicit exceptions to patent-eligible subject matter:  laws of nature, natural phenomena, and […]

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Changes in the Law Governing Patent Infringement Are on the Horizon

Much has been written about what the Supreme Court decided in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. However, the case is more important for what the Court did not decide, than for what was actually decided.  On June 2, the Supreme Court reversed a Federal Circuit decision concerning what constitutes indirect infringement of a patent. […]

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Supreme Court Decides Definiteness Standard for Patents

A patent must be “definite”:  it must particularly point out and distinctly claim the invention.  35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 2.  Otherwise, the patent is not valid.  35 U.S.C. § 282 ¶ 2(3).  On June 2, 2014, the Supreme Court in  Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments unanimously decided the appropriate standard for determining whether a patent claim […]

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Supreme Court Loosens Standards for Fee Shifting in Patent Infringement Cases

The Patent Act provides, in 35 U.S.C. § 285, that “[t]he court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.”  In 2005, and the Federal Circuit restrictively interpreted the statute in Brooks Furniture Mfg., Inc. v. Dutailier Int’l, Inc., holding that a case is “exceptional” only where (1) “there has been […]

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Supreme Court Opens Courthouse Doors to More Federal False Advertising Claims

The federal false advertising statute, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(1)(B), provides a remedy for some commercial misstatements and half-truths.  Specifically, the statute provides, Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any . . . false or misleading description of fact, or false or […]

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Supreme Court: Patent Owner Bears Burden of Proof in Noninfringement Declaratory Judgment Action By Licensee

When a patent owner sues another for infringement, the patent owner must prove infringement.  The Supreme Court ruled on January 22, 2014, in Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC, that this burden of proof still applies when a patent licensee sues the patent owner for a declaratory judgment that certain products do not infringe […]

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Reverse-Payment Patent Settlements Can Violate U.S. Antitrust Laws

On June 17, 2013, in FTC v. Actavis, the Supreme Court resolved a long-brewing battle between the FTC and the antitrust and patent defense bar over whether reverse-payment patent settlements between patentees and alleged infringers violate federal antitrust laws.  These settlements are categorized as reverse-payments because the settlement arises in the following circumstance: Alleged infringer […]

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Two Recent Supreme Court Proclamations Biotech and Health Care Companies Should Know

On June 13, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that 1) naturally-occurring DNA sequences are not patentable, even if they have been isolated from their natural environment, and 2) sequences of complimentary DNA (cDNA) are patentable.  The Court’s recent decision in Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. ____ […]

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Supreme Court Grants Petition for Cert in Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc.: Potential Ramifications for Covenants Not to Sue in Patent Cases

On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc., No. 11-982, on the issue of whether a federal district court is divested of Article III jurisdiction over a party’s challenge to the validity of a federally registered trademark if the registrant promises not to assert its mark against the […]

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