Supreme Court: Federal Government Is Not Permitted to Challenge Patents Under the AIA

By C. Matthew Rozier In a recent 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that the U.S. Postal Service and other federal agencies are prohibited from challenging the validity of patents post-issuance under the proceedings created by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”).  The Court’s decision in Return Mail Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service reversed a Federal Circuit decision holding that the federal government is a “person” for the purposes of 35 U.S.C. §§ 311 and 321.  In reversing, the Court cited a longstanding presumption that a “person” does not include the federal government.  Importantly, the decision leaves the door open for   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged ,

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Legislators Propose Patent Eligibility Overhaul

By Zachary G. Schroeder,* Jacob C. Jones, and David G. Barker In April, we posted an article titled “Section 101 in 2019” summarizing the existing patent eligibility test, discussing recent Federal Circuit decisions, and providing practical strategies for practitioners to navigate the Section 101 landscape. That article highlighted the lack of certainty and predictability under existing law. Bipartisan lawmakers recently released a draft revision to Section 101 abrogating U.S. Supreme Court precedent that has denied patent eligibility where the claimed invention is directed to an abstract idea, law of nature, or natural phenomenon. The bipartisan, bicameral draft bill was created following   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged , ,

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SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split: Trademark License Rejection in Bankruptcy Does Not Terminate Licensee’s Usage Rights

By Emily R. Parker* and David G. Barker The U.S. Supreme Court recently held in Mission Product Holdings v. Tempnology that a trademark licensor cannot revoke the right of a licensee to use a trademark by terminating a license agreement in bankruptcy. Mission licensed a trademark from Tempnology, which terminated the license after filing bankruptcy in 2015. The First Circuit held that Tempnology permissibly rejected the agreement in bankruptcy and terminated Mission’s right to use the mark. Mission appealed because the First Circuit’s decision conflicted with the Seventh Circuit decision in Sunbeam Products v. Chicago American Manufacturing, which held that a   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Trademark Litigation | Tagged , , , ,

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Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on “Immoral or Scandalous” Trademark Prohibition

By: Anne M. Bolamperti and David G. Barker Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in Iancu v. Brunetti (see previous discussion here) regarding the constitutionality of the portion of Lanham Act, Section 2(a) (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)) that prohibits the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s registration of trademarks comprising “immoral . . . or scandalous matter.”  Previously, in June 2017, the Court unanimously affirmed in Matal v. Tam that the same statute’s bar on disparaging marks was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The PTO refused to register Erik Brunetti’s trademark application for   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Trademark Litigation | Tagged

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Section 101 in 2019

Snell & Wilmer Lawyers presented their article, Section 101 in 2019, at the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law’s Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, as part of a program, “101 ‘301’: Advanced Subject Matter Eligibility.”  The article summarizes the existing patent eligibility test, discusses recent Federal Circuit decisions, and provides practical strategies for practitioners navigating the Section 101 landscape.

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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