Supreme Court Affirms USPTO’s Broadest Reasonable Construction Standard for IPRs

In Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO’s”) standard for construing patent claims in an inter partes review (“IPR”), a post-grant proceeding used to challenged patent validity. In a 6-2 decision, the Court also affirmed that the USPTO’s decision whether to institute an IPR is not appealable. In an IPR, the USPTO uses the “broadest reasonable construction” standard, which results in broader claims than the “ordinary meaning” standard used in federal district court litigation. Broader claims result in a greater likelihood that the claims will be held invalid. The Court   Read More »

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

Share this Article:

Supreme Court: Courts Must Take into Account “Relevant Factors” Before Awarding Fees in Copyright Cases

Supap Kirtsaeng realized he could buy cheaper, identical textbooks in Thailand and resell them for a profit in the U.S. John Wiley & Sons, the publisher of some of these textbooks, sued him for copyright infringement.  Kirtsaeng prevailed on his fair use defense, but the court denied him attorney’s fees under § 505 of the Copyright Act, because Wiley’s claim was not “objectively unreasonable.”  Kirtsaeng appealed to the Supreme Court. A unanimous Court agreed with Wiley that this was not the kind of “objectively unreasonable” case that warranted attorney’s fees, particularly because the fair use issue resulted in a previous   Read More »

Posted in Copyright Litigation | Tagged , ,

Share this Article:

Re Willful Infringement, “Channel” It, Says the Supreme Court

The Seagate two-part test for enhanced patent infringement damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 — (1) objectively, infringement was not a close call, and (2) subjectively, the defendant knew or obviously should have known that — is gone.  So too is the patentee’s burden to prove entitlement to enhanced damages by clear and convincing evidence.  The Supreme Court has so ruled, in today’s opinion in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics. What replaces Seagate?  It’s hard to say, but this much we know: (1) Now, enhanced damages awards are to be decided in the trial court’s discretion, and are to be reviewed   Read More »

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

Share this Article:

Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Becomes Law, Posing Myriad New Issues to Consider

Please see this brief video message regarding this important new legislation, signed by President Obama today.

Posted in Trade Secrets Litigation | Tagged

Share this Article:

Cheerleaders and Laches

Monday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear cases on patent laches, SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag et al. v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC et al., and copyright protection for clothing, Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. In SCA Hygiene, the Supreme Court will review the Federal Circuit’s decision that laches remains a viable defense in patent cases, despite the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. In Petrella, the Supreme Court held that laches cannot bar copyright claims that accrued within the three years from commencement of suit, except in extraordinary cases for equitable relief.  In   Read More »

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

Share this Article: