Federal Circuit Holds Tribal Immunity Does Not Bar IPR of Tribe-Owned Patents

By Tyler J. Fortner and David G. Barker Last week, the Federal Circuit held that tribal sovereign immunity does not apply to inter partes review (IPR) actions instituted at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  The decision, in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe et al. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., comes approximately a month and a half after a Federal Circuit panel heard the issue (see here). The decision opens the door for generic drug manufacturers (including Mylan) and others to challenge the validity of patents owned by Native American tribes that enjoy sovereign immunity. During oral argument, Allergan and the Mohawk Tribe   Read More »

Posted in Inter Partes Review, IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged

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First Amendment Free Speech Protection Is Alive and Well

By Jessica D. Kemper* and Andrew F. Halaby The First Amendment’s free speech guarantee has proved determinative in a variety of very recent Supreme Court decisions. In Matal v. Tam (see here), the Court held that the First Amendment precludes denial of registration of an allegedly offensive trademark.  In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra (“NIFLA”) (2018), the Court held that California may not compel crisis pregnancy centers to provide, against their wishes, abortion-related information.  And in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (2018), the Court held that the First Amendment   Read More »

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SCOTUS to Consider Copyright Registration Circuit Split

By Peter R. Montecuollo and David G. Barker The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Fourth Estate Public Benefit v. Wall-Street.com to resolve a long-standing split among the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals concerning whether copyright owners must wait to file infringement suits until the United States Copyright Office has registered their works.  For instance, the Fifth and Ninth Circuits apply the “application approach,” which permits copyright owners to file infringement suits once upon applying for copyright registration.  Other circuits, including the Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, apply the “registration approach.”  In those circuits, failure to secure   Read More »

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

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Supreme Court Opens the Door to Recovering Lost Foreign Profits in Patent Cases

By Peter R. Montecuollo and David G. Barker In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has opened the door for patent owners to recover lost foreign profits under §§ 284 and 271(f)(2) of the Patent Act. Although the Court’s decision in WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp. represents a marked shift from the lost-foreign-profits calculus courts applied previously, it does not create an automatic right to recover lost foreign profits.  Instead, the Court supplanted the Federal Circuit’s rigid prohibition against recovering lost foreign sales (see Power Integrations, Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor Int’l, Inc.) with a case-by-case   Read More »

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

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Supreme Court Uproots Current PTAB Practice by Quashing Partial Decisions

By Trisha Farmer Lau and David G. Barker On April 24, 2018, in SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, the Supreme Court held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) must decide the validity of every patent claim challenged when it undertakes inter partes review under the America Invents Act (“AIA”).  In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in favor of SAS Institute, Inc., a software developer that filed an inter partes review petition and argued that the PTAB’s final decision must address all challenged claims in the petition. Before this decision, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regulation, 37   Read More »

Posted in Inter Partes Review, IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged , , , ,

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