Federal Circuit Considers Possible Tribal Immunity from Inter Partes Review

By Daniel S. Ivie and David G. Barker Last week, a Federal Circuit panel considered whether transferring patents to a tribal nation invoked the tribe’s sovereign immunity precluding inter partes review. The panel heard oral argument in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe et al. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., which concerns an appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s recent decision that the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s sovereign immunity did not shield it from inter partes review. In late 2017, pharmaceutical company Allergan transferred the patents for its dry-eye medication Restasis to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. Allergan paid   Read More »

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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 »

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Supreme Court Confirms Inter Partes Review Is Constitutional

By Jacob C. Jones and David G. Barker In Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, the United States Supreme Court held today, in a 7-2 decision, that the inter partes review process under the America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. § 100 et seq. (2011), does not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As we noted previously, inter partes review is a popular administrative proceeding where the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB; part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office) decides whether challenged patents are valid.  As of March   Read More »

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The Supreme Court to Consider Patent Infringement Damages Accrued Abroad

By Robert A. Clarke and David G. Barker The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to consider whether damages for infringement of a U.S. patent include lost profits resulting from activities outside the U.S. In WesternGeco L.L.C., v. Ion Geophysical Corporation, the Federal Circuit affirmed a jury verdict that Ion infringed WesternGeco’s patent for a device used to search for oil and gas beneath the ocean floor, but the Federal Circuit reversed an award of damages for lost profits.  The district court awarded lost profits from the use of the infringing devices abroad because WesternGeco would have been awarded the contracts   Read More »

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Federal Circuit Clarifies Venue Waiver After TC Heartland

By Peter R. Montecuollo and David G. Barker The Federal Circuit issued guidance yesterday for district courts deciding venue challenges after the Supreme Court’s May 2017 decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC.  In In re Micron Technology, Inc., the Federal Circuit granted Micron Technology, Inc.’s petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that TC Heartland “changed the controlling law” by making available a venue defense that was not “available” to patent infringement defendants prior to the Supreme Court’s decision. In the wake of TC Heartland, Micron Technology moved to dismiss or transfer President and Fellows   Read More »

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