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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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 »

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

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Supreme Court to Consider Constitutionality of AIA Inter Partes Review Proceedings

By Rachael Peters Pugel and Andrew F. Halaby The Supreme Court has granted a writ of certiorari challenging the constitutionality of inter partes review proceedings conducted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office under the America Invents Act.  The Court’s ruling in this matter, especially if it holds inter partes reviews to be unconstitutional, could massively destabilize the patent law system by casting into doubt an administrative regime that has diverted thousands of patent disputes from the federal court system, as well as the many hundreds of decisions invalidating patent claims so far yielded by that regime. Post-issuance proceedings   Read More »

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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 , ,

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Supreme Court to Address IPR Proceedings & Willful Infringement

The Supreme Court will continue to shape patent law in 2016, addressing critical components of the widely-popular Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and examining the standard for willful patent infringement in district court actions. IPR proceedings provide a streamlined avenue for invalidating issued patents.  In the first two years of their existence, over 4,000 IPR proceedings have been filed, with the majority leading to invalidation of one or more patent claims.  The Supreme Court has now granted a writ of certiorari in its first IPR case, Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee.  The Court   Read More »

Posted in Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged , , ,

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