Supreme Court to Decide Patent Infringement Suit Venue Issue with Potentially Immense Implications

The U.S. Supreme Court this week granted TC Heartland, LLC’s (“Heartland’s”) petition for a writ of certiorari regarding the patent infringement venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).  Heartland appealed the Federal Circuit’s refusal to dismiss the case or transfer a patent infringement lawsuit filed against Heartland from Delaware to Indiana, where Heartland is incorporated.  The Supreme Court agreed to address “Whether 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) is the sole and exclusive provision governing venue in patent infringement actions and is not to be supplemented by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c).”  If the Supreme Court answers the question in the affirmative, venue options likely will   Read More »

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

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Supreme Court Dismantles $400M Apple Design Patent Award Against Samsung

In Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States today reversed the Federal Circuit’s decision upholding Apple Inc.’s nearly $400 million design patent award against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Apple secured the award after a jury found that Samsung infringed Apple’s design patents covering the iPhone’s iconic front face with rounded corners and 16 colorful icons on a black screen. Section 289 of the Patent Act permits a design patent holder to recover an infringer’s total profits from the sale of any “article of manufacture” to which the infringing design has been applied.  The Federal Circuit upheld   Read More »

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

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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 , ,

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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 , , ,

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Arizona Enacts New Patent Troll Legislation

Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law HB 2386, known as the “Arizona Patent Troll Prevention Act.” Modeled after similar legislation passed by other states, the Act prohibits bad faith demands of patent infringement and gives the Attorney General authority to enforce the Act.  Arizona now joins 27 states that, since 2013, have enacted similar legislation to deter and punish bad faith assertions of patent infringement. The Act includes a non-exhaustive list of factors that may evidence a “bad faith” demand of patent infringement, including: the demand does not contain the patent number, the name and address of   Read More »

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

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