Archives: Patent Litigation

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Failure To Name Joint Inventors May Bar Patentability

Following a rejection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) under section 102(f) for a rehabilitative dog harness, the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the rejection because the applicant “did not himself solely invent the subject matter sought to be patented.”  In re VerHoef, No. 2017-1976 (Fed. Cir. May 3, 2018). Jeff VerHoef built … Continue Reading

USITC Finalizes Amendments To Procedural Rules Governing Section 337 Investigations

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has published in the Federal Register final revisions to its rules of practice and procedure governing Section 337 investigations, the investigations that the ITC conducts under 19 U.S.C. § 1337 based on private party complaints against imported articles that allegedly violate U.S. intellectual property rights.  This completes a process … Continue Reading

U.S. Corporate Defendants Incorporated In Multi-District States Reside Only In A Single District For Patent Venue Purposes

In the third important patent venue decision it has issued in the past week (In re: BigCommerce, No. 2018-122 (May 15, 2018)), the Federal Circuit has clarified the proper location for patent infringement suits against U.S. corporations whose state of incorporation is large enough to have multiple federal judicial districts.  According to the Court, a … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Finds Patent Venue Over Alien Corporations Is Proper In Any District

In an important patent venue decision (In re HTC Corporation, No. 2018-130 (May 9, 2018)), the Federal Circuit has denied the mandamus petition of a Taiwanese company challenging the District of Delaware’s finding that that court is a proper venue for patent infringement litigation over the company.  Relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Brunette Machine … Continue Reading

Incorporation by Reference Is Not a Substitute for a Specific Priority Claim

Under 35 U.S.C. § 120, an application claiming benefit to the filing date of an earlier application must include a “specific reference” to the earlier filed application. In Droplets, Inc. v. E*TRADE Bank, No. 2016-2504, 2016-2602 (April 19, 2018), the Federal Circuit considered the use of incorporation by reference when asserting priority claims. The Federal … Continue Reading

Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, et al.: The Magic Happens Around the Word “Franchise”

In Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, et al  the Supreme Court found that inter partes review is constitutional under Article III and the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution in a 7-2 opinion delivered by Justice Thomas. The Court determined that inter partes review falls “squarely” within the public rights doctrine.  … Continue Reading

Texas Court Finds IPR Estoppel Extends To Grounds That Could Have Been Raised In Joinder Petition

U.S. patent law provides that any patent challenger initiating an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) “may not assert” an invalidity ground in a patent case in U.S. district court or in the U.S. International Trade Commission that it “raised or reasonably could have raised during that inter partes review.”  Despite … Continue Reading

USITC Declines To Designate An Antitrust-Based Section 337 Investigation For Early Disposition

Under a pilot program initiated in 2013, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) may designate an investigation for early disposition if it believes that there is a potentially case-dispositive issue warranting the program’s speedy (100-day) treatment.  Since the program’s inception, the ITC has employed it sparingly, with only a handful of investigations garnering entry into … Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Will Decide Whether Sovereign Immunity Can be Used to Escape Patent Invalidation by the PTAB – If the Supreme Court Finds Inter Partes Review Constitutional

When Allergan assigned its Restasis patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe last September, so that sovereign immunity could be used to help prevent their invalidation by the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), politicians and the public cried foul. This past month, after the PTAB decided that sovereign immunity did not apply and scheduled … Continue Reading

USITC Institutes Antitrust-Based Section 337 Investigation

Just days after affirming an administrative law judge’s decision to dismiss price fixing claims brought under Section 337 against numerous foreign steel companies for failing to plead “antitrust injury” (see our prior post), the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a notice announcing institution of another investigation involving antitrust claims (Certain Programmable Logic Controllers … Continue Reading

Exergen Corp. v. Kaz USA Represents Another In A String Of Recent Setbacks For Patent Infringement Defendants On Eligibility Challenges

For a third time in the past thirty days, a Judge Moore-led panel has found in favor of a patent owner defending its claims from an eligibility challenge under Section 101.  In Exergen Corp. v. Kaz USA, Inc., Nos. 2016-2315, 2016-2341 (March 8, 2018), a panel majority (Moore, Bryson) upheld a lower court’s post-trial ruling … Continue Reading

Does Aatrix Software Provide Software Patent Owners Shelter From The “Alice Storm”?

On February 14, 2018, a Federal Circuit panel in Aatrix Software, Inc. v. Green Shades Software, Inc., No. 2017-1452, overturned a Middle District of Florida decision that held patent claims to systems and methods for importing data into viewable form on a computer to be patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  According to the majority opinion … Continue Reading

California Court Weighs In On Patent Venue In Multi-District States

As reported in our prior blog post, the Federal Circuit appears poised to decide whether a corporation can be sued for patent infringement in any federal district in its state of incorporation.  In a recent order in the Central District of California case of Realtime Data LLC v. Nexenta Systems, Inc., No. 2-17-cv-07690-28 SJO (JCx), the … Continue Reading

Another Domestic Industry Lesson For Section 337 Litigants

The requirement of establishing a “domestic industry” in articles protected by a patent is a unique and important aspect of Section 337 litigation.  Without it, the statute’s exclusionary remedies against imports that infringe a patent cannot be invoked.  The statute enumerates the types of activities that can satisfy the “economic prong” of the domestic industry … Continue Reading

USITC Rings In The New Year By Designating An Investigation For Early Disposition

Under a pilot program initiated in 2013, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) may designate an investigation for early disposition if it believes that there is a potentially case-dispositive issue warranting the program’s speedy (100-day) treatment.  Since the program’s inception, the ITC has employed it sparingly, with only a handful of investigations garnering entry into … Continue Reading

Look Out Below: The New Year’s Mixed Signals On Patent Eligibility

Challenges to patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 have become so routine in patent litigation that it is easy to overlook the opinions that seem to issue almost daily from the district courts and, less frequently, from the Federal Circuit.  If one were to judge solely by the tenor of recent cert petitions filed with … Continue Reading

Illinois District Court Reaffirms Broader Interpretation Of IPR-Estoppel

As we previously reported (here), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in an August 2017 decision in Oil Dri Corp. v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., No. 1-15-cv-01067 (N.D. Ill., Aug. 2, 2017) joined the seeming trend of courts interpreting estoppel against patent challengers in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings more broadly … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court To Decide Whether Patent-Holders Can Recover Foreign Lost Profits

On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011.  The case stems from an opinion of the Federal Circuit in which a divided panel affirmed a jury’s verdict of patent infringement and its damages award of $12.5 million in reasonable royalties but reversed the jury’s additional … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit To Decide Whether A Corporation Can Be Sued For Patent Infringement In Any Federal District In Its State Of Incorporation

The patent venue statute provides that “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides.”  28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) (emphasis added).  In TC Heartland, LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands, LLC, 137 S.Ct. 1517 (2017), the Supreme Court held that a corporate defendant resides in the state … Continue Reading

The Pendulum Continues To Swing On The Scope Of IPR Estoppel

The America Invents Act of 2011, which ushered in a new regime for post-grant patent challenges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), provides that any patent challenger initiating an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the PTO “may not assert” an invalidity ground in a patent case in U.S. district court or in the U.S. … Continue Reading

The $93.4 Million Question: Can Patent-Holders Recover Profits Lost On Contracts To Be Performed Outside The U.S.?

Is a patent-holder precluded from recovering lost-profits damages for patent infringement if those profits would have been earned on contracts for services to be performed outside of U.S. territory?  That is the $93.4 million question presented by the cert petition in WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011 and that the Supreme Court is … Continue Reading

USITC Denies Early Disposition Pilot Program Status In Three More Section 337 Investigations

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has denied respondents’ requests for entry into the ITC’s pilot program for early case disposition in a trio of recent orders: in Certain Insulated Beverage Containers, Components, Labels, and Packaging Materials Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1084 (Nov. 17, 2017); and in the companion cases of Certain Color Intraoral Scanners and Related Hardware … Continue Reading
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