Category Archives: Supreme Court

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Supreme Court Complicates Design Patent Damage Calculation – Apple v. Samsung

On December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a rare unanimous decision on the issue of damages for design patent infringement that continues the Apple v. Samsung smartphone legal odyssey. It also marks only the second time in over 100 years that the court has issued a substantive decision in a design patent case. But … Continue reading this entry

Delaware Judges Are Finding Patent Claims Indefinite Post-Nautilus

It has been a little more than a year since the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Nautilus, lowering the standard for finding patent claim terms indefinite. Many commentators at that time predicted the decision would have broad implications for all patent cases where definiteness is at issue. Two recent cases from the District of Delaware demonstrate the … Continue reading this entry

A Royalty By Any Other Name: Post-Expiration Payments After Kimble v. Marvel

Patent holders and accused infringers will need to continue being creative in drafting license agreements after the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kimble v. Marvel, No. 13-720, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4067, at *6 (June 22, 2015). Kimble upholds the prohibition on charging royalties for use of a patented invention after the patent expires. The rule … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court on Induced Infringement: Good-Faith Belief of Invalidity Not a Defense and Knowledge of Infringement Required

In a 6-2 decision this week, the United States Supreme Court in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 575 U.S. ____ (2015) held that an accused infringer’s good-faith belief of patent invalidity is not a defense to a claim of induced infringement and stressed that induced infringement requires knowledge of infringement (as opposed to … Continue reading this entry

The Importance of Contracts for Joint Infringement in Patent Cases

It has been about a year since the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Limelight v. Akamai regarding induced infringement for methods performed by two or more actors. At that time, commentators predicted that attention would shift to contract analysis for determining direct, rather than induced, infringement in these multi-actor method situations, known as joint or divided infringement.  … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Supreme Court Modifies Federal Circuit’s Standard of Review for Claim Construction in Teva v. Sandoz

On January 20, 2015, resolving a long debated issue, the U.S. Supreme Court set aside the Federal Circuit’s de novo review of every aspect of a lower court’s claim construction decision, rejecting that form of review where the district court has resolved factual disputes and made factual findings about the extrinsic evidence. Teva Pharms. USA, … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court's Aereo Ruling: Is the Sky Falling for Cloud Computing?

With the Supreme Court’s Aereo decision finally out, the digital industry is struggling with its impact, if any, on various products and services, particularly with regard to cloud computing. However, the Supreme Court narrowly tailored the Aereo decision to services that closely resemble cable TV. Thus, suggestions that “the sky is falling” for cloud computing or other … Continue reading this entry

After the Supreme Court's Limelight Decision, Attention May Shift to Contract Analysis in Patent Cases

In Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Tech., Inc., the Supreme Court unanimously held that there can be no liability for induced infringement of a patented method where the steps of the method are carried out by separate actors. Yet, only one week later, the district court in Digital Reg of Tex., LLC v. Adobe Sys., … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court: Generic Computer Implementation Does Not Render Abstract Ideas Patentable

On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, No. 13-298, which was previously discussed here. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Thomas, the Court held, consistent with its precedent, that an abstract idea implemented on a generic computer is patent ineligible subject matter. The Court’s decision affirms a … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court Defines New Indefiniteness Standard

Today the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 13-369, which was previously discussed here. The unanimous court, in an opinion by Justice Ginsburg that looked to the language of the statute and Supreme Court precedent articulated the following standard: [A] patent is invalid for indefiniteness if its claims, read … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Hears Argument in Limelight v. Akamai

The Supreme Court heard argument yesterday in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Techs., Inc., which concerns the standard for inducing patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(b). For those who have not followed (or don’t recall) the case’s long and winding road to the Supreme Court, the plaintiff Akamai alleged infringement of method claims directed at … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Relaxes “Exceptional” Case Standard in Pair of Fee-Shifting Patent Cases

On April 29, 2014, the Supreme Court handed down decisions in two companion cases that relaxed the “exceptional” case standard under the fee-shifting provision of the Patent Act (35 U.S.C.  § 285). In Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., No. 12-1184 (2014) and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System, Inc., No. … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Takes on the Federal Circuit's "Extravagant" Indefiniteness Standard

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 13-369. Biosig sued Nautilus in 2004 over a patent covering heart rate monitor technology associated with exercise equipment. The district court invalidated the claims for being indefinite, however the Federal Circuit reversed concluding that the claims would have been understood … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Hears Argument on Software Patents

The Supreme Court heard arguments this morning in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, which concerns the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions. This is the fourth recent Supreme Court case addressing patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, following Bilski, Mayo and Myriad–however none of those cases explicitly addressed § 101 as applied to computer-implemented … Continue reading this entry

"Patent Reform 2014" White Paper Available for Download

Over the past 2 years I’ve been closely following the slew of patent reform proposals in Congress, the Executive Branch, the Courts, and the 50 States.  I have yet to find a document that lists–much less explains–all the many, many proposals percolating in DC and across the country. So I wrote one: “PATENT REFORM 2014:  A Comprehensive Guide to Current … Continue reading this entry

Are Computer-Implemented Inventions Patent Eligible?

On March 31, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l (Supreme Court Docket No. 13-298). At issue is the scope of § 101 patent-eligible subject matter, with the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions hanging in the balance. Special interest groups have shown significant interest in the outcome … Continue reading this entry

District Courts Staying Cases Pending CLS Bank, but the Federal Circuit Decides One

In December, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp., No. 13-298, in which the question presented by the petitioner is “[w]hether claims to computer-implemented inventions — including claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of manufacture — are directed to patent-eligible subject matter within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court to Tackle Plenty of IP Issues in 2014

On January 10, 2014 the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two patent cases, one copyright case, and a fourth case that may have implications for federal trademark law. The Court had already granted certiorari in at least five other IP-related cases set for argument in 2014. Needless to say, it will be a busy year for IP … Continue reading this entry