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Intellectual Property Law Blog

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Showing 8 posts in U.S. Supreme Court.

Another Patent Survives Motion to Dismiss Amid §101 Skepticism

Following a wave of decisions previously covered by Dykema, Judge Robinson of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware issued another decision holding that a software-based patent passes muster post-Alice. In Treehouse Avatar LLC v. Valve Corp., Civ. No. 15-427-SLR (D. Del. Mar. 22, 2016, Order), Judge Robinson opined on the trajectory of software patents and cautioned how Section 101 analysis might be going too far at the pleadings stage.  Read More ›

The Supreme Court Eyes Enhanced Patent Damages

The Supreme Court has significantly reigned in patent litigation and damages over the past few years-acting where Congress seemingly has been unable to do so. However, the Court just granted certiorari in two (now one combined) cases Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc.  Read More ›

Good-faith Belief in Patent Invalidity – Not a Defense to a Charge of Inducement

On Tuesday, in a decision vacating the Federal Circuit’s June 25, 2013 panel decision and remanding, the SCOTUS held that a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid does not serve as a defense to a charge of inducing infringement of the patent. Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., No. 13-896, 575 U.S. ___, ___ (2015) (slip op. at 9) (U.S. Supreme Court May 26, 2015). In its earlier decision, the Federal Circuit had held that an accused inducer’s alleged good‑faith belief in the invalidity of the asserted patent was a defense to a charge of induced infringement under 35 USC § 271(b).  Read More ›

The Rise of the 12(b)(6) Motion

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice we are continuing to see a growing trend by defendants to challenge patents under Section 101 (patentability) at the pleading stage. In a new report by DocketNavigator, 12(b)(6) motions have been filed in 24 cases so far this year compared to a total of 23 filed in 2014. In addition, the grant rate has increased from 52 percent in 2014 to 58 percent in 2015. This new tool should be assessed early as part of any patent litigation strategy.   Read More ›

The Supreme Court’s Holding on the Preclusive Effect of TTAB Proceedings: Is it the End or Just the Beginning?

The Supreme Court has finally resolved an issue that has been kicking around for some time: whether a final decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a disputed proceeding over registration can ever have preclusive effect in a subsequent court action which is not an appeal of that proceeding. The answer is yes, if the established elements of issue preclusion are met. B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc. et al. Both Justice Alito, in his opinion for the Court, and Justice Ginsburg in her brief concurrence, pointed out that “for a great many registration decisions issue preclusion obviously will not apply.” Still, it seems likely that a great deal of litigation over preclusion is yet to come – the Supreme Court decision is far from “conclusive.” Read More ›

Supreme Court Pulls the Plug on Aereo's Streaming TV Service Holding it Illegal

In a ruling that could have implications for emerging technologies in the television industry, and beyond, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 yesterday that online television streaming service Aereo Inc. violates copyright law by retransmitting over-the-air programming without authorization. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. et al. v. Aereo, Inc. f/k/a Bamboom Labs, Inc., No. 13-461. The Court held that Aereo’s streaming service represented a “public performance” of copyrighted works, in violation of the Copyright Act. The decision represents a major victory for television networks and copyrighted content owners, which had argued that Aereo’s business model amounted to nothing more than high-tech theft of protected works.  Read More ›

The Supreme Court Delivers Clarity for (Some) Software Patents

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated ruling on the patentability of software. Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l, et al., No. 12-298. As with many of its recent decisions relating to patent law, the Court did not make any sweeping pronouncements on the general patentability of software patents. Instead, the Court addressed the narrower issue of whether abstract ideas, long held to be ineligible subject matter for patents by themselves, could become patent eligible if they were implemented on a generic computer. The Court held that they cannot. Read More ›

Supreme Court: Inducement Cannot Divide Infringement

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court in a unanimous decision held that induced infringement of a method claim only arises if there is direct infringement by a single party who either performs, or directs or exercises control over, the entire process. Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., Case Number 12-786. By requiring one party to perform or control every step of a patent, the Court made it easier to fend off inducement claims when the alleged infringement involves multiple actors.  Read More ›