What’s Your Damage, Apple?

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The opinion of the Supreme Court is in, in Samsung v. Apple, and the news is not appetizing for Apple. Justice Sotomayor, writing for a unanimous Court, did just enough to (temporarily?) undo the $399–million verdict Apple had secured in this skirmish of the smartphone wars for infringement of its design patents. But the Court...

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Federal Circuit Clips The Wings of Covered Business Method Review

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In an opinion yesterday in Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., a three–judge panel of the Federal Circuit significantly limited the scope of Patent Office review of business method patents under the America Invents Act. The appellate court shrunk the universe of patents eligible for covered business method (CBM) review, a result which may please...

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Vote Counts: Supreme Court Ties Make Everyone The Loser

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Intellectual property law is not especially ideological—or at least not obviously so. While there are many vehement disputes in the field of IP law, few if any can be cast in R–vs.–D, right–vs.–left terms. That is one reason that patent law has been an area in which the Roberts Supreme Court has been able to...

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Government Supports Supreme Court Review Of Patent Exhaustion Dispute

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For some, patent exhaustion is the feeling you get when you try to read the text of a patent and just can’t keep your eyes open. In the law, patent exhaustion is a legal doctrine that limits the scope of a patent–holder’s rights. The first valid sale of a patented product exhausts those rights, so...

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Supreme Court To Review Statute Against Disparaging Trademarks

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Federal trademark law, specifically, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a),  provides that the Patent and Trademark Office can refuse to register a trademark that disparages persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols. Last December, the entire Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held this disparagement provision to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment, as we discussed at the...

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32 Internet Companies, Retailers, and Associations File Supreme Court Amicus Brief on Patent Venue

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Perhaps only in the sphere of patent litigation can the issue of venue—in what court a case can be filed—take on mammoth significance, and draw the attention of interested observers. Why does venue matter? Well, under the current relaxed regime, over 40% of all patent cases in 2015 were filed in the Eastern District of...

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Supreme Court To Decide Which Exports Can Trigger Patent Infringement Liability For World–Wide Sales

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The Supreme Court term is closing this week with a flurry of long-awaited, contested opinions on abortion, gun control, and government corruption. But intellectual property–minded court–watchers found interest in the Court’s decision to grant cert. (in part) in the case of Life Technologies v. Promega. While U.S. patent law is generally limited to domestic conduct,...

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Supreme Court Rejects “Unduly Rigid” Federal Circuit Test For Enhanced Damages

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There is a certain Groundhog Day–effect to many recent Supreme Court patent cases. The Supreme Court takes up a case challenging a legal test the Federal Circuit has created, rejects that test, and sends the case back to the lower court with an admonition not to be too rigid in its approach. In so doing,...

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Do New Federal Rules Mean Death for Local Patent Rules?

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In the spirit of the holiday season, December 1, 2015, will bring a gift to litigators in the form of amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Before snoozing off at the mere mention of rules, if you are someone who has ever been sued for patent infringement, give some thought to the potential...

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En Banc Federal Circuit Speaks On Joint Infringement and Induced Infringement

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In two major decisions issued by the entire court, the Federal Circuit addressed two open questions, one regarding the doctrine of joint infringement; the other, the scope of the International Trade Commission’s authority over acts of induced infringement. In the latest of many chapters in the case of Akamai Technologies v. Limelight, the Federal Circuit...

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