Big Week For IP In The Supreme Court

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While the political world roils, the Supreme Court issued two major IP law decisions this week. In SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, the Court, in an opinion by Justice Alito, held that the equitable doctrine of laches could not be asserted as a defense in patent cases. Laches is an old doctrine...

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Patent News Grab–Bag

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Some news of note for this Valentine’s Day week: N.D. Cal. Orders Early Damages Disclosures: The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has amended its local patent rules to require the parties to (1) provide the court with a good–faith (non–binding) estimate of the damages range expected for the case at the...

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Patent Trolls Still Can’t Find A Way Through Alice’s Looking Glass

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We (and others) have written frequently and at length about the impact of Alice v. CLS Bank on patent litigation—how the test set out in that case has enabled litigants and courts to obtain an early determination of whether a patent claims a viable invention or just an abstract idea. Parties who assert patents in...

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Supreme Court May Take Its Chance To End Forum Shopping

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Before closing up shop for the holidays, the Supreme Court issued a short order which, among other things, granted the cert. petition filed in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC. By taking this case, the Court has given hope to those of us concerned about forum shopping, and the over–concentration of patent...

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FTC Issues Long–Awaited Patent Troll Study

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The Federal Trade Commission today announced the publication of its formal study of the problem of patent trolls—which the Commission more politely refers to as “patent assertion entities” or “PAEs.” Using its investigative authority, the Commission examined non–public information for 2009–2014 from 22 PAEs, 327 PAE affiliates, and 2,100 holding entities. The FTC divided the...

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Accused Infringer Succeeds In Justifying Fee Award, Then Fails To Prove Fees

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In the latest twist in the saga of the Webvention patent litigation, Novartis has been denied its attorneys’ fees after having demonstrated that it was entitled to them. You can read the back–story here. (As noted there, our firm was involved in this case once upon a time, but not lately.) The sequel brings a...

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When You *Can* Say It Any Plainer Than That

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One of the peculiar features of most patent litigation—and one reason it is so expensive—is the process of claim construction. The courts have decided that disputes over the language of patent claims must be decided by the trial judge because they are “questions of law” not “questions of fact.” And that has come to mean...

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Timing Is Everything: Alice in East Texas (Again)

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Well, we warned you that Alice v. CLS Bank was going to remain a hot topic in 2016. Two more data points to support that theory have emerged, each of which, in a different way, relates to the proper timing of a judicial decision on the legal question of whether a patent’s claims are written...

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New Year’s Grab Bag: Old Topics and Young Lawyers

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Welcome to 2016! By all accounts, 2015 was a banner year: For patent litigation—the second–highest number of patent lawsuits ever were filed in 2015 (just behind 2013); For patent trolls, which accounted for two–thirds of those new lawsuits, up from 2014; And for the Eastern District of Texas, in which 44% of all new patent...

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Happy Federal Rules Amendments Day

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If there was an advent calendar for federal civil litigators—and why would there be—opening the window on December 1, 2015, would reveal a brand–new—or, at least, significantly amended—set of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We’ve previewed the key amendments most immediately relevant to patent litigation—in with a new discovery regime in which discovery must be...

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