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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The Role of Design Patents in Patent Troll’s Litigation Designs

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The business world snapped to attention when Apple obtained a $400 million verdict from Samsung in a dispute largely focused on design patents covering how smart–phones look. The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the question of how to assign damages for design patent infringement—that is, how to distinguish between the value of the...

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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 Affirms Patent Office Procedures For Inter Partes Review

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Although the political winds in the Senate continue to blow against the confirmation of a ninth justice, the oddities of an eight–person Supreme Court have not prevented the court from deciding patent cases in the past week. Today brings the opinion of the Court in Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, in which the high court...

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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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Arbitration Redux: Supreme Court Speaks Again

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Just seven days after my last blog post on arbitration clauses, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia finding, yet again, that a class action waiver provision was enforceable against a consumer.  Although the decision turned on a rather nuanced question of contract interpretation, it serves as a powerful reminder of...

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Independence Day Round–Up

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A post–4th–of–July review of recent developments in patent litigation: Supreme Court declares independence from patent cases. As the Supreme Court closed out a memorable 2014 term, we note that the Court has not accepted any patent cases for its 2015 term. Although there are a few cert. petitions percolating, it appears that patent law will...

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