Archives: Patent Litigation

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The Supreme Court Speaks Unanimously: The USPTO Cannot Recover Legal Fees for Losing

On December 11, 2019, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that the term “expense” under §145 of the Patent Act does not include the salaries of the USPTO’s legal personnel, and put an end to the USPTO’s attempts to recover attorneys’ fees in court challenges to its decisions. The Peter v. NantKwest, Inc. dispute arose after … Continue Reading

Cannabis Patent Survives Summary Judgment Motion

In July of last year, United Cannabis Corporation (“UCANN”) filed the first cannabis patent infringement lawsuit in the United States, against Pure Hemp Collective Inc. (“Pure Hemp”). It alleges that Pure Hemp infringed U.S. Patent No. 9,730,911 (“the ‘911 Patent”), which is entitled “Cannabis Extracts and Methods of Preparing and Using Same.” Each asserted independent … Continue Reading

“Secret Sales” of an Invention Continue to Be a Potential Bar to Patent Rights, Even After the America Invents Act

On January 22, 2019, the United States Supreme Court decided an important question in patent law: After the America Invents Act (AIA), does the sale of an invention to a third party, who is contractually obligated to keep the invention confidential, make the invention “on sale” within the meaning of the patent statutes? The unanimous … Continue Reading

Alicia Bell and Carla Quisenberry Join ORLA’s Boiled Down Podcast to Discuss Cease and Desist Letters

Cease and desist letters can serve as a warning ahead of full scale litigation, however there are some possible resolutions before ending up in court. Alicia Bell and Carla Quisenberry joined the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association‘s Boiled Down podcast this week to discuss demand letters, how to avoid them, and your options if you … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Extends Reach of Patentee to Recover Lost Foreign Profits

The Supreme Court on Friday held that WesternGeco, LLC (“WesternGeco”), owner of patents for a system used to survey the ocean floor, can recover profits from sales it lost outside the U.S. due to Ion Geophysical Corp.’s (“ION”) infringement of its patents. Under section §271(f) of the Patent Act, a company can be liable for … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Squeezes Patents: TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods & Impression Products v. Lexmark

In a pair of important decisions over the last week, the Supreme Court again changed the patent protection landscape (and again overruled the Federal Circuit). In TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC, the Supreme Court took on the issue of venue for patent infringement litigation. Under previous interpretations of the Patent Act’s venue … Continue Reading

It’s Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia: CertainTeed v. BIPV

In CertainTeed v. BIPV, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has given us a good reminder that patents (or patent applications) and trade secrets don’t mix well, and also weighed in on the confounding question of whether allegedly confidential information that is not a trade secret can still be protected … Continue Reading

The Supremes Have Spoken: The Defense of Laches Does Not Apply to Patent Infringement Suits…

…but can only collect damages for six years prior to filing suit. In a stunning upset of years of jurisprudence (Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, prior patent act), the U.S. Supreme Court determined that laches (an equitable remedy) cannot be applied within the “statute of limitations” period of six years (a legal remedy for damages). … Continue Reading

The Supremes Unanimously Limit the Galactic Design-Patent-Infringement Damages Award in One of the Apple v. Samsung Design-Patent Wars

More than 120 years have passed since the United States Supreme Court last tackled the issue of damages in design-patent cases. This month, the Court put an end to that silence with its decision in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., handing Samsung a huge victory in its patent war with Apple over the designs … Continue Reading

The Long Wait is Over: Review Standard on Appeal For Claim Construction is Now Clear Error

Today the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a significant decision impacting the appellate review of claim construction in patent infringement. In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Court held that that when reviewing a district court’s claim construction that includes underlying findings of fact, the Federal Circuit must apply a “clear error” standard of review … Continue Reading

Alice Corporation’s Business Method Patents are Held Patent Ineligible Under 35 U.S.C. 101

Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in the Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank case and held that method claims that merely require generic computer implementation fail to transform an abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention. This case will impact US patent owners, especially for computer software patents and business method … Continue Reading

Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies Decision Handed Down by the Supreme Court

Further to my earlier blog on the topic, Patent Infringement for Inducement by More Than a Single Entity? Still in Play, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in the long-awaited Limelight Networks, Inc. v Akamai Technologies, Inc. case today. The Supreme Court took another hard swipe at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which had … Continue Reading

Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc.

The Supreme Court today overturned Federal Circuit precedent regarding the law of indefiniteness of patent claims. The Federal Circuit had previously held that a patent claim passes muster under 35 U.S.C. §112, (a) [previously ¶2] and is not indefinite so long as the claim is “amenable to construction,” and the claim, as construed, is not “insolubly ambiguous.” … Continue Reading

The Patent Exhaustion Doctrine and Method Patent Claims – ABA IP Roundtable, April 4

The Miller Nash IP team is pleased to host an ABA IP Roundtable at noon on April 4 in our Seattle office. Our topic, The Patent Exhaustion Doctrine and Method Patent Claims (Keurig Inc. v. Sturm Foods Inc. & Lifescan et al. v. Shasta), is sure to spur lively conversations concerning the decisions and the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds that Patent Owners Always Have Burden of Proving Infringement: Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC

In what is becoming a noticeable trend, the Supreme Court last week once again reversed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on a patent issue when it involved the rules of civil procedure. In Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC, a unanimous Supreme Court held that “the burden of proving infringement remains with the patentee” … Continue Reading

U.S. Design Patents Becoming More Valuable

U.S. design patents had hit rock bottom a few years ago in terms of enforcement in the courts (they were too easy to design around and not so easily enforced). But the pendulum is swinging back, and U.S. design patents are becoming a very useful tool in one’s IP asset portfolio. This conclusion was underscored … Continue Reading

Attorneys’ Fees for Successful Defendants in Patent Cases? The Pendulum is Swinging

The U.S. Patent Laws provide for the potential of recovery of enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees in exceptional cases. Until at least recently, good luck getting the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing that the case was indeed exceptional to merit an award of attorneys’ fees unless there was misconduct in litigation or securing the patent. … Continue Reading