United States: US cases to watch in 2017
Last Updated: February 8 2017

Intellectual Property Magazine has published "US cases to watch in 2017," written by Steven Zager, a partner at Akin Gump and head of the firm's intellectual property practice, and John Wittenzellner, an intellectual property counsel at the firm. The article previews the most eagerly awaited decisions in patent law for the coming year.

Zager and Wittenzellner write that 2017 will see a continuation of the trend of increased involvement of the Supreme Court in patent law. The big difference, however, is that the In re Aqua Products, Inc. case currently being reviewed by the Federal Circuit presents an opportunity, they say, for the Court "to delve into patent office procedure, rather than more general legal issues, such as obviousness and subject-matter eligibility."

Other key questions the authors say will be answered this year:

  • Will the Eastern District of Texas remain a preferred venue for patent plaintiffs?
  • Will laches continue to be a defense to patent infringement?
  • Will companies continue to reallocate their intellectual property between trade secrets and patents?

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