United States: Patent Law And The Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Granted (July 2014)

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently granted petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

WildTangent, Inc. v. Ultramercial, LLC, et al., No. 13-255

Question Presented:

When is a patent's reference to a computer, or computer-implemented service like the Internet, sufficient to make an unpatentable abstract concept patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101?

Cert. petition filed 8/23/13, waiver by respondent Ultramercial, LLC filed 11/6/13, conference 12/6/13, response requested 12/6/13, conference 1/24/14, conference 6/26/14, GVR 6/30/14.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

Kobe Properties Sarl, et al. v. Checkpoint Systems, Inc., No. 13-788

Questions Presented:

The Patent Act provides that a "court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party." 35 U.S.C. § 285. Recent decisions by the Federal Circuit have held that, in the absence of litigation misconduct or misconduct in securing the patent, a case can be deemed "exceptional" if it is both objectively baseless and brought in bad faith. After living with this case for more than ten years, including overseeing a two-week jury trial, the District Court found that this case was objectively baseless and brought in bad faith, and awarded the defendants all of their fees. In its very first application of its decision in Highmark, Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys., Inc., 687 F.3d 1300 (Fed. Cir. 2012), the Federal Circuit panel gave no deference to the District Court's objective baselessness and exceptional case determinations and reversed. App. 15. The Federal Circuit subsequently denied rehearing and rehearing en banc.

The questions presented are:[FN1]

FN1. These are the same questions presented in the petitions for writ of certiorari filed in Highmark, supra, and in Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., No. 12-1184. This Court granted certiorari in both of those cases on October 1, 2013, 134 S. Ct. 48 (2013), 134 S. Ct. 49 (2013), and they are now pending before this Court.

  1. Whether a district court's exceptional case finding under 35 U.S.C. § 285, based on its judgment that a suit is objectively baseless, is entitled to deference.
  2. More broadly, whether the Federal Circuit's above-described two-part test for determining whether a case is exceptional under 35 U.S.C. § 285 improperly appropriates a district court's discretionary authority to award attorney fees to prevailing accused infringers in contravention of statutory intent and this Court's precedent, thereby raising the standard for accused infringers to recoup their fees and encouraging patent plaintiffs to bring spurious patent cases to cause competitive harm or for other improper purposes.

Cert. petition filed 12/30/13, conference 4/18/14, conference 5/2/14, GVR 5/5/14.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

LG Electronics, Inc., et al. v. InterDigital Communications, LLC, et al., No. 13-796

Questions Presented:

  1. Does a court have jurisdiction to review an agency action omitted from a statute's detailed list of reviewable actions, because (a) the presumption favoring judicial review overrides the statutory text, or (b) the agency action purportedly has the same "operative effect, in terms of economic impact," as actions the statute specifies as reviewable?
  2. Where the parties indisputably agreed to arbitrate issues of arbitrability, should a court conduct its own inquiry into the merits of the arbitrability issue before referring the matter to arbitration?

Cert. petition filed 12/31/13, waiver of respondent International Trade Commission filed 3/19/14, conference 4/18/14, GVR 4/21/14.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. et al., v. Sandoz, Inc., et al., No. 13-854

Question Presented:

Rule 52(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that in matters tried to a district court, the court's "[f]indings of fact ... must not be set aside unless clearly erroneous."

The question presented is as follows:

Whether a district court's factual finding in support of its construction of a patent claim term may be reviewed de novo, as the Federal Circuit requires (and as the panel explicitly did in this case), or only for clear error, as Rule 52(a) requires.

Cert. petition filed 1/10/14, conference 3/7/14, conference 3/21/14, conference 3/28/14, cert. petition granted 3/31/14.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

Amicus Briefs

Brief for the American Bar Association in Support of Neither Party
Brief for the Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Intellectuelle (FICPI) in Support of Neither Party
Brief for Intellectual Property Owners Association in Support of Neither Party
Brief for Professors Peter S. Menell, J. Jonas Anderson, and Arti K. Rai in Support of Neither Party
Brief for the United States in Support of Neither Party

Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 13-369

Questions Presented:

  1. Does the Federal Circuit's acceptance of ambiguous patent claims with multiple reasonable interpretations - so long as the ambiguity is not "insoluble" by a court - defeat the statutory requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming?
  2. Does the presumption of validity dilute the requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming?
Cert. petition filed 9/21/13, conference 1/10/14, cert. petition granted 1/10/14, argument set for 4/28/14, argued 4/28/14 (transcript here), vacated and remanded 6/2/14 (opinion here).

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

Merits Briefs

Brief for Petitioner, Nautilus, Inc.
Brief for Respondent, Biosig Instruments, Inc.
Reply Brief for Petitioner, Nautilus, Inc.

Amicus Briefs

Brief for AARP in Support of Petitioner
Brief for Amazon.com, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Dell Inc., ESRI, Garmin International, Inc., Google Inc., J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., Limelight Networks, Inc., Netflix, Inc., Newegg Inc., Red Hat, Inc., SAP America, Inc., SAS Institute Inc., and Verizon Communications Inc. in Support of Petitioner
Brief for Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge in Support of Petitioner
Brief for Microsoft Corporation in Support of Petitioner
Brief for Nova Chemicals Inc., Aetna Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., General Motors LLC, EMC Corporation, Intel Corporation, and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. in Support of Petitioner
Brief for Biotechnology Industry Organization in Support of Respondent
Brief for Interval Licensing LLC in Support of Respondent
Brief for Nokia Corporation and Nokia USA Inc. in Support of Respondent
Brief for the American Bar Association in Support of Neither Party
Brief for American Intellectual Property Law Association in Support of Neither Party
Brief for the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago in Support of Neither Party
Brief for Intellectual Property Owners Association in Support of Neither Party
Brief for Professor Peter S. Menell in Support of Neither Party
Brief for Sigram Schindler Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbh, in Support of Neither Party
Brief for Yahoo! Inc. in Support of Reversal
Motion for Leave to File Brief Out of Time and Brief of Ananda M. Chakrabarty, Ph.D., in Support of Petitioner
Brief for the United States in Support of Respondent

Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 12-786, vide 12-800

Question Presented:

Akamai holds a patent claiming a method involving redirecting requests for Internet content and selecting optimal servers. The Federal Circuit acknowledged that neither Limelight nor customers using Limelight's service directly infringe Akamai's patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) because no one performs all the steps of the patented method. App. 6a, 30a. The Federal Circuit nevertheless held that Limelight could be liable, under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b), for inducing infringement if (1) it knew of Akamai's patent; (2) it performed all but one of the steps of the method; (3) it induced its customers to perform the final step of the claimed method; and (4) the customers performed that step. App. 30a. The question presented is:

Whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a defendant may be held liable for inducing patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) even though no one has committed direct infringement under § 271(a).

Cert. petition filed 12/28/12, conference 6/6/13, conference 6/13/13, conference 6/20/13, CVSG 6/24/13, brief of amicus United States filed 12/10/13, conference 1/10/14, cert. petition granted 1/10/14, argued 4/30/14 (transcript here), reversed and remanded 6/2/14 (opinion here).

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument


To continue reading "Patent Law And The Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Granted" (July 2014), please click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions