Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report covers a story by the New York Times on the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a petition by the University of Wisconsin, a press release by Representative Doug Collins criticizing a decision of the Federal Circuit on patent eligibility, and two comments on the recent oral argument at the Supreme Court in Peter v. NantKwest, Inc.
Andrew Chung reported for the New York Times that the “Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by the University of Wisconsin’s patent licensing arm to reinstate its legal victory against Apple Inc in a fight over computer processor technology that the school claimed the company used without permission in certain iPhones and iPads.” The 2018 decision by the Federal Circuit in Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc. “[threw] out the $506 million in damages that Apple was ordered to pay after a jury in 2015 decided the company infringed the university’s patent.”
Representative Doug Collins, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a press release following the Federal Circuit’s ruling in American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings LLC. He stated that “[o]ur patent eligibility test is clearly flawed,” and said it is “unthinkable the courts found this invention, a manufacturing process for making a key automotive part, as patent ineligible.” Representative Collins further added that “Congress must establish a new eligibility test to encourage investment in developing new U.S. technologies and ensure American inventors aren’t at a global disadvantage.”
At SCOTUSblog, Ronald Mann discussed the oral arguments heard by the Supreme Court recently in Peter v. NantKwest, Inc. Mann offered his view that the “justices seemed skeptical of the government’s position,” and noted that, “by the end of the argument, the consensus of the justices” seemed to be that “Congress would have to legislate much more clearly than it has so far before the justices would force private litigants to pay the costs of the government’s in-house legal personnel.” (We recently posted our own recap of the oral arguments in this case.)
At Patently-O, Dennis Crouch also commented on the oral arguments in Peter v. NantKwest, Inc, stating that despite the fact that “[c]onventional wisdom in patent cases is reversal,” he is “betting on affirmance.”