Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights Apple and Broadcom’s plans to appeal a $1.1 billion jury verdict against them in a patent case, concerns about a recent Federal Circuit decision on design patents, a story of challenges faced by a patent owner at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the Federal Circuit, and an oral argument at the court deemed the “oral argument of the week.”
Various news networks reported on Caltech’s $1.1 billion jury verdict against Apple Inc. and Broadcom Corp. in its patent infringement case in the Central District of California. For example, Law.com’s Federal Circuit reporter, Scott Graham, reported that “Caltech argued to the jury that Broadcom incorporated the infringing technology into its Wi-Fi chips at Apple’s direction and has supplied them to more than 1 billion devices around the world.” He also reported a “Caltech spokesperson said the university is pleased with the verdict and grateful for the attention shown by jurors over the two-week trial.” Bloomberg Law’s Edvard Petterssen and Susan Decker noted that, according to Bloomberg’s records, “[i]t’s the biggest jury verdict of any kind so far this year, and the sixth-largest patent verdict of all time.” They also report that both Apple and Broadcom plan to appeal. The verdict also made news in the popular press, including CNBC, MarketWatch, and other publications.
Matthew Bultman filed an article for Bloomberg Law explaining that, in Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc. v. Seirus Innovative Accessories, Inc., “[s]everal prominent design patent lawyers and an industrial design group are asking the full Federal Circuit to review a ruling that upended Columbia Sportswear’s win in a patent infringement case.” According to Bultman, the lawyers argue that the ruling opens “a ‘Pandora’s box’ of non-infringement arguments,” and he reports that the industrial design group warns that “the opinion puts design patents ‘on the path to obsolescence’ and leaves designers with no meaningful way to protect their designs.”
At IPWatchDog, Paul Hayes outlined his “story of how the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 made a novel 2002 invention obvious in 2018.” Hayes describes his experience owning a patent found invalidated by the PTAB in light of “secret prior art,” a patent application “not published by the USPTO until about a week after” Hayes filed for his patent. Hayes argues that “patent owners deserve jury trials,” and takes issue with the Federal Circuit’s use of Rule 36 to summarily affirm the PTAB.
Over at 717 Madison Place, Bill Vobach highlighted his “oral argument of the week” from the case of Telesign Corporation v. Twilio, Inc. Vobach notes that, while the Federal Circuit issued a summary affirmance in the case, the argument “might interest those of you who like to follow patent eligibility issues.”