As a reminder, once a month we provide an update on activity in patent cases pending before panels of the Federal Circuit where the cases involve at least one amicus brief. We keep track of these patent cases in the “Other Cases” section of our blog. (There we also highlight non-patent cases that attract amicus brief, but only once those cases have been scheduled for oral argument.) Today, with respect to patent cases, we highlight one new opinion, a recent oral argument, and three upcoming oral arguments.
This past month the Federal Circuit issued one opinion in a patent case that attracted amicus briefs, In re Google LLC. In this case, Google petitioned the Federal Circuit for a writ of mandamus directing the district court to dismiss the case for lack of venue. The petition attracted one amicus brief submitted by a group of technology companies, manufacturers, and a non-profit organization. Google argued that its servers located in the relevant district were not a “regular and established place of business” as defined in the patent venue statute. The Federal Circuit agreed, holding that a “‘regular and established place of business’ requires the regular, physical presence of an employee or other agent of the defendant conducting the defendant’s business at the alleged ‘place of business.’” See our post discussing the opinion for more details.
Since our last report, the Federal Circuit has heard oral argument in one case that attracted amicus briefs, National Veterans Legal Services Program v. United States. On February 3, the plaintiffs-appellants presented their arguments in favor of reducing PACER fees. See our argument recap for a detailed break down of the oral argument, where we conclude that “[i]f the Federal Circuit interprets the statute consistent with the plaintiffs-appellants’ position, presumably the fees the government charges for accessing federal court records will drop significantly. ”
Upcoming Oral Arguments
Next month three patent cases that attracted amicus briefs will be argued. For each of these cases, we plan to present argument previews.
In this case, Voip-Pal.com presents the following issues:
- “Whether the district court erred in holding the asserted claims ineligible as abstract ideas under 35 U.S.C. §101?”
- “Whether the district court erred in holding the claimed method and process for automatically routing telephone calls and other communications in a multi-network environment using a physical controller covers ‘abstract ideas’ that are not patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. §101?”
In this case, EMD Serono presents the following issues:
- “Whether the asserted claims are invalid because: (1) They were anticipated by the prior art; or (2)They are not enabled and lack sufficient written description.”
- “Whether the asserted claims are not infringed because: (1) The steps of the method, properly construed, were not practiced in this country during the patent term; or (2) Serono lacked the scienter required for indirect infringement.”
- “Whether the asserted claims are ineligible for patenting.”
In this case, Sandoz presents the following issues:
- “Whether the patents-in-suit are invalid for [obviousness-type double patenting], where Immunex— which owns all substantial rights in those patents, including the ability to control patent prosecution—had already obtained earlier-expiring patents claiming obvious variants of the same inventions.”
- “Whether the claims-in-suit are invalid for lack of written description, where the original specification did not disclose the key claimed features of etanercept and Immunex had to amend the specification to add them.”
- “Whether the district court’s ruling on obviousness was infected by legal error.”