- New Suits Against Amazon Barred Under Claim Preclusion – Relying on a 1907 decision, the Federal Circuit bars suits against Amazon’s customers.
- Supreme Court Will Not Hear Eli Lilly Patent Appeal – This week, the Supreme Court denied two petitions both relating to a chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer.
- Federal Circuit Upholds Dumping Duties – Chinese solar cell companies were kept accountable for dumping thanks to a recent Federal Circuit ruling.
Here’s the latest.
Federal Circuit Bars New Suits Against Amazon Under Claim Preclusion, Kessler Doctrine
This week, the case In re PersonalWeb Technologies LLC was affirmed by the Federal Circuit. The court relied on a 1907 decision Kessler v. Eldred, “which said that a losing patent holder cannot later assert the same patents against the winning party’s customers.” The Federal Circuits ruling barred PersonalWeb from asserting claims against Amazon’s customers such as Patreon, Vox Media, Dictionary.com, Vice Media, Oath, Inc., Buzzfeed, Popsugar, and Ziff Davis. McDermott reported:
With respect to the claim preclusion argument, PersonalWeb said that the Texas action and the customer suits involved different causes of action. In the Texas case, PersonalWeb said it accused only the multipart upload functionality of Amazon’s S3 system, while in the cases before the California court, it accused the ‘cache control’ functionality, ‘an entirely different feature of Amazon’s S3 system.’ However, the Federal Circuit held that ‘At most, PersonalWeb has shown that it emphasized different facts in support of a different theory of infringement in the prior case. But that is not enough to avoid claim preclusion.’
For more information on this case, see our coverage.
SCOTUS won’t hear appeal of Eli Lilly patent win in blockbuster cancer drug case
The Supreme Court denied petitions of certiorari for both Hospira, Inc. v. Eli Lilly and Company and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Ltd. v. Eli Lilly and Company. These denials by the Supreme Court will preserve Eli Lilly’s monopoly on the chemotherapy drug “Almita” until the year 2022. One of Eli Lilly’s best selling drugs, Almita is specifically used to help treat lung cancer patients. In the article, Wolfe chronicles both petitions paths to appeal and eventual denial by the Supreme Court.
The generic drugmakers argued on appeal that the judge interpreted the scope of the ‘209 patent too broadly, saying that in applying for it Eli Lilly made amendments to its language that narrowed its scope. A Federal Circuit panel rejected those arguments in August, saying Eli Lilly’s amendments were ‘merely tangential’ to the claimed method and therefore did not limit the patent’s scope.
Federal Circuit Upholds Dumping Duties On Chinese Solar Cells
Finally, in an anti-dumping duty petition, the Federal Circuit “backed the U.S. Department of Commerce’s duties on Chinese solar cell imports, finding the agency correctly lowered dumping margins by taking into account the imports’ subsidies rates.” In Jinko Solar Co. v. United States, the court’s unanimous decision ensured that importers could not be penalized twice for the non-cooperation of Chinese solar cell companies with anti-dumping investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Martinson explains:
While Commerce has the discretion to penalize foreign companies for not participating in its duty investigations, the department must also calculate rates that accurately reflect actual dumping margins and subsidies rates, the panel said. ‘This practice balances the dumping margin against deterrence, lowers the combined anti-dumping/countervailing cash deposit rate, and avoids the inequity of double application of duty, U.S. Circuit Judge Pauline Newman wrote for the panel, affirming the U.S. Court of International Trade’s ruling.
For more on this case, see our coverage.