Here’s the latest.

Inventors Eye Patents After ‘Extraordinary’ Damage Awards Run

Reported by Matthew Bultman by Bloomberg Law

Companies have been awarded over five billion dollars in damages in patent infringement cases over the past year. Matthew Bultman takes a closer look at these awards and how they might increase the interest in intellectual portfolio portfolios.

At least some of the awards will likely be reduced or thrown out on appeal, or the cases settled for a lower amount—but their initial size has drawn attention from litigation financiers and investment groups. . . . “These are the kind of numbers where folks say, ‘That could make for an attractive investment if we are putting in $5, $10, $15 million dollars,’” [a president for a finance firm] said.

Bultman notes that these cases primarily involve companies in the technology or pharmaceutical industries with high sale volumes of infringing products. Companies may have also become more willing to engage in litigation rather than negotiate a license with a patentee. However, the Federal Circuit’s overturning of some of these awards may make companies hesitant to invest.

Companies’ in-house lawyers “aren’t going to take verdicts seriously until there’s a track record of affirmances by the Federal Circuit,” Ted Stevenson, a trial attorney at McKool Smith PC, said.

Federal Circuit Limits Venue for Hatch-Waxman Cases

Reported by Taras A. Gracey and Luke T. Shannon at National Law Review

The Federal Circuit issued an opinion on Thursday affirming the dismissal for improper venue of a case brought pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, the act that revised the patent framework for pharmaceutical drugs. Taras A. Gracey and Luke T. Shannon review Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. where the Federal Circuit ruled that the location of the act of infringement, the submission of the ANDA to the FDA, created proper venue.

Although the Federal Circuit left unstated the universe of venue-supporting actions involved in preparing and submitting an ANDA, Valeant once again raises the possibility that the District of Maryland may see an increase in Hatch-Waxman litigation.

However, Valeant’s suit against the foreign Mylan entity may continue according to the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit remanded the decision to the lower court to determine the level of involvement by the foreign entity in the submission of the ANDA.

As for branded pharmaceutical companies, Valeant reaffirms that foreign generic pharmaceutical companies may be sued in any judicial district, including Delaware and New Jersey. Looking ahead, however, Valeant foreshadows future disputes as to the extent of involvement by the foreign generic company necessary to support a claim as to such entities. 

For more information, see our coverage.

Fed. Circ. Mulls Fate of Wi-Fi Co.’s $8M Infringement Verdict

Reported by Khorri Atkinson at Law360

Attorneys for uCloudlink and SIMO Holdings argued in front of a panel of Federal Circuit judges on Friday regarding the jury verdict awarding SIMO Holdings $8.2 million for uCloudlink’s willful patent infringement. Khorri Atkinson recaps the oral arguments where SIMO Holdings argued that the ruling should stand because of a former employee’s theft of trade secrets later given to uCloudlink signaling knowledge. SIMO Holdings also argues that the optionality of a non-local calls database within the patent does not preclude uCloudlink’s product from infringing. uCloudlink argued that SIMO Holdings presented no evidence supporting a finding of willfulness, so the Federal Circuit should find that uCloudlink only infringed or did not infringe at all.

[An attorney for uCloudlink] said a reversal would be appropriate because the issue of infringement has been fully briefed and the trial judge granted summary judgement in favor of SIMO. If SIMO wants a remand instead, the attorney insisted, “at a minimum there has to be some explanation on why we would want to spend more resources, but the parties and district court’s resources.”