Here is this month’s update on activity in cases pending before panels of the Federal Circuit where the cases involve at least one amicus brief. We keep track of these cases in the “Other Cases” section of our blog. Today, with respect to these cases we highlight two orders in patent cases we have been tracking, one order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus related to transfer and another granting a motion to stay the appeal due to potential settlement. We also highlight two new patent cases that attracted amicus briefs. One case attracted an amicus brief addressing the law governing damages for willful infringement and the other attracted two amicus briefs supporting the idea that district courts should impose injunctions to prevent owners of standard essential patents from seeking exclusion orders to prevent infringement by importation. Here are the details.
Since our last update, the Federal Circuit has issued two orders in patent cases that attracted at least one amicus brief.
In re Netflix, Inc.
In this patent case, Netflix filed “a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking to stay all proceedings pending resolution of its” motions either “to dismiss for improper venue” or “to transfer the case.”
The panel denied Netflix’s petition. The court explained that, though a “stay of merits proceedings is appropriate relief if the district court cannot decide a venue motion quickly enough,” in this case “the magistrate judge has . . . issued a report and recommendation denying Netflix’s venue motion.” Additionally, the panel stated, it was “not convinced that an exceptional writ of mandamus is appropriate under the circumstances.”
This case attracted an amicus brief from United Patents, LLC in support of Netflix.
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. v. Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc.
In this patent case, Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) appealed a ruling by the District of New Jersey. Zydus alleged “the district court erred in rejecting Appellant’s obviousness-type double patenting [OTDP] invalidity defense” when the earlier expiring patent has “received a patent term adjustment pursuant to 35 U.S.C. section 154(b).”
Zydus and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma filed an emergency motion to stay the appeal due to a potential settlement that will require modification of the district court judgement. In its order, the Federal Circuit granted the motion and requested the parties inform the court of next steps after disposition at the district court.
This case attracted two amicus briefs addressing the merits of the appeal.
This past month two patent cases attracted amicus briefs.
Centripetal Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cisco appeals a district court’s “remote bench trial” ruling. In its opening brief, Cisco argues the “judgment is the result of multiple misunderstandings of patent law.” Cisco, for example, states that “the damages award rests on a grossly overstated royalty base” because the court failed to “find that Cisco made, used, offered for sale, or sold the patented inventions.” Moreover, Cisco claims, “the damages awards rest on a royalty that” was unreasonable. Cisco contents that “no evidence” was identified that its “products satisfied key claim limitations.” Lastly Cisco further asserts that the district judge ignored “a bright-line statutory obligation to recuse himself.” This case has attracted an amicus brief in support of Cisco from the High Tech Inventors Alliance. Its brief addresses the law governing damages for willful infringement.
Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Thales USA, Inc.
Thales appeals a district court’s “denial of a preliminary injunction” that sought “to prevent Philips from pursuing an . . . exclusion order against Thales.” Thales claims that “this appeal goes to the core of the [Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory] commitment to which [Standard Essential Patent] holders bind themselves.” Based on this claim, Thales requests the Court “correct the district court’s errors and clarify that . . . FRAND commitment does not permit SEP holders to use the threat of market exclusion to extract supra-FRAND compensation from willing licensees.” Thales raises three issues, two based on whether the district court erred in a finding and a holding, and one based on whether “the district court abuse[d] its discretion.” This case has attracted two amicus briefs in support of Thales, one from The App Association and one from Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.; U-Blox America, Inc.; and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Both support the idea of district courts imposing injunctions to prevent owners of standard essential patents from seeking exclusion orders to prevent infringement by importation.