Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. With respect to the Supreme Court’s October 2021 term, since our last update the Court has not granted any new petitions. Two new petitions, however, have since been filed: one in a patent case concerning patent eligibility and one filed by a pro se petitioner. Additionally, Apple filed a reply in support of a petition raising a question related to standing in patent appeals. Finally, two waivers of right to respond to petitions were filed in patent cases. Here are the details.

Granted Cases

No new activity.

Petition Cases

New Petitions

Two new petitions were filed with the Court. 

In Universal Secure Registry LLC v. Apple Inc., the petitioner asked the Court to review the following question:

  • “Does patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 require ‘specificity,’ ‘unexpected results’ and ‘unconventionality,’ in conflict with the Patent Act and this Court’s decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014)?”

In Pride v. McDonough, a pro se petitioner filed a petition with the Court.


Apple filed a reply in support of its petition in Apple Inc. v. Qualcomm Inc., which presents a question related to standing in the patent appeals context. In its reply, Apple argued that Qualcomm’s attempt to distinguish this case from MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc. lacks merit. According to Apple, there is just as “concrete a controversy to support Article III standing as in MedImmune.” Moreover, Apple maintained, here “the dispute over the asserted patents’ validity is even more ‘well defined’ than in MedImmune because Qualcomm has already sued Apple.” Additionally, Apple asserted, the “Federal Circuit has demonstrated its willingness to continue to bar parties from challenging questionable patents on appeal, contrary to Congress’s intent and the public interest.” Ultimately, Apple argued, the Court “should not allow patent owners to evade Article III jurisdiction through the commonplace reality of portfolio licensing, while leaving licensees who suffer the same injury-in-fact as under a single-patent license without judicial review.”

Waivers of Right to Respond

In Gamon Plus, Inc. v. Campbell Soup Company, Trinity Manufacturing, LLC waived its right to respond to the petition, which raised a question related to the Appointments Clause in a patent case.

Energy Heating and Rocky Mountain Oilfield Services filed a waiver of right to respond in Heat On-The-Fly, LLC v. Energy Heating, LLC, in which the petition raised a question related to determining exceptionality as a basis for an award of attorney fees in a patent case.