Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights:
- an article about the disagreement between the Fifth Circuit and Federal Circuit over jurisdiction regarding “cases involving the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law”;
- another article about the Federal Circuit’s application of assignor estoppel in patent cases after the Supreme Court’s recent decision on point; and
- a third article about a “rar[e] oil and gas production and oilfield services” patent infringement suit.
Samantha Handler wrote an article for Bloomberg Law about how recent “cases involving the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law” have “tested the boundaries of the Federal Circuit’s domain.” Handler explained that the Fifth Circuit and Federal Circuit have disagreed “on which must take cases involving the Walker Process doctrine, which imposes antitrust liability on companies that use ill-gotten patents to obtain a monopoly.”
Jacob Zweig authored an article for Law360 discussing the Federal Circuit’s application of assignor estoppel after the Supreme Court “described three scenarios in which it would be fair to allow inventors to later challenge the validity of patents they had assigned.” Zweig maintained the recent Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc. decision signaled that the Federal Circuit “had applied the [assignor estoppel] far too broadly” and that, instead, the Federal Circuit should apply “a narrowed version meant to return assignor estoppel to its equitable roots.”
Angela Morris published an article for IAM discussing a “rar[e] oil and gas production and oilfield services” patent infringement suit between Halliburton Energy Services and US Well Services. Morris pointed out “that just 45 patent suits have been filed by the 32 [largest oil and gas companies] companies between 2017 and 2022 to date.” Moreover, she explained, “72% of the cohort” have not “asserted a single patent in a US district court” between 2017 and 2022. Morris suggested that the rarity of patent litigation in the oil and gas field may be related to either “the relationship between oilfield services firms and the powerful oil and gas producers” or “arbitration processes to resolve IP disputes.”