Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. With respect to granted cases, on Monday the Court heard oral arguments in Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi, Aventisub LLC. With respect to petitions, four new petitions were filed with the Court in three patent cases and a pro se case. The Court also denied three petitions. Here are the details. 

Granted Cases

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi, Aventisub LLC, a case addressing patent law’s enablement requirement. Our argument recap is here

Petition Cases

New Petitions

In Fall Line Patents, LLC v. Unified Patents, LLC, the petitioner asked the Court to review the following question:

  • “Whether the Commissioner for Patents’ exercise of the [Patent and Trademark Office] Director’s authority pursuant to an internal agency delegation violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.”

In Nike, Inc. v. Adidas AG, the petitioner asked the Court to review the following question: 

  • “Whether, in inter partes review, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board may raise sua sponte a new ground of un-patentability—including prior art that the petitioner neither cited nor relied upon—and whether the Board may rely on that new ground to reject a patent-holder’s substitute claim as unpatentable.”

In ESET, LLC v. Finjan LLC, the petitioner asked the Court to review the following questions:

  1. “In a case of first impression for this Court, where a patentee expressly defines a claim term, may the Federal Circuit disregard its decades-old precedent that the patentee’s express definition governs?”
  2. “Does a Federal Circuit ex post facto claim construction comply with pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶¶ 1 and 2, and this Court’s precedent in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 572 U.S. 898 (2014), when a person of skill in the art could not have predicted the Federal Circuit’s claim construction with reasonable certainty?”
  3. “Must the Federal Circuit, under Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 574 U.S. 318 (2015), credit a District Court’s underlying factual determinations in resolving conflicts arising from a patentee incorporating-by-reference multiple conflicting definitions of a patentee-coined claim term?”

In Conteh v. Department of Commerce, a pro se petitioner filed a petition.


The Supreme Court denied certiorari in three cases: