Featured / Symposia

Online Symposium: Prof. Lemley’s Top 2020 Federal Circuit Patent Decisions

Guest post by Mark Lemley[1]& Tyler Robbins[2]

This blog post provides a brief summary of four of the most significant patent cases decided by the Federal Circuit last year. It covers cases concerning assignor estoppel, transfer, venue, and the application of the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution to administrative patent judges.

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Featured / Symposia

Online Symposium: Prof. Osenga’s Top 2020 Federal Circuit Patent Decisions

Guest Post by Kristen Osenga

In any given year, the Federal Circuit covers a wide spectrum of issues in patent law, and 2020 was no different. Of course, a lot about 2020 was different — including seeing the Court hold (and now livestream) telephonic arguments — but most of the patent cases decided were similar in type to other years . . . a little patent-eligible subject matter, a little jurisdiction and venue, a case about infringement of standard essential patents, and a bit of deciding what the Patent Trial and Appeal Board can and cannot do. There were no real blockbuster cases in 2020 (other than maybe the Arthrex denial of rehearing, more on that later). This could be due to the pandemic, or maybe it is a sign that patent law is settling in for a bit. Of course, that does not mean the law has settled in the right place, but that is a different issue for a different day.

For today, a few cases are worth highlighting from the Federal Circuit’s 2020 patent opinions. To be clear, this is not an exhaustive review, but rather simply a short selection noting some of the more important patent cases decided last year.

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News

Recent News on the Federal Circuit

Here’s the latest.

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Argument Recap / Featured / Supreme Court Activity

Argument Recap – United States v. Arthrex, Inc.

On Monday, March 1, 2021, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the closely-watched patent case, United States v. Arthrex. As we previewed a couple days prior to argument, two main issues were considered by the Court. First, for purposes of the Appointments Clause, whether administrative patent judges (APJs) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) are principal or inferior officers. And second, if APJs are indeed principal officers, whether the Federal Circuit properly cured any Appointments Clause defect through the remedy it provided. Here are the details.

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Argument Preview

Argument Preview – United States v. Arthrex, Inc.

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a much-anticipated patent case, United States v. Arthrex, Inc. The first issue for consideration by the Court is whether, for purposes of the Appointments Clause, administrative patent judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board are principal or inferior officers. The second issue is, if administrative patent judges are indeed principal officers, whether the Federal Circuit properly cured any Appointments Clause defect through the remedy it provided. This is our argument preview.

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Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Recent Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit.

Here are the details.

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Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Recent Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit.

Here are the details.

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Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Recent Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit.

Here are the details.

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News

Recent News on the Federal Circuit

Here’s the latest.

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Scholarship

Recent Scholarship Related to the Federal Circuit

This month we highlight two scholarly articles related to the Federal Circuit.

Here are the details.

Retroactivity and Appointments

In his article, Professor Andrew C. Michaels “reviews the doctrine of retroactivity and appointments, discusses the relevant academic literature, and proposes a coherent framework for courts to use when faced with these important questions.” Specifically, he argues that “[t]he current law of retroactivity in the Appointments Clause context is confused” and has resulted in “significant practical consequences.” Professor Michaels also explores the Federal Circuit’s recent Arthrex decision and the court’s application of the doctrine of retroactivity with regards to the Appointments Clause.

Does Conjoint Analysis Reliably Value Patents?

In their article, Professor Bernard Chao and Sydney Donovan explore the reliability of conjoint analysis to calculate the value of the contribution a patent may make to the overall value of a product. The authors argue that “courts should not allow evidence of conjoint analysis to show the specific monetary value of specific features.” In exploring the validity of conjoint analysis, the authors found that their “surveys yielded irrationally high numbers.” Further, they demonstrate that “experts can manipulate the results of conjoint analysis by selecting among a number of different ostensibly reasonable statistical choices and picking the one that yields the most desirable outcome.”

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