Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit in patent cases. The court received two pro se petitions. Additionally, the court denied a petition concerning post-institution discovery rulings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board related to real-parties-in-interest disputes. Here are the details.
Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. We are still waiting for the court to issue an opinion in Arellano v. McDonough, an en banc veterans case. As for pending petitions in patent cases, highlights include new petitions concerning Patent Trial and Appeal Board termination of inter partes review proceedings, reviewability of Board discovery rulings related to real-party-in-interest disputes, the utilization of expert witnesses in district court summary judgment proceedings, and standing before the Board. Here are the details.
This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions, one reviewing a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the other reviewing a decision of the Court of International Trade; two nonprecedential opinions, one reviewing another decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the other in a patent case; a nonprecedential order in Oracle America, Inc. v. Oracle LLC, on remand from the Supreme Court; and two Rule 36 summary affirmances. Here are the introductions to the opinions, text from the order, and a list of the summary affirmances.
- The Upshot of Google v. Oracle: An Absurd Ruling Will Lead to Absurd Results – This recent decision in copyright law may transform how copyrights in software are viewed and force copyright owners to be more secretive with their code.
- Federal Circuit Appears Unswayed by Patent Board Bias Attack – In oral argument, a majority of the panel seemed skeptical of New Vision’s argument of bias towards institution of IPRs by the PTAB.
- Justices Asked To Revisit “Life Issues” In Tinder’s IP Alice Win – The Supreme Court was asked to reconsider the Federal Circuit’s decision in NetSoc LLC v. Match Group LLC over concerns of the application of Alice to NetSoc’s patent.
Here’s the latest.
- Supreme Court Backs Google in Copyright Fight With Oracle – A 6-2 ruling ended the decade-long copyright dispute between Google and Oracle over Google’s use of Java programming code in its Android operating system.
- Apple Can’t Appeal Patent Board Rulings After Qualcomm Deal – In a precedential decision, the Federal Circuit ruled that a settlement agreement between Apple and Qualcomm bars Apple from challenging a PTAB decision that upheld two Qualcomm patents.
- Fitbit Wins Challenge to Health Technology Patent at Tribunal – On remand from the Federal Circuit, the Patent Trial and Appel Board ruled in favor of Fitbit and concluded that parts of a health-monitoring patent were invalid as obvious.
Here’s the latest.
Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit.
- The Supreme Court rendered its decision in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., the long-running software copyright case.
- Three amicus briefs were filed in Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc., a case that has been granted certiorari.
- The Court received three new petitions for writ of certiorari.
- One new brief in opposition was filed with the Court in response to the petition in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC.
- One new reply brief was filed with the Court in Ericsson Inc. v. TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited.
- One new amicus brief was filed with the Court in Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative v. United States by Anthem, Inc., Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc., Highmark Inc., L.A. Care Health Plan, and Molina Healthcare of California, Inc.
- Lastly, the Court denied the petitions in three cases.
Here are the details.
On April 5, 2021, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., the long-running software copyright case. The Court sided with Google in a 6-2 opinion, holding that Google’s copying of the Java API code constituted fair use. Justice Breyer wrote the majority opinion for the Court and was joined by Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Sotomayor, Justice Kagan, Justice Kavanaugh, and Justice Gorsuch. Justice Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion and was joined by Justice Alito. Justice Barrett did not participate in the case. Here is a summary of the majority and dissenting opinions.
This morning the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s finding of copyright fair use in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc. Justice Breyer authored the Court’s majority opinion, which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch joined. Justice Thomas authored a dissenting opinion, which Justice Alito joined. Justice Barrett did not participate in the case. Here are the introductions to the majority and dissenting opinions.
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.
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.