This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a patent infringement case, affirming a denial of a motion to dismiss for lack of standing over a dissent by Judge Newman. The court also issued a nonprecedential order granting a petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Western District of Texas to transfer a case to the Central District of California. Here are the introductions to the opinion and order.
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.
Here is this month’s update on activity in cases pending before panels of the Federal Circuit where the cases involve at least one amicus brief. We keep track of these cases in the “Other Cases” section of our blog. Today, with respect to these cases we highlight five dispositions, three cases with new briefing, one recent oral argument, and two upcoming oral arguments.
On Wednesday, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Hulu, LLC, a case we have been tracking because it attracted an amicus brief. In the opinion, Judges Wallach and Taranto affirmed the denial of a motion for rehearing by the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In particular, they confirmed that the Board may consider § 101 eligibility challenges to proposed substitute claims in inter partes review proceedings. Judge O’Malley filed a dissenting opinion based on her view that the case is moot. Here is a summary of the opinion and dissent.
This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a patent case addressing the ability of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to consider eligibility challenges to proposed substitute claims in inter partes review proceedings. Here is the introduction to the opinion.
- Apple loses seven-year import duty legal fight – The Federal Circuit affirmed the U.S. Government’s categorization of Apple’s iPad Smart Covers, thereby subjecting the models to tariffs.
- Federal Circuit Affirmed Win Against Database Platform – Hulu successfully challenged a database patent in Sound View Innovations, LLC v. Hulu, LLC.
- Federal Circuit Vacates Denial of Attorneys’ Fees – In a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit held that the district court must consider the objective unreasonableness of an infringement claim in determining whether to grant attorneys’ fees.
Here’s the latest.
Here is this month’s update on activity in cases pending before panels of the Federal Circuit where the cases involve at least one amicus brief. We keep track of these patent cases in the “Other Cases” section of our blog. Today, with respect to these cases we highlight two dispositions, one new case, three recent oral arguments, and two upcoming oral arguments.
May the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reject a motion to amend a patent in an inter partes review because the Board concludes that a proposed substitute claim does not comply with the eligibility requirement? The Federal Circuit considered that question during an oral argument last week in Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Hulu, LLC. As discussed in our argument preview, the case attracted an amicus brief in favor of the Board’s position that it may consider eligibility in this context. Here is our argument recap.
This week (and next Monday) the Federal Circuit will convene 18 panels to consider about 69 cases. This month, like last moth, the court will hear all of its oral arguments telephonically given the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, the court will hear fewer oral arguments than normal, with only about 26 cases being argued this month. Three of these argued cases attracted amicus briefs. Here is what you need to know about those three cases.