The Supreme Court has granted writs of certiorari in two pending patent cases.
In Kappos v. Hyatt, the Supreme Court will decide (1) whether a patent applicant who files a Section 145 civil action has a right to present new evidence to the Federal District Court that could have been (but was not) presented during the proceedings before the USPTO and (2) when new evidence is presented, whether the court may decide the related factual questions de novo and without deference to prior PTO findings. An en banc Federal Circuit previously sided with the applicant, Hyatt, and held that the district court must allow new evidence and that factual conclusions affected by the new evidence must be decided de novo even if previously determined by the PTO. Judge Kimberly Moore penned the en banc opinion after dissenting from the original panel that had arrived at the opposite conclusion. This is Hyatt’s second case at the Supreme Court. He won the first against the State of California who was attempting to tax his receipts from patent licensing awards. Hyatt’s patents are related to computer micro-controller designs and claim a 1975 priority date.
Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd. v. Novo Nordisk A/S is a brand versus generic pharmaceutical dispute involving the scope of a generic company’s right to counterclaim against the brand based upon a brand’s overbroad description of claim scope submitted to the FDA. The Federal Circuit held that the Hatch-Waxman Act only allows for deleting of improperly listed patents while the petitioner here argues that the Act also allows for correction of misstatements for patent scope.
The Supreme Court today also decided two personal jurisdiction that could have some impact on how foreign entities are treated in US patent cases. In J. McIntyre Machinery v. Nicastro, the court held that a the “stream of commerce” theory of personal jurisdiction was being taken too far and that the foreign manufacturer (Nicastro) could not be subject to courts located in New Jersey because it had not engaged in activities in that state that “revealed an intent to involde or benefit from the protection of the [New Jersey] laws.” In Goodyear Luxembourg Tires v. Brown, the court held that courts located in North Carolina did not have general jurisdiction over Goodyear’s foreign subsidiary.