In Teva v Sandoz, the Supreme Court held that a district court’s factual conclusion supporting a claim construction determination should be reviewed with deference on appeal. In the expected follow-up, the Supreme Court has now acted on a hadful of cases riding in Teva‘s wake. In particular, the Court has issued “GVR” decisions in the pending cases of Lighting Ballast v. Universal Lighting; Gevo v. Butamax, and Shire v. Watson Pharma. In a GVR, the Supreme Court Grants certiorari, but, rather than deciding the case in the merits, immediately Vacates the appellate court holding and Remands for further consideration — Grant-Vacate-Remand. For these cases, the Supreme Court wrote simply:
The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted. The Judgments are vacated, and the cases are remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for further consideration in light of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., v.
Sandoz, Inc., 574 U. S. ___ (2015).
On remand, these cases will each challenge aspects of the new deferential review standards and, once they are decided, district courts will then understand whether the game has truly changed.