by Dennis Crouch
Design Patent Damages: The Supreme Court has granted Samsung’s petition for writ of certiorari on the issue of design patent damages under 35 U.S.C. 289. The statute allows for disgorgment of the infringer’s “total profit,” but the question is total-profit-as-to-what? Certainly not the entire company. The Federal Circuit has ruled that the total profit applies to the article of manufacture (here a mobile phone) while Samsung argues that the profit should be reduced to the profits associated with the component at issue (the screen). The Supreme Court rejected the second proposed issue of design patent scope.
No Standing for Cuozzo?: I wrote some about the standing and appellate jurisdiction issue in Cuozzo earlier this week. [Link]. Up to now, Cuozzo has not explained how a Phillips claim construction would impact the outcome of its inter partes review. Cuozzo’s reply brief may address that issue – either way they almost have to come-up at oral arguments under questioning from Justice Breyer or Justice Sotomayor.
Post Sale Restraints: A key new petition was filed in Impression Products v. Lexmark on the issue of patent exhaustion and the extent that a manufacturer can rely upon patent rights to create post-sale use requirements and restrictions and limits on international trade. [Link]. In Sequenom, v. Ariosa, the court is subtly asked to reconsider and scale-back the language of Mayo v. Prometheus. The petition actually asks the court to stop mis-interpreting Mayo. [Link]. Vehicle Intelligence and Safety as well as Cloud Satchel also raise Section 101 challenges, but those cases are battling long odds.
Reviewing a Jury Verdict of Definiteness: New petition Dow v. Nova raises the interesting question regarding the standard for appellate review of factual findings that serve as the underlying basis for a definiteness determination. Based upon a logical extension of Teva v. Sandoz, those factual findings should be given deference even though the ultimate determination of definiteness is a question of law. An important distinction from pure claim construction is that (as here) juries may be tasked with the job of ruling whether a claim is indefinite. In that situation, the juries do not separate their factual conclusions from legal conclusions creating some amount of confusion. The original Federal Circuit opinion cited to Teva, but not for its holding regarding deference. I would not be surprised by a GVR order from the Supreme Court asking the Federal Circuit to reconsider based upon that holding. [DowPetition].
Flexible Obviousness Test Does Not Apply to Secondary Indicia of Nonobviousness: In Cubist Pharma v. Hospira, the petitioner-patentee challenges the Federal Circuit’s increasingly bright line limits on secondary indicia of nonobviousness. How do those limits mesh with the flexible doctrine outlined in Section 103 and explained by Deere and KSR. [CubistPetition].
Did the AIA Shrink Federal Circuit Appellate Jurisdiction?: Finally, in Globus Medical, the question focuses on Federal Circuit jurisdiction over appeals in former-patent-cases, but where the only issue appealed is a non-patent issue. This same issue was previously decided in favor of Federal Circuit jurisdiction. However, the AIA modified the language of the Federal Circuit appellate jurisdiction statute and opened the door to a re-visitation. 28 U.S.C. 1292. However, the argument barely carries the weight of its linguistics if that.
Previously, the Federal Circuit had appellate jurisdiction over cases if the district court’s jurisdiction could at least in-part be traced to 28 U.S.C. 1338 (giving district court’s jurisdiction over patent cases). The AIA amended the statute to give appellate jurisdiction to the Federal Circuit in any “civil action arising under” the patent laws. Since appellate jurisdiction ordinarily attaches at the notice-of-appeal filing stage, Globus Medical argues that former patent cases no longer “arise under” the patent laws once final judgment is issued and no patent questions are appealed.
Denials: Cert was denied in Daiichi Sankyo v Lee (term adjustment); ParkerVision (standard for setting aside jury verdict based upon errors in expert testimony); Biogen (district court jurisdiction over interferences post-AIA); Morales v. Square (eligibility); Joao Bock v. Jack Henry (eligibility); and BriarTek v. DeLorme (USITC preclusion issue).
The big list:
1. Petitions Granted:
- Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Michelle K. Lee, No. 15-446 (BRI construction in IPRs; institution decisions unreviewable)
- Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., No 15-777 (design patent damages calculation)
- Stryker Corporation, et al. v. Zimmer, Inc., 14-1520 (enhanced damages) (linked with Halo)
- Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., No. 14-1513 (enhanced damages) (linked with Stryker)
2. Petitions Granted with immediate Vacatur and Remand (GVR)
- Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., et al. v. NuVasive, Inc., No. 15-85 (Commil re-hash – mens rea requirement for inducement)
3. Petitions for Writ of Certiorari Pending:
- Indefiniteness: The Dow Chemical Company v. Nova Chemicals Corporation (Canada), et al., No. 15-1160 (standard for appellate review of jury verdict of definiteness that is inherently based upon the jury’s factual findings) [DowPetition]
- Exhaustion: Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., No. 15-1189 (unreasonable restraints on downstream uses)
- Obviousness: Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., No. 15-1210 (bright line limits on secondary indicia of nonobviousness) [CubistPetition]
- Infringement by Joint Enterprise: Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-993 (can a defendant be held liable for the collective performance of method steps by multiple independent parties?)
- Post Grant Admin: Versata v. SAP, No. 15-1145 (scope of CBM review)
- Post Grant Admin: Cooper v. Lee, No. 15-955 (whether IPRs violate Separation of Powers; two amici now filed in support)
- Post Grant Admin: Click-to-Call Tech, LP v. Oracale Corp., No. 15-1014 (Same questions as Cuozzo and now-dismissed Achates v. Apple)
- Post Grant Admin: GEA Process Engineering, Inc. v. Steuben Foods, Inc., No. 15-1075 (Flip-side of Cuozzo: Can there be no appeal when the PTAB exceeds its authority by terminating an instituted IPR proceeding?)
- Post Grant Admin: Interval Licensing LLC v. Michelle K. Lee, No. 15-716 (Can the Patent and Trademark Office appropriately apply the “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard in construing patent claims in post-grant validity challenges?)
- Post Grant Admin: Stephenson v. Game Show Network, LLC, et al., No. 15-1187 (is BRI proper for IPR validity challenges?; Same as Cuozzo) [GameShowNetworkPetition]
- Laches: Medinol Ltd. v. Cordis Corporation, et al., No. 15-998
- Laches: SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag, et al. v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, et al., No. 15-927 (three amici filed in support)
- Biologics Notice of Commercial Marketing: Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc., et al., No. 15-1039 (Does the notice requirement of the BPCIA create an effective six-month exclusivity post-FDA approval?) (cross-petition asks for recourse on failure to dance).
- Design Patents: Systems, Inc. v. Nordock, Inc., No. 15-978 (design patent damage calculations – similar issues as Samsung v. Apple)
- Inducement: Life Technologies Corporation, et al. v. Promega Corporation, No. 14-1538 (whether an entity can “induce itself” under 271(f)(1))(CVSG, awaiting government brief)
- Preclusion or Jurisdiction: Vermont v. MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC, No. 15-838 (Federal court jurisdiction in anti-troll consumer protection case)
- Preclusion or Jurisdiction: Globus Medical, Inc. v. Sabatino Bianco, No. 15-1203 (Appellate jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit) [GlobusMedicalPetition]
- Eligibility Challenges: Sequenom, Inc. v. Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., et al., No. 15-1182 (scope of the natural phenomenon eligibility exclusion)
- Eligibility Challenges: Retirement Capital Access Management Company, LLC v. U.S. Bancorp, et al., No. 15-591 (Whether subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 is a ground specified as a condition for patentability under 35 U.S.C. § 282(b)(2))
- Eligibility Challenges: Hemopet v. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., No. 15-1062 (natural phenom case of tailoring a diet to a pet’s genomic characteristics)
- Eligibility Challenges: Cloud Satchel, LLC v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., et al., No. 15-1161 (abstract idea eligibility) [CloudSatchelPetition]
- Eligibility Challenges: Vehicle Intelligence and Safety LLC v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, et al., No. 15-1201 (abstract idea eligibility) [VehicleIntelligencePetition]
- Damages: Innovention Toys, LLC v. MGA Entertainment, Inc., et al., No. 15-635 (Stryker/Halo follow-on – potential wait-and-see)
- Damages: WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corporation, No. 15-1085 (consequential lost-profit damages for infringement under Section 271(f))
- Written Description: Tas v. Beach, No. 15-1089 (written description requirement for new drug treatments)
4. Petitions for Writ of Certiorari Denied or Dismissed:
- Daiichi Sankyo Company, Ltd. v. Michelle K. Lee, No. 15-652 (Patent Term Adjustment – whether the 180 day deadline applies; could bleed into admin law issues)
- Parkervision, Inc. v. Qualcomm Incorporated, No. 15-1092 (“Whether and under what circumstances an inconsistency in expert testimony permits a court to set aside a jury verdict and grant the losing party judgment as a matter of law.”)
- Joao Bock Transaction Systems, LLC v. Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., No. 15-974 (defining an abstract idea)
- Biogen MA, Inc. v. Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, et al., No. 15-607 (Whether AIA eliminated federal district courts’ jurisdiction over patent interference actions under 35 U.S.C. § 146.)
- BriarTek IP, Inc. v. DeLorme Publishing Company, Inc., et al., No. 15-1025 (Preclusive impact of ITC consent judgment).
- Morales v. Square, No. 15-896 (eligibility under Alice)
- ePlus, Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc., No. 15-639 (what happens with a finally-determined permanent injunction after PTO cancels the patent claim?)
- Media Rights Technologies, Inc. v. Capital One Financial Corporation, et al., No. 15-725 (Claim Construction: whether there a strong presumption against construing terms as subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112p6 that do not recite the term “means.”)
- Alexsam, Inc. v. The Gap, Inc., No. 15-736 (appellate jurisdiction over patents that were dropped from case pre-trial)
- Universal Lighting Technologies, Inc., v. Lighting Ballast Control LLC, No. 15-893 (intrinsic vs extrinsic evidence for claim construction).
- STC, Inc. v. Global Traffic Technologies, No. 15-592 (Whether marking the packaging of a patented article with patent notification satisfies the marking provision of 35 U.S.C. § 287(a) where the patented article itself is undisputedly capable of being marked.)
- Achates Reference Publishing, Inc. v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 15-842 (IPR institution decisions unreviewable, even when addressed in a final written decision by PTAB) [Note – This case was dismissed after being settled by the parties]
- Alps South, LLC v. The Ohio Willow Wood Company, No. 15-567
- Allvoice Developments US, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 15-538
- OIP Technologies, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 15-642
- Fivetech Technology Inc. v. Southco, Inc., No. 15-381
- Tyco Healthcare Group LP, et al. v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., No. 15-115
- Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 15-561
- Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd., et al. v. Eidos Display, LLC, et al., No. 15-288
- Kenneth Butler, Sr. v. Balkamp Inc., et al., No. 15-273
- Arthrex, Inc. v. KFx Medical Corporation, No. 15-291
- Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., et al., No. 15-559 (Commil re-hash – if actions were “not objectively unreasonable” can they constitute inducement?)
- Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., et al. v. Apotex Inc., No. 15-281
- Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Apotex Inc., No. 15-307
- Luv N’ Care, Ltd. v. Munchkin, Inc., No. 15-242
- Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc. v. Michelle K. Lee, Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office, No. 15-326
- I/P Engine, Inc. v. AOL Inc., et al., No. 14-1358
- Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL Inc., et al., No. 14-1362
- Content Extraction and Transmission LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, et al., No. 14-1473
- L. Gore & Associates, Inc. v. Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc., et al., No. 15-41
- NetAirus Technologies, LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 14-1353
- Muffin Faye Anderson v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, No. 14-10337
- MobileMedia Ideas LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 15-206
- SpeedTrack, Inc. v. Office Depot, Inc. et al., No. 15-461 (Kessler doctrine)
- Rodney K. Morgan, et al. v. Global Traffic Technologies LLC, No. 15-602
- Lakshmi Arunachalam v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., No. 15-691
5. Prior versions of this report: