by Dennis Crouch
Cooper v. Lee and Cooper v. Square are both ask the same question: whether 35 U.S.C. §318(b) violates Article III of the United States Constitution, to the extent that it empowers an executive agency tribunal to assert judicial power canceling private property rights amongst private parties embroiled in a private federal dispute of a type known in the common law courts of 1789, rather than merely issue an advisory opinion as an adjunct to a trial court.” The issues here are also parallel to those raised in MCM Portfolio v. HP (“Does IPR violate Article III of the Constitution?”). The cases received a boost this month with the Court’s call for response (CFR) in Cooper v. Square. Square had previously waived its right to respond, but its response is now expected by October 11, 2016. Under Supreme Court R. 37, the Call for Response reopens the period for filing of an amicus curiae brief in support of petitioner. (~ due October 8, 2016). Eight Amici Curiae briefs were filed in MCM and two in Cooper v. Lee. In general, each brief additional brief incrementally increases the odds of certiorari. Statistical analysis also suggests that a call for response significantly increases the odds of certiorari being granted.
I wrote earlier this week about the new IPR process challenge in Ethicon where the patentee has challenged Director Lee’s delegation of institution decision authority to the PTAB. The case is one of statutory interpretation but uses the separation-of-function doctrine as an interpretive guide. The same question is also presented in LifeScan Scotland, Ltd. v. Pharmatech Solutions, Inc. Both petitioners (Ethicon and LifeScan) are owned by J&J.
The final new petition is a personal jurisdiction case: Mylan v. Acorda. The Hatch-Waxman setup involved Mylan preparing and filing its abbreviated new drug application that created a cause of action for infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(e)(2). Although the ANDA preparation occurred in West Virginia and the filing in Maryland, the infringement lawsuit was filed by Acorda in Delaware. Mylan asks: “Whether the mere filing of an abbreviated new drug application by a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer is sufficient to subject the manufacturer to specific personal jurisdiction in any state where it might someday market the drug.” The argument builds on the non-patent decision Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014). In the pro-business case of Daimler, the Supreme Court reduced the scope of general personal jurisdiction to states where the defendant company is incorporated or has its personal place of business.
In the claim construction front, the Supreme Court also called for a response in Google v. Cioffi. In that case Google suggests an interpretative principle of “strictly construing” amended claim language against the patentee. [GoogleCioffiPetition]
On the merits side – we have three patent cases pending oral arguments. First-up is the design patent damages case of Apple v. Samsung. Although not a party, the Solicitor General has
requested to been granted leave to participate in oral arguments. Its brief, the SJ argued (1) Section 289 does not permit apportionment but rather requires award of the infringers profits on the relevant article of manufacture; but (2) the article of manufacture can be a “component” rather than a finished product sold to end-users. In the end, the SJ argues that the jury should have been tasked with determining the appropriate article-of-manufacture and that the case should be remanded to determine whether a new trial is warranted. Briefing continues in both SCA Hygiene (laches) and Life Tech (Component Export liability).
1. Petitions Granted:
- Briefing: SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, No. 15-927 (laches in patent cases)
- Briefing: Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., No 15-777 (design patent damages calculation)
- Briefing: Life Technologies Corporation, et al. v. Promega Corporation, No. 14-1538 (Whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that supplying a single, commodity component of a multi-component invention from the United States is an infringing act under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1), exposing the manufacturer to liability for all worldwide sales.)
2. Petitions awaiting invited Views of SG:
- Exhaustion: Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., No. 15-1189 (unreasonable restraints on downstream uses)
- BPCIA – 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)
- Antitrust Reverse Payments: GlaxoSmithKline, et al. v. King Drug Company of Florence, Inc., et al., No. 15-1055 (antitrust reverse payment – appeal from the 3rd Cir.)
3. Petitions for Writ of Certiorari Pending:
- Venue in Patent Cases: TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Brands Group LLC, No 16-341 (Does the general and broad definition of “residence” found in 28 U.S.C. 1391(c) apply to the patent venue statute 1400(b))
- BPCIA – Notice of Commercial Marketing: Apotex Inc., et al. v. Amgen Inc., et al., No. 16-332 (effectively extending exclusivity to 12 1/2 years; complement to the Sandoz petition)
- Personal Jurisdiction: Mylan Pharmaceuticals, et al. v. Acorda Therapeutics, et al., No. 16-360 (does an ANDA filing create nationwide specific jurisdiction?)
- Anticipation: Grunenthal GmbH v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-296 (OxyContin patent – when is an element ‘inherently’ disclosed by the prior art for anticipation purposes)
- Licensing: DataTreasury Corp. v. JP Morgan, No. 16-359 (appeal from 5th Circuit) (Whether a most-favored licensee (“MFL”) clauses in an intellectual property license agreement applies retrospectively to require refund if better terms are later given to another licensee?) [DataTreasuryPetition]
- Obviousness: Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Epic Pharma, LLC, 16-289 (whether the circumstances of invention can help prove non-obviousness) (The Purdue and Grunenthal cases stem from the same Federal Circuit decision but involve separate patents owned by the respective petitioners)
- Obviousness: MacDermid Printing Solutions, LLC v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, No. 15-1499 (is proof of a “reasonable expectation of success” necessary to combine references in an obviousness case against a claimed combination invention)
- Patent Attorney Malpractice: Encyclopaedia Britannica v. Dickstein Shapiro, No. 16-305 (Does the fact that the search-system is no longer patentable under Alice Corp excuse patent prosecutors from alleged prosecution errors made well prior to that decision – the patent).
- Laches: Medinol Ltd. v. Cordis Corporation, et al., No. 15-998 (follow-on to SCA); Endotach LLC v. Cook Medical LLC, No. 16-127 (SCA Redux); Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., et al, No. 16-202 (SCA Redux plus TM issue)
- Safe Harbor: Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. v. Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 15-1402 (scope of 271(e) safe harbor)
- Post Grant Admin: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien LP, et al., No. 16-366 (separation-of-function – can the PTO Director delegate IPR institution decisions to PTAB); Same question presented in LifeScan Scotland, Ltd. v. Pharmatech Solutions, Inc., No. 16-377
- Post Grant Admin: MCM v. HP, No 15-1330 (separation of powers and right to jury trial)
- Post Grant Admin: Cooper v. Lee, No. 15-955 (whether IPRs violate Separation of Powers; two amici now filed in support); same question presented by Cooper in Cooper v. Square, No. 16-76.
- Post Grant Admin: Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. Lee, No. 15-1516 (mandamus challenging CBM initiation)
- 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: Merck & Cie, et al. v. Gnosis S.p.A., et al., No. 16-125 (standard of appellate review of PTAB fact-finding in IPR proceedings)
- Post Grant Admin: Automated Creel Systems, Inc. v. Shaw Industries Group, Inc., et al., No. 16-108 (Achates redux – review of statute-of-limitations for filing IPR requests)
- Post Grant Admin: Pactiv LLC v. Lee, No. 16-205 (Does the “substantial new question of patentability” identified in a reexamination order limit the scope of the ex parte reexamination)
- Design Patents: Systems, Inc. v. Nordock, Inc., No. 15-978 (design patent damage calculations – similar issues as Samsung v. Apple)
- Appellate Review: Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., No. 15-1446 (appellate disregard of factual evidence)
- Eligibility: Jericho Systems Corporation v. Axiomatics, Inc., et al., No. 15-1502 (Eligibility of Patent No. 8,560,836 under Section 101 – Abstract Idea)[Jericho]
- Eligibility: Genetic Technologies Limited v. Merial L.L.C., et al., No. 16-188 (Sequenom redux; also question whether ineligibility is a proper subject of a motion to dismiss on the pleadings)
- Eligibility: Essociate, Inc. v. Clickbooth.com, LLC, et al., No. 16-195 (please clarify the meaning of ‘abstract idea’ and ‘inventive process’)
- Post Grant Admin: James L. Driessen, et ux. v. Sony Music Entertainment, et al., No. 15-1518 (Claim construction in IPRs – pro se case)
- Interference: Edward Tobinick v. Kjell Olmarker, et al., No. 15-1544 (question of procedure in interference case involving allegations of fraud)
- Arbitration: Neev v. Alcon Lensx, Inc., No. 16-48 (limits on arbitrator autonomy in patent cases)
- ITC Jurisdiction: DBN Holding, Inc. v. International Trade Commission, No. 16-63 (Does the USITC have jurisdiction over articles imported in order to infringe, but that do not themselves practice the invention at import).
- Claim Construction: CSP Technologies, Inc. v. Sud-Chemie AG, No. 16-238 (unduly narrow claim construction)
- Claim Construction: Google, Inc. v. Alfonso Cioffi, No. 16-200 (holding prosecution history against the patentee)
- Jurisdiction: GeoTag, Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 16-268 (Whether a compulsory counterclaim can satisfy the case or controversy requirement under Article III of the Constitution if there was no case or controversy at the time the complaint was filed?)
4. Petitions for Writ of Certiorari Denied or Dismissed:
- None so far this term.
5. Prior versions of this report: