I was thinking some today about the pending Federal Circuit inequitable conduct case in Conversant Wireless Licensing v. Apple Inc., Docket No. 19-02039 (Fed. Cir. 2019). That case involves acts by the prior owner of Coversant’s patent — Nokia. During standard setting discussions for an old GPRS communication standard, Nokia apparently delayed disclosure of its related patents for several years. Although the patents were eventually disclosed, the district court found that the Nokia’s actions were problematic enough to hold the patent unenforceable.
I have not written as much about inequitable conduct since the Federal Circuit swept the issue away in, Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co., 649 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (en banc). Perhaps parties are now too busy with IPR proceedings.
Chart below shows the number of Federal Circuit decisions using the term “inequitable conduct” each year.
My prior chart in 2009 showed a totally different trend (also less precise markers).