by Dennis Crouch
Lots of the new learning in patent law over the past decade has focused on patent eligibility. But, none of the eligibility cases (new or old) show up in my list of the most cited Supreme Court cases.
- Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 517 U.S. 370 (1996) (claim construction);
- Christianson v. Colt Industries Operating Corp., 486 U.S. 800 (1988) (arising under jurisdiction);
- eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388 (2006) (injunctive relief in accordance with the principles of equity);
- Graham v. John Deere Co. of Kansas City, 383 U.S. 1 (1966) (obviousness);
- Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research, Inc., 401 U.S. 321 (1971) (antitrust – patent pools – waiver of defenses);
- MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118 (2007) (licensee standing for declaratory judgment action);
- Blonder-Tongue Laboratories, Inc. v. University of Illinois Foundation, 402 U.S. 313 (1971) (non-mutual issue preclusion in patent cases);
- Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research, Inc., 395 U.S. 100 (1969) (antitrust – patent pools);
- Holmes Group, Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Systems, Inc., 535 U.S. 826 (2002) (arising under jurisdiction – patent assertions in counterclaims, overruled by AIA);
- Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251 (2013) (arising under jurisdiction for patent attorney malpractice);
- Warner-Jenkinson Co., Inc. v. Hilton Davis Chemical Co., 520 U.S. 17 (1997) (element-by-element, even for doctrine of equivalents);
- Hoffman v. Blaski, 363 U.S. 335 (1960) (change of venue under 1404(a));
- College Sav. Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Educ. Expense Bd., 527 U.S. 666 (1999) (sovereign immunity for patent infringement);
- KSR Intern. Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007) (obviousness); and
- Kerotest Mfg. Co. v. C-O-Two Fire Equipment Co., 342 U.S. 180 (1952) (declaratory judgment and district court discretion).
The citation ranking here is based upon the cite by other cases. If we add in PTAB decisions, Briefs, and Articles, then the top four are KSR, Graham v. Deere, Markman, and Alice Corp.
Most of the cases in this list decide some trans-substantive principle and so are being cited outside of the patent context. The only core patent cases are Markman, Graham v. Deere, Warner-Jenkinson, and KSR.