If the Supreme Court’s recent track record in patent cases is a guide to the potential outcome in this case, it seems quite likely that the Court will not simply affirm the Federal Circuit’s decision. While the Government has set out some reasonably compelling points in support of its position, I believe the Court will agree in large part with Cuozzo and the overwhelming support of the many amici in the case that have set out significant problems and negative long term consequences to the patent system if the PTO’s current approach of using BRI in IPRs is not altered. I also believe the Court will reign in the PTO with regard to its position on reviewability of the PTAB’s institution decisions. A prohibition on judicial review in this context arguably would allow a U.S. government agency to exceed its explicit statutory authority granted by Congress.
Both Korea and China are major players on the global patent stage, and the leading companies of these countries file and obtain thousands of patents annually. But it seems increasingly clear that the governments of these countries are attempting to support their domestic companies via antitrust enforcement to lower the price of access to patented technologies of foreign competitors.
While there are several facets of willful infringement law that the Halo concurrence would have the full court reconsider, the one that could have the greatest impact, and potentially unwind the patent reform gains made by Seagate, is the substantive test for award of enhanced damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 for willful infringement.