Posts Tagged: "patent infringement"

Fifth Circuit Says Auto Parts Suppliers Have No Article III Standing to Bring Antitrust Claims Against SEP Holders

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Monday vacated and remanded a district court decision that had dismissed Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.’s suit against several standard-essential patent holders and their licensing agent, claiming violations of federal antitrust law and state law. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed with prejudice Continental’s Sherman Act claims for lack of antitrust standing and, alternatively, for failure to plausibly plead certain elements. Continental appealed, but the Fifth Circuit said Continental’s claims should have been dismissed for lack of Article III standing because it had not proven that the SEP holders had “denied Continental property to which it was entitled and that Continental thereby suffered a cognizable injury in fact.”

Big Tech and China, Inc. Rejoice in DOJ Draft SEP Policy Statement and FTC Speech

Last summer, I lamented how the Department of Justice – Antitrust Division (DOJ), without Senate confirmed leadership, was hastily pushing through policies that augmented the already-enormous power of Big Tech and benefitted China’s interests. Similarly, I uncovered how the App Association, a Big Tech-funded advocacy organization masquerading as a group of small app developers, was able to trick the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into inviting it to speak at its July 2021 Commission meeting alongside legitimate small businesses. This is the same association that supported Apple in its litigation against (real) app developers, issued a June 2021 press release against the House bills aimed at regulating Big Tech, and misses no opportunity to support Big Tech interests.

Word Salad, Fact Confusion, and Lawyering: One Take on ParkerVision v. Qualcomm

Last month, I followed a hearing in a case called ParkerVision v. Qualcomm in Federal Court in the Middle District of Florida and reviewed the court briefs. This patent infringement case is potentially one of the largest of the year and is related to very important technology that miniaturized radio frequency (RF) transceivers, thus paving the way for the invention of the smartphone. Lawyer arguments in these hearings are very interesting, and you can learn a lot about the law. You can also learn how lawyers distort and twist the facts by confusing the court with word games, something I call word salad. Courts are pretty good at figuring out word games in most subject matter, but technology is foreign territory to many courts, so a well-tossed word salad can bring about an unjust decision.

General Counsels Ask Raimondo to Immediately Repeal NHK-Fintiv Framework

Invoking familiar warnings about grave threats to U.S. innovation, 23 chief legal officers of big companies spanning industries from high-tech, internet and streaming to auto, financial services and home security, recently sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo calling on her to “immediately repeal the NHK-Fintiv rule” established by former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu via precedential Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions. According to the letter, NHK-Fintiv practice has written vital protections intended by the America Invents Act out of the law without public notice or comment, and “has caused—and continues to cause—immediate and irreparable harm to American innovators and manufacturers.”

The Anti-suit Injunction Conundrum: How We Got Here and How to Avoid It

An anti-suit injunction is an interim order issued by a court in one jurisdiction that prohibits a litigant from initiating or continuing parallel litigation in another jurisdiction. The practice of the anti-suit injunction is traced back to fifteenth century England, where royal courts issued writs of prohibition to stay parallel proceedings in the ecclesiastical courts or common law courts. Initially, the use of anti-suit injunctions was limited in England. By the nineteenth century, however, their use expanded to prevent litigation in other British colonies and eventually foreign countries.

CAFC Corrects District Court’s On-Sale Bar Analysis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today reversed the U.S. District Court for the District of Pennsylvania’s summary judgment that a medical device design patent was not invalid under the on-sale bar. Junker v. Medical Components, Inc. The district court found the patent was infringed and awarded damages in the amount of $1,247,910. But the CAFC held that a letter sent by the inventor’s business partner to Boston Scientific Corporation in 1999 represented a commercial offer for sale of the claimed design.

Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Attempt to Unseal Uniloc Licenses Falls Flat at CAFC

In its second appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) regarding the sealing of documents in several related cases against Apple, Uniloc scored a win when the CAFC said today that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California failed to comply with its original remand instructions, constituting an abuse of discretion. The appellate court for a second time ordered the district court “to make particularized determinations as to whether the third-party licensing information sought to be sealed should be made public.”

Wading into Contract Law Again, CAFC Says Forum Selection Clause Also Precludes IPRs

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) earlier today issued a precedential decision holding that the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware improperly denied Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd.’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the court’s misreading of the plain language of a contract’s forum selection clause. The CAFC consequently reversed the decision and remanded for entry of a preliminary injunction (PI) enjoining Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. from proceeding with its seven inter partes review petitions (IPRs) against Nippon Shinyaku and requiring that Sarepta withdraw the petitions.

CAFC Rejects Apple’s Claim Construction and Partially Affirms Infringement of Wi-LAN Patents, But Orders New Damages Trial

On February 4, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded a patent infringement decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California that had awarded WiLAN, Inc. $85.23 million in damages from Apple Inc. Wi-LAN is the owner of two patents related to allocating bandwidth in a wireless communication system, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,457,145 (the ‘145 patent) and 8,537,757 (the ‘757 patent). In May 2014, Apple sued Wi-LAN in the Southern District of California seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity for all claims of the ‘757 and ‘145 patents. Wi-LAN counterclaimed, asserting that certain Apple devices, including certain iPhone 5 and 6 models infringed claim 1 of the ‘757 patent and claims 9, 26, and 27 of the ‘145 patent based on their use of its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communication standard. Wi-LAN argued that the technology in the two patents at issue enabled Voice over Loong-Term Evolution (VoLTE), which enables voice call service over a 4G LTE network.

CAFC Orders New Trial on Damages, Clarifies IPR Estoppel Rule in Appeal of Caltech’s $1.1 Billion Win Against Apple and Broadcom

On February 4, in a mixed precedential decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed, vacated, and remanded in part a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in a patent infringement suit filed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) against Broadcom Limited, Broadcom Corporation, and Avago Technologies (collectively “Broadcom) and Apple Inc. The suit was related to Caltech’s U.S. Patent 7,116,710 (‘710 patent), U.S. Patent 7,421,032 (‘032 patent), and U.S. Patent 7,916,781 (‘781 patent). The CAFC affirmed the district court’s denial of judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on infringement because the jury’s verdict of infringement of the declared claims of the ‘710 and ‘032 patents was supported by substantial evidence and the district court’s construction of the claim limitation “repeat” was not erroneous.

Albright Calls SCOTUS Test ‘Confusing Abyss of Patent Eligibility Law’, Denies Motion to Dismiss

Just over one week ago, U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright of the Western District of Texas entered a ruling denying PNC Bank’s motion to dismiss patent infringement claims asserted by financial record retrieval tech developer Mirror Imaging. In affirming the validity of Mirror Imaging’s patents under Section 101 at the motion to dismiss stage, Judge Albright acknowledged that tests handed down by the Supreme Court for subject matter eligibility have created a “confusing abyss of patent eligibility law” before affirming the validity of Mirror Imaging’s patents on both steps of the Alice test.

Bipartisan Groups of Administration Officials, Senators, Voice Opposition to New Joint Policy Statement on SEPs

Friday, February 4, marked the deadline for submission of comments on the latest iteration of the Joint Department of Justice (DOJ)-U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)-National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Policy Statement on Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary FRAND Commitments. The request for comments came on the heels of President Joe Biden’s July 2021 Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, which asked the three agencies to review the 2019 statement. In perhaps one of the most surprising submissions, a bipartisan group of former presidential administration officials jointly commented that the new version of the Policy Statement is “disconnected from the realities of SEP licensing,” “unbalanced,” and would “disadvantage the United States on the global stage.”

CAFC Affirms Preliminary Injunction Against Myco Industries, Finding No Clear Error or Abuse of Discretion

On February 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a preliminary injunction granted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, holding that the lower court did not abuse its discretion or clearly err in its factual findings. Myco Industries, Inc. started marketing, the AB Max, a device for treating blepharitis in February 2019. The following month, BlephEx, LLC filed a patent application, which issued as U.S. Patent No. 10,449,087 (the ‘087 patent) on October 22, 2019. The ‘087 patent discloses “an instrument for removing debris from an eye during the treatment of an ocular disorder.” The day the ‘087 patent issued, BlephEx sued Myco in the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging that Myco’s AB Max infringed claim 16 of the ‘087 patent. Shortly thereafter, the district court enjoined “Myco and those acting on its behalf from, inter alia, selling, distributing, or offering to sell or distribute the AB Max Product.” Myco appealed.

CAFC Says District Court Committed ‘Clear Error’ in Enforcing Disputed Settlement Agreement

On February 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) reversed and remanded a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granting a motion to enforce PlasmaCAM’s (Plasmacam) version of an agreement with Fourhills Designs, LLC, and Thomas and Martha Caudle (collectively “CNC”). On appeal, the CAFC held that CNC’s version of the agreement more accurately reflected the understanding between the two parties regarding a settlement over Plasmacam’s claim that CNC infringed U.S. Patent No. 7,071,441 (‘441 patent), for which Plasmacam has an exclusive license.

Two Pharma and Biotech Cases to Watch in 2022

As we enter the second month of 2022, the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” and the famous line, “I’m not dead,” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, come to mind to describe two issues we’ll be watching closely this year relating to litigation involving small and large molecule therapies. In the first instance, Amgen recently petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Federal Circuit’s affirmance invalidating several patent claims based on the lack of enablement for genus claims. This case comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s denial of cert. in Idenix Pharms. LLC v. Gilead Sci. Inc., 941 F.3d 1149 (Fed. Cir. 2019) on similar issues. Amgen now hopes for a better result.


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