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is a Washington lawyer who clerked for Justice John M. Harlan on the US Supreme Court, then held supervisory positions in the Departments of Justice and State in the Johnson Administration, and has argued orally before the Supreme Court in 28 cases. He is on the Adjunct Faculty of Columbia Law School, where he gives a seminar in Supreme Court litigation.
For more information or to contact Nathan, please visit his Firm Profile Page.
SPIP Litigation Group, LLC v. Apple, Inc. and Cisco Systems, Inc., No. 19-253., concerns four patents that have been the subject of decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Federal Circuit. More than 25 lawyers have participated in the litigation. The briefs and evidence in the trial court covered more than 2,500 pages. My client, on appeal from an adverse summary judgment, did not contend that the factual record failed to support that result. My client raised only two legal issues when it appealed to the Federal Circuit from the district court’s decision that the patents were not infringed. The appeal briefs covered 202 pages. Three Federal Circuit judges heard oral argument and issued their decision 12 days later. It read: “AFFIRMED. See Fed. Cir. R. 36.” Did the judges understand the technology any better than I do? No one can tell. Did my client deserve some explanation, even if exceedingly concise, from the judges? The petition I have now filed with the Supreme Court claims that the Federal Circuit judges deprived my client of a constitutional right by declaring, “You lose, but we won’t tell you why.”