is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Venable LLP, where she focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trade secrets, trademarks and copyright litigation.
The equitable defense of laches has been a useful tool for defendants in intellectual property litigation for over a hundred years, but a recent case in the U.S. Supreme Court could potentially remove the defense in patent infringement cases. In SCA Hygiene Products AB v. First Quality Baby Products LLC, the Supreme Court must decide whether the doctrine of laches bars patent infringement claims filed within the six-year statutory limitation period established under 35 U.S.C. § 286 of the Patent Act… Based on oral arguments, it is expected the Court will reverse the Federal Circuit’s decision and conclude that laches do not apply to patent infringement cases brought within the six-year damages period.
It is a ubiquitous concept that U.S. IP rights cannot extend beyond the territorial borders of the U.S. But the IP world may be in for a change. If the Supreme Court upholds the Federal Circuits decision in Life Technologies Corporation, et al. v. Promega Corporation (No. 14–1538) currently pending before the Supreme Court, it will change the way companies engage in domestic and international business. The Supreme Court is specifically set to consider if supplying a component to a foreign manufacturer of a patented product creates liability under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1).