Posts Tagged: "constitution"

In Arthrex II, CAFC Rejects Arthrex’s Constitutional and FVRA Arguments Challenging Denial of Director Review

On May 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. (Arthrex II) affirming both a final written decision issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) invalidating patent claims owned by Arthrex, as well as several arguments raised by Arthrex challenging the denial of Director review decided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Commissioner for Patents. The opinion, authored by Chief Judge Kimberley Moore, reasoned that the USPTO did not violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s mandate in Arthrex I despite the fact that no presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed Director was in place at the USPTO when the agency denied Arthrex’s request for Director review.

Amicus eComp Consultants Urges Supreme Court to Deem PTAB APJs ‘Inferior’ Officers in Arthrex

On December 2, eComp Consultants (eComp) filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in U.S. v. Arthrex, Inc., Nos. 19-1434/-1452/-1458. In its brief, eComp argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should reverse the decision of the Federal Circuit and confirm that APJs of the PTAB are merely inferior officers of the United States who were, therefore, constitutionally appointed. eComp’s Amicus Brief clarifies the errors in the Federal Circuit’s decision. 

Patent Stakeholders Weigh in on High Court Decision to Hear Arthrex

The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in three cases involving Arthrex, Inc. focusing on the question of whether the administrative patent judges (APJs) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) were constitutionally appointed. The Court has consolidated the cases and limited the questions to question one and two in the United States government’s memorandum of July 22 in both Smith & Nephew, Inc., et. al. v. Arthrex, Inc. et. al. and Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., et. al.

Why Huawei is Unlikely to Win Its Case Against the United States

In an expected move, Huawei filed a lawsuit against the United States in the U.S. District Court for the District of Texas on March 6. Huawei Technologies v. U.S., 4:19-cv-00159, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Sherman). In its mammoth 54-page complaint, the company alleges the United States and its agencies violated the Federal Constitution when it singled out Huawei in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). U.S. authorities are concerned that China could use Huawei’s equipment to spy on communications networks. Having offices in Plano, Huawei had jurisdiction to file in the Eastern District of Texas, widely recognized as a plaintiff-friendly court for technology matters. But despite its considerable resources and legal muscle, Huawei will have a challenging time proving its case in court.

No Debate: Article III Standing is a Requisite to Appeal an IPR

On January 11, GKN Automotive LTD. filed a brief in opposition to a petition for writ of certiorari filed by JTEKT Corporation. The question JTEKT seeks to have the Supreme Court consider is whether any inter partes review (IPR) petitioner, even a petitioner without standing, may appeal a final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The standing requirement for litigants in order to gain entry to a federal court is well-established, black-letter law taught to every law student across the country. It is hardly shocking that the Federal Circuit would apply well-established Constitutional safeguards and procedural law to prevent those without appropriate grievances from entry into the federal appellate system. In this case, JTEKT simply did not have any injury, real or imagined.

Why is SCOTUS Creating a Federal Common Law of Patents?

What makes SCOTUS’s assertions in patent law jurisprudence that there are these “exceptions” or additional “requirements” particularly annoying to many of us in the patent bar is that patent law is essentially statutory.  In other words, there should be no “federal common law of patents” that allows SCOTUS (or any other court for that matter) to make “exceptions” to or make additional “requirements” for what is already expressly written in the patent statutes.  Indeed, in other areas of federal law, SCOTUS has made it abundantly clear that “federal common law” doesn’t exist.  The most famous example is Erie v. Tompkins where SCOTUS overturned its prior view of a “federal common law” applicable in cases involving diversity jurisdiction.  So we in the patent bar may rightly ask:  why does SCOTUS believe it can create what is, in essence, a “federal common law of patents” to supplant or modify the existing patent statutes?

Constitutional Separation of Powers & Patents of Invention: Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC

Despite potentially relevant Supreme Court precedent in Thomas and Granfinanciera, the better view under the weight of Supreme Court precedent with respect to patent validity, absent the recent decision by the Court in Oil States, is that determination of the validity of issued patents does not include the government as a party and, therefore, only private rights are involved.  Jurisdiction should, therefore, be solely within Article III, and preclude final determinations of patent validity as they currently exist under the AIA, as well as other post-issuance adjudication, such as interference proceedings and ex parte reexamination.  Statutory provisions for post-grant examination at the Patent Office should be limited to an advisory capacity as an adjunct to a federal district court and address only issues of fact.  Such factual determinations coming from the Patent Office should be subject to review for substantial evidence by a district court in order to pass constitutional muster under Article III. However, given that issued patents are deemed to be “public rights” and that IPRs have been upheld as constitutionally valid under Oil States, there may be no limit to the power Congress can grant to the Patent Office over the validity of patents, potentially usurping any role for the judiciary in this regard under Article III.

Litigating Copyrights: Is Registration required to get into Court?

While registration is required in order to file a lawsuit for copyright in federal court, there is currently a circuit split with regard to what part of the process must be complete in order to meet the “registration” standard.  According to 17 U.S.C. §411(b), “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made.”  The question that circuit courts seem to be divided on is whether “registration” is satisfied when a Copyright Registration is received, or when an application has been filed. On June 28, 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to weigh in. The case at issue is Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, which arises out of the Eleventh Circuit.

The Categorical Imperative for Innovation and Patenting

In his Categorical Imperative, Kant simplifies a moral argument position for an individual by asking a question: if you thought that your position or Statement would be Universal, i.e., applicable to all people, it would have the stance of a Categorical Imperative and thus you must do it. A proposed Categorical Imperative is the following Statement: creators should be protected against the unlawful taking of their creation by others… Allowing the free taking of ideas, content and valuable data, i.e., the fruits of individual intellectual endeavor, would disrupt capitalism in a radical way. The resulting more secretive approach in support of the above free-riding Statement would be akin to a Communist environment where the State owned everything and the citizen owned nothing, i.e., the people “consented” to this.

Graffiti: Copyrightable Art, Illegal Activity, or Both?

While existing graffiti may indeed provide a tempting edge for a new marketing campaign, or as the backdrop for a great commercial, companies will need to decide if it is worth the legal or public relations risk.  If the original graffiti artist cannot be found, or is unwilling to allow their art to be used, it may end up being less expensive to start from scratch than to manage the fallout from an allegation of stolen artwork, damaged reputation, and a lawyer for the lawsuit that follows.

Patents, Copyrights and the Constitution, Perfect Together

James Madison — the fourth President of the United States and the father of the U.S. Constitution — wrote the usefulness of the power granted to Congress in Art. I, Sec. 8, Clause 8 to award both patents and copyrights will scarcely be questioned… There is little doubt that patents were viewed by both Washington and Madison to be centrally important to the success of the new United States. The importance is only underscored by the fact that the only use of the word “right” in the U.S. Constitution is in reference to authors and inventors being granted exclusive rights. In other words, the only “rights” mentioned in the Constitution are patents and copyrights.

IP and Sovereign Immunity: Why You Can’t Always Sue for IP Infringement

The overlap between sovereign immunity and IP issues is not something that comes up all of the time. However, when it does, the impact of the immunity can be significant. The law for certain matters, such as lawsuits in Federal court, is fairly well resolved. However, its application when new procedures are made available, such as for IPRs which were established in 2012, has provided new challenges and opportunities… So can the Federal or State government be sued for infringement under Federal patent, trademark, or copyright law? The answer often depends on the particular facts and specific legal issues of a dispute. That said, in most cases the answer is Yes for the U.S. Government and No for states and Tribal Nations, unless they have taken a specific action to waive immunity for that matter. A brief summary follows.

Why is PTAB spending precious resources killing good patents?

Patents that have withstood scrutiny in Article III federal courts are not bad patents, they are good patents, and they ought not to be struck down by an Article I administrative tribunal. The procedures of the AIA are working in a way to subjugate Article III federal courts to the arbitrary, capricious and egregiously overactive whims of an administrative tribunal in search of work to satisfy the several hundred newly hired “judges.”… Why is the PTAB spending precious resources re-litigating and ultimately killing good patents? The PTAB was created by Congress to review dubious patents and revoke bad patents. So why is the PTAB diverting its attention and re-litigating issues already addressed by federal judges and juries? Is it really likely that claims confirmed valid in federal court are invalid? In any rational world it would be per se unlikely that patent claims previously adjudicated as valid in federal court are invalid.

Patent Killing Fields of the PTAB: Erasing Federal District Court Verdicts on Patent Validity

Supporters of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continue to claim that the facts and figures showing the PTAB is overruling Article III federal district court adjudication on patent validity is fictitious. Ignoring the truth doesn’t make the truth any less correct. Still, in some circles the fiction spewed by those who champion the patent killing fields of the PTAB continues to be persuasive… More alarming, in many of the cases where the PTAB has overruled district court adjudication of the patents there were findings of willful infringement, meaning the defendants (and ulitmately the IPR petitioners) knowingly and intentionally infringed the patents adjudicated to contain valid claims. Notwithstanding, the PTAB, dutifully complied with their role as executioner of patents.

Conservative Thinking on the Critical Issues in Oil States

The Oil States v. Greene’s Energy Group case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 27, 2017, has generated much ink, analysis and opinion. Rightly so, given the profound consequences for the security of exclusive private property rights of limited duration in patents. Among the worthy and constructive reflections, conservative experts and leaders have contributed a fair share… Heritage Foundation legal scholar Alden Abbott, whose background includes service at the Federal Trade Commission and as a senior corporate IP counsel, has summed up the shortcomings of PTAB “patent death squads.” Abbott suggests how the Supreme Court should rule in Oil States: “The best option to fix the Patent Trial and Appeals Board is to get rid of it. There is a powerful legal case that board review violates the U.S. Constitution, and therefore is invalid.”