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Posts Tagged: "solicitor general"

High Court Asks U.S. Government for Input on Petition Accusing CAFC of Violating Seventh Amendment

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday asked the Solicitor General of the United States to weigh in on a petition for writ of certiorari that claims the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is depriving litigants of their right to trial by jury under the Seventh Amendment. The petition, filed in September by Olaf Sööt Design, LLC (OSD), asks the Court to take up the following question: “Whether the Seventh Amendment allows the Federal Circuit to reverse a jury verdict based on a sua sponte new claim construction of a term the district court concluded was not a term of art and construed to have its plain and ordinary meaning; where the Federal Circuit’s sua sponte claim construction essentially recasts a specific infringement factual question, previously decided by the jury, as a claim construction issue, to be decided de novo by the appellate court.”

Solicitor General Recommends Against Cert in Vanda, Perhaps Bolstering Athena’s Bid for Review

The United States Office of the Solicitor General has filed its brief in response to the Supreme Court’s March request for views in Hikma Pharmaceuticals v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals. The December 6 brief says that the Federal Circuit correctly held the relevant claims of Vanda’s patent-in-suit eligible, and that the case “is not an optimal vehicle for bringing greater clarity” on the topic of Section 101 law since the CAFC arrived at the correct result. Instead, the High Court should grant certiorari in a case like Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Services, in which the order denying en banc rehearing “was accompanied by multiple separate opinions articulating different understandings of Mayo and seeking clarification from this Court.”

High Court This Time Grants Google’s Petition on Copyright for Software Interfaces

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Google’s petition for a writ of certiorari in its long-running case with Oracle. The High Court will decide: 1. Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface; and 2) Whether Google’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use. In March 2018, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in favor of Oracle in the case. See Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC. The Court found Google’s use of Java application programming interface (‘API packages’) not fair as a matter of law, reversing the district court’s decision on the matter. The ruling resurrected a multi-billion dollar copyright case brought by Oracle Corp against Google and was appealed to the Supreme Court in January 2019, after the Federal Circuit denied rehearing in August 2018. In a press release issued the same day Google filed its petition, Oracle dismissed Google’s move as “a rehash of arguments that have already been thoughtfully and thoroughly discredited” and said that Google’s “fabricated concern about innovation hides Google’s true concern: that it be allowed the unfettered ability to copy the original and valuable work of others as a matter of its own convenience and for substantial financial gain.”

Why is the Trump DOJ arguing patents are a public right?

It is no surprise to anyone that patent rights in the United States suffered enormously under the two terms served in the White House by President Barack Obama. That the Obama White House was uncomfortably close with Google is widely known, and Google has been the face and driving force of the lobby that supports weakening patent rights in America. What is far less clear, and extremely difficult to explain or understand, is why the Department of Justice continues to make arguments against patents. Indeed, in the DOJ brief filed in Oil States v. Greene’s Energy, the Solicitor General argues repeatedly throughout the brief that patents are not private property, but rather are a public right… At the very beginning of the brief filed by the DOJ in Oil States, in the Summary of the Argument, the DOJ stakes its claim and beings by arguing that patents are a public right (not private property) that is akin to a government-conferred franchise.

Solicitor General Tells SCOTUS that Patents are Public Rights in Oil States Brief

The government’s brief argues that IPR proceedings at the PTAB are consistent with Article III because, in its view, patents are public rights and not private ones and the right for an inventor to seek a patent is a public right. In the government’s eyes, it is constitutionally permissible for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reassess previously issued patents for revoking in order to “correct its own errors.” If the PTAB errs, then patent owners have legal recourse in appealing those cases to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the government argues.

Knock-Offs Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion Forward Decision

The ruling has wide implications for both the fashion apparel and home furnishings industry, both of which rely on distinctive, eye-catching designs to sell products. The upshot for clothing and furniture companies is that the Varsity Brands ruling gives product manufacturers an additional tool to combat knock-off designs. With that in mind, manufacturers should review their product line to ensure their copyright-eligible products are protected under this new standard.

Mechanics of a Supreme Court Decision to Grant Certiorari

There are two stages of litigation in the Supreme Court.  There’s what’s called the petition stage and the merit stage.  This is a phenomenon that doesn’t exist in the Federal Courts of Appeals, which are courts of mandatory jurisdiction.  There’s no doubt that if you lose a patent trial you have a right to appeal to the Federal Circuit.  You don’t have to come hat in hand begging the Federal Circuit to take your case or making it appear so sexy that they’re smitten and they take it.  But the Supreme Court of the United States has very, very little mandatory jurisdiction.  It’s almost all discretionary jurisdiction.  It gets 10,000 petitions a year and it currently grants review in about 75 cases a year.  And so there is a whole level of advocacy that begins with the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari and then it’s followed by a brief in opposition by the winning party below and then a reply brief.  And whatever amicus briefs are filed by friends of the petitioner or the respondent in 10,000 cases in which the court is picking a few for plenary review.

Exclusive with Seth Waxman, Supreme Court Patent Superstar

All of these accomplishments would be more than enough to fill out a lifetime spent in the law, but upon leaving the Department of Justice, Waxman has become nationally recognized and highly sought after as one of the preeminent appellate attorneys in America. He has also developed a particular niche in the area of patent law and litigation. Simply stated, if you have a patent case before the Supreme Court and you want to win, Waxman will be on your short list of attorneys to call. In fact, he should be right at the top.

Stanford v. Roche: An Academic/Industry Collaboration Gone Wrong

This morning the first panel discussion is focusing on Stanford v. Roche, titled Who’s Rights Are They Anyway? The first speaker, Maggie Shafmaster, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Patent Counsel, Genzyme Corporation, lead off by pointing out something that everyone largely seems to agree with, namely that the facts of the case are still largely in dispute, which makes me wonder why would the Supreme Court take such a case. Be that as it may, Shafmaster went on to say that this case is one that makes in-house attorneys and those representing Universities lay awake at night. She characterized the case as “an academic/industry collaboration gone wrong.” And we are off to the races!

Amici Support i4i at Supreme Court in Microsoft Patent Case

What becomes clear in reading these briefs (and the excerpts below) is that despite what you might have heard to the contrary the Supreme Court has already previously addressed this issue and has done so in support of a standard appreciably higher than the mere preponderance supported by Microsoft. The argument of those in support of Microsoft has been that at least some Circuit Courts of Appeal had a lower presumption of validity prior to when the Federal Circuit announced the clear and convincing standard of proof and thereby settled patent law. While that may be true it seems abundantly clear that law setting a preponderance standard was directly in conflict with the clear and unambiguous Supreme Court precedent directly on point. In fact, there is even Supreme Court precedent directly on point saying that more than a mere preponderance is necessary even when the prior art has not been previously considered. So perhaps i4i and the amici, including the U.S. government by and through the Solicitor General and the USPTO General Counsel Bernie Knight can convince the Supreme Court not to overrule its own prior decisions and keep an appropriately high standard.