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In Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien LP, a 2-1 panel split of the Federal Circuit held that neither the American Invents Act (“AIA”) nor the Constitution precludes the same panel of the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (“PTAB” or “Board”) from both deciding whether to institute an inter partes review (“IPR”) of a challenged U.S. Patent and making the final patentability determination in that IPR.
On December 17, 2015, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision affirming a determination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) that patent claims related to methods of treating elevated homocysteine levels were invalid as obvious.
Late last week, in an opinion authored by Judge Prost, a panel of the Federal Circuit vacated a $16 million damages award won by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in its patent infringement suit against Cisco Systems, Inc. 
On Wednesday, the Federal Circuit ruled in MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Company that vesting the Patent Office with power to take back previously conferred patent rights through inter partes review does not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment. 
Late last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its much-anticipated decision in Microsoft v. Motorola, a breach of contract action brought by Microsoft alleging that Motorola violated its commitment to license its standard essential patents (SEPs) on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms.
On July 21, 2015, the Federal Circuit issued a key decision regarding the meaning of various provisions of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA). See Amgen Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., Fed. Cir. Case No. 2015-1499.
On June 12, 2015, the Federal Circuit affirmed the finding of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (“District Court”) that the method claims in U.S. Patent 6,258,540 (‘540 patent) for detecting paternally-inherited cell-free DNA (“cffDNA”) in maternal plasma or serum were not directed to patent eligible subject matter, and, therefore, were invalid. 
On June 22, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, upholding the rule, first announced in Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U. S. 29 (1964), that an agreement allowing a patent owner to collect royalty payments after a patent’s expiration is unlawful per se.
On May 22, 2015, in a much-watched case, the Second Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against Actavis PLC and its wholly owned subsidiary, Forest Laboratories, LLC (collectively “Actavis” or “Forest”), finding that Actavis’s “hard switch” strategy to launch an extended-release version of its blockbuster Alzheimer’s therapy and delist the immediate-release version would likely violate Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
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