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Recent oral arguments at the Fed Circuit suggest that the U.S. may be taking steps which would enhance its attractiveness for SEP patent holders looking to resolve licensing disputes.  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument on Monday, July 6th, in Godo Kaisha IP Bridge I v. TCL Commc’n Tech. Holdings Ltd., No. 19-2215, that may pave an easier path for owners of standard essential patents (“SEPs”) to prove literal infringement of products that comply with that standard. 
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Filling the Hole with Common Sense: When Evidentiary Support is Adequate

July 6, 2020 | Blog | By Peter Cuomo, Serge Subach

The Federal Circuit recently reaffirmed a case where common sense was used to supply a missing element in a § 103 obviousness analysis.  On June 26, 2020, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in B/E Aerospace, Inc. v. C&D Zodiac, Inc., Nos. 2019-1935, 2019-1936 (Fed. Cir. Jun. 26, 2020) (“B/E Aerospace”) affirming a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) final written decision finding patent claims invalid in view of a combination of prior art and common sense.
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Judge Albright of the Western District of Texas (“WDTX”) recently rejected yet another attempt by Apple to transfer a patent case to the Northern District of California (“NDCA”). Judge Albright’s June 19, 2020 order describes how Apple—not plaintiff Uniloc—was attempting to forum shop by seeking to move essentially all of its cases filed in Texas to NDCA. 
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On June 26, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, in VLSI Tech. LLC. v. Intel Corp, No. 18-0966-CFC, denied VLSI’s motion for leave to amend to add claims for willful infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,212,633 (the “’633 patent”) and 7,523,331 (“the ’331 Patent”) based on pre-suit activity but granted it as to alleged post-suit infringement (which Intel did not oppose).
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Shifting “Sands”: New Facts on the Ground Justify Institution of a Previously-Denied IPR

June 25, 2020 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Adam Rizk, Daniel Weinger, Serge Subach

In a rare reversal, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) reassessed the Fintiv factors in a decision on a petition for rehearing of a previous decision denying institution of an inter partes review (“IPR”).  
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Last week, the Federal Circuit invoked the Kessler doctrine in ruling that a district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s patent infringement suit against Amazon barred the plaintiff’s subsequent lawsuits against Amazon and its customers in In Re PersonalWeb Technologies, Inc.
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No Fishing Allowed: Discovery of Litigation Funding Requires Articulation of Relevance Beyond Speculation

June 18, 2020 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Andrew DeVoogd, Daniel Weinger, Catherine Xu

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Arbitration of IP Disputes in a Post-COVID-19 World

June 2, 2020 | Blog | By Matthew Hurley, Michael Renaud, Nicholas Armington

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused individuals and companies alike to face the reality of a rapid economic downturn followed by a potentially slow recovery characterized by continued economic challenges.
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Federal Circuit Appeals Continue as Scheduled Without In-Person Arguments

May 19, 2020 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Jessica Perry

Yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit released modifications to court procedures, indicating that all in-person oral arguments are suspended until further notice.
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Federal Circuit Upholds Application of Dedication-Disclosure Doctrine at the Pleading Stage

May 15, 2020 | Blog | By Thomas Wintner, Adam Samansky, Nana Liu

On May 8, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the District of Delaware’s application of the disclosure-dedication doctrine in granting a motion for judgment on the pleadings in Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Slayback Pharma LLC, No. 19-1924. 
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After its recent ruling in Sisvel’s favor, Germany’s highest court on patent matters is expected to issue a highly favorable and detailed decision for standard-essential patent (SEP) owners seeking to prevent patent “hold-out” by unwilling licensees. 
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In an April 13, 2020, decision, the Federal Circuit held that neither a voluntary dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(i), nor a stay of a patent lawsuit pending the results of a patent reexamination, constitute a final judicial decision for the purposes of recovery of legal fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. 
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On Thursday, the Federal Circuit ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) must give the parties proper notice if considering a sua sponte theory of unpatentability in relation to a motion to amend.
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Celgene v. Sun Pharma Global: Satisfying Subject Matter Jurisdiction Under § 271(e)(2)

April 13, 2020 | Blog | By Adam Samansky, Peter Cuomo, Joe Rutkowski

On April 6, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, in Celgene Corp. v. Sun Pharma Global FZE, No. 19-cv-10099, denied Sun’s motion to dismiss Celgene’s claims that Sun’s generic Revlimid® (lenalidomide) Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) product infringes three patents not listed in the Orange Book for Revlimid® and for which Sun did not make any Paragraph IV certifications.
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This week the en banc Federal Circuit declined to revisit a panel ruling that found the appointment of Administrative Patent Judges (“APJs”) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.  This decision is notable for at least two reasons. First, it declined to review or disturb the panel’s conclusion and its remedy—vacatur and remand of PTAB decisions made by unconstitutionally appointed APJs. Second, four of the Federal Circuit judges dissented, disagreeing with the panel’s finding and saying that its corresponding remedy improperly rewrites the statute contrary to Congressional intent.
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The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in February that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) cannot cancel claims for indefiniteness in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. The case is Samsung Electronics America, Inc., v. Prisua Engineering Corp., case number 19-1169, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
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In a February 19, 2020 decision the Federal Circuit held that a patentee does not escape 35 U.S.C. § 287’s marking requirement merely by ceasing sales of the practicing product.  Instead, the Federal Circuit held that once a patentee (or its licensees) sell articles that practice the patent, the obligation to mark in order to obtain pre-suit damages continues regardless of whether sales of the product in question cease. 
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Infringement Contentions: Fair Notice?

February 18, 2020 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Adam Rizk, Catherine Xu

Some respondents at the ITC have taken advantage of using infringement contentions as a procedural tool to deny patent owners from getting their day in court.  In some investigations, respondents have gone so far as to delay their own production of discovery until after the infringement contention deadline, then claim lack of fair notice when the patent owner uses the late discovery in its expert report.
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The Federal Circuit affirmed a district court award of over $360,000 in costs and attorneys’ fees against a non-practicing entity, citing the need “to deter future abusive litigation.”
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Mintz is recognized as among the top ten firms in ITC Section 337 litigation by Patexia in its inaugural "ITC Intelligence Report". We are pleased to be among the firms included in this publication and thrilled that it has come on the heels of a great year at the ITC for the Mintz team.
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