New England IP Blog

Covering intellectual property developments in New England, and other developments that impact New England companies.

Category Archives: Supreme Court

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Supreme Court Opens the Floodgates for Foreign Lost Profits Damages

In a 7-2 decision issued late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patentees can recover damages resulting from the exportation of certain components to foreign jurisdictions, where those components are then incorporated into an infringing system used outside of the United States.  The Court’s decision reversed a Federal Circuit ruling that the patent … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules That PTAB Must Review In IPRs All Challenged Claims, Or None At All

In its second opinion this week with wide-ranging implications for the inter-partes review (“IPR”) process, the Supreme Court on Tuesday addressed whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) has the authority to institute review on a sub-set of claims from a challenger’s petition. In a 5-4 decision penned by Justice Gorsuch, the Supreme Court said … Continue Reading

In Face of Separation of Powers Challenge, Supreme Court Upholds Patent Office Inter Partes Review

Some call it the patent death squad. Others laud it as a powerful weapon in the battle against patent trolls. Whatever one’s opinion on the matter, the Supreme Court yesterday found that the U.S. Patent Office’s inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding, a process that can invalidate patents many years after they issue, does not violate Article … Continue Reading

Cheerleader Uniform Designs Protectable Under Copyright Act

The Supreme Court recently held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., that the designs on certain cheerleader uniforms may be protected copyrights. The 6-2 decision clarified the test to be applied when determining whether a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article would be eligible for copyright protection.… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Limits Foreign Reach of the U.S. Patent Act

The supply from the United States of a single component of an invention, for assembly of the invention abroad, is not patent infringement under Section 271(f)(1) of the Patent Act. This is according to a unanimous ruling yesterday by the United States Supreme Court. The court found significant limitations on the reach of Section 271(f)(1), a law … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Further Clarifies Indirect Infringement Standards

The Supreme Court in the last several years has taken an activist approach to the area of patent law, granting certiorari in many more cases than in prior years and often reversing the Federal Circuit. If there was one theme running through those decisions, it is that the Court is trying to bring more certainty and … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Brings More Certainty to District Court Claim Constructions

Since at least 1996, the Federal Circuit has reviewed district court claim constructions de novo.  This de novo standard introduced great uncertainty into patent cases:  A favorable claim construction, even one supported by detailed factual findings by the district court, could be set aside by the Federal Circuit without any deference whatsoever.  This situation surely … Continue Reading

Alice Flounders at the Two-Step Waltz

In a much awaited decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, on June 19, unanimously ruled that four financial services patents owned by the Australian company, Alice Corporation, are patent ineligible because they are drawn to the “abstract idea” of intermediated settlement (the use of a third party to mitigate settlement risk in financial transactions).  Because they … Continue Reading
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