Latest from SWIPLit Blog

By Anne Bolamperti and David G. Barker The Federal Circuit invalidated Juno Therapeutics, Inc.’s T cell therapy patent for cancer treatment and erased a billion dollar judgment in Juno’s favor. The court held that the jury verdict regarding the patent’s written description under 35 U.S.C. § 112(a) was not supported by substantial evidence. Juno’s U.S. Patent No. 7,446,190 (the “’190 patent”) relates to a nucleic acid polymer encoding a three-part chimeric antigen receptor (“CAR”) for…
By Marsha Cotton and David G. Barker The Supreme Court upheld assignor estoppel in Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc., et al. but held that the Federal Circuit “failed to recognize the doctrine’s proper limits.” In doing so, the Court imposed new limitations on when the equitable doctrine applies in a patent case. The Court did away with the bright-line rule that any time an inventor assigns a patent, he or she cannot later argue…
By Daniel M. Staren and David G. Barker The Supreme Court held this week that the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) appointment of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) judges cannot be constitutionally enforced because the USPTO director does not have authority to review final PTAB decisions. Smith & Nephew, Inc. and ArthroCare Corp. petitioned for inter partes review in the USPTO against Arthrex, Inc.’s patent on a surgical device. A PTAB panel…
By Zachary Schroeder and Jacob C. Jones On June 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Unicolors, Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, LP.  The Court agreed to resolve whether 17 U.S.C. § 411(b) requires a district court to refer a matter to the Copyright Office where there is a claim the copyright registration holder made a knowing misrepresentation to the Copyright office in obtaining the registration, but there is no indicia of…
By: Emily R. Parker and Jacob C. Jones On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Google in a long-running, multibillion-dollar copyright lawsuit filed by Oracle over certain portions of software code used in Google’s Android operating system (Android OS). After more than a decade of litigation, the Court ruled that Google made fair use of Oracle’s software code in developing Android OS, freeing Google of copyright liability. In 2007, Google created Android OS for…
By: David G. Barker and Emily R. Parker Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Minerva Surgical v. Hologic, thereby agreeing to resolve a long-running debate on patent law’s doctrine of assignor estoppel. Minerva Surgical has asked the Court to abolish the doctrine, which bars inventors who sell their patent rights from challenging the patent’s validity in district court. The inventor in this case, Csaba Truckai, co-founded a company called NovaCept and…
By Anne Bolamperti and David G. Barker In RPX Corp. v. Applications in Internet Time LLC, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) held in a precedential opinion that three inter partes reviews (“IPRs”) were time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) because the petitioner, RPX Corp. (“RPX”), failed to name its client Salesforce.com (“Salesforce”) as a real party in interest (“RPI”) in the proceedings. One of RPX’s business solutions is “to file IPRs where…
By Alysha Green and David G. Barker Are PTAB judges constitutional? This week the Supreme Court granted certiorari to answer this question. In Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, the Federal Circuit considered whether the appointment of administrative patent judges violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. The Appointments Clause requires the president to appoint principal officers, who then must be confirmed by the Senate before taking office. In contrast, inferior officers can be appointed…
By Daniel M. Staren and David G. Barker The Federal Circuit’s recent decisions in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC have not clarified the standard for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (see a previous analysis of § 101’s unpredictability here). In this case, significant differences among Federal Circuit judges turned on whether a patent claim that invokes a natural law, and nothing else, to accomplish a desired result is…
By Jessica D. Kemper and David G. Barker Today, the Supreme Court held in U.S. Patent & Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V. that a generic term paired with an internet designation such as “.com” (called a “generic.com” term by the Court) may be eligible for federal trademark registration.  When will a generic.com term be eligible for registration?  According to the Court, one key consideration is whether consumers associate the generic.com term with the source of…