Eastern District of Texas Refuses to Accept Supreme Court’s Patent-Venue Ruling

hydraBy Ryley Bennett, a 2017 Judge K.K. Legett Fellow at Washington Legal Foundation who will be entering her third year at Texas Tech University School of Law in the fall.

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) is known as one of the federal judiciary’s most patent-plaintiff-friendly districts. With TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Groups Brand LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017), the US Supreme Court recently cut off one avenue for filing patent-infringement claims there. It ruled in that patent-infringement lawsuits may be brought only in the infringer’s home state or else in a federal district where it maintains a regular place of business. But like the resilient, mythical Hydra, when one head is cut off, more grow back. In a recent decision, Eastern District of Texas Judge Rodney Gilstrap developed a broadly-sweeping four-factor “totality” test seemingly aimed at keeping patent-infringement suits in his jurisdiction. Continue reading

SCOTUS Report: A Fruitful Term for Free Enterprise, the Rule of Law—and WLF

supreme courtAn economic system based on free enterprise requires an objective, clear, predictable, stable, and uniform body of rules around which commercial enterprises can organize their business affairs. For 40 years, Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) has championed fundamental free-enterprise principles in courts and regulatory agencies, as well as in the court of public opinion.

Because the US Supreme Court has the last word on many laws and regulations that affect free enterprise, WLF focuses a significant portion of its litigation activities each year on convincing the justices to decide cases in a manner that promotes legal clarity and uniformity. This past term, which concluded at the end of June, was one of WLF’s most successful in its long history of Supreme Court advocacy. Our view not only prevailed in 8 of the 10 cases in which we filed amicus briefs on the merits, but in 6 of those 10 cases, WLF also successfully supported the Petitioner’s effort to obtain Supreme Court review. Below is a list of those cases with links to press releases and related WLF commentary:

Cases in which WLF filed briefs at the cert. and merits stages

Cases in which WLF filed a brief only at the merits stage

Most of those decisions, and others that impact America’s free-enterprise system, were discussed at WLF’s 28th annual end-of-the-term Supreme Court briefing:

USPTO Again Finds State University-Owned Patent Immune From Patent Challenge

brinkerhoffGuest Commentary

By Courtenay C. Brinckerhoff,* a Partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, and editor of the firm’s PharmaPatentsBlog.

In January 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) ruled in three parallel decisions that state university-owned patents could not be challenged in inter partes review proceedings.  See, e.g., Covidien LP v. Univ. of Florida Research Foundation Inc., Case IPR2016-01274 (PTAB Jan. 25, 2017). I authored a Legal Opinion Letter on that decision for WLF, which is available here. Continue reading

WLF Garners Fifth Consecutive US Supreme Court Victory with “Baker v. Microsoft”

supreme courtOn June 12 in Microsoft v. Baker, the US Supreme Court unanimously rejected a class-action litigation tactic that created an unfair advantage for plaintiffs in such suits. Both Justice Ginsburg in her majority opinion and Justice Thomas in his concurrence in judgment embraced arguments made in Washington Legal Foundation’s victorious amicus brief. WLF had also filed an amicus brief in support of Microsoft before an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and further filed in support of the company’s cert petition to the Supreme Court after its loss in the appeals court.

The Baker decision is the fifth consecutive Supreme Court victory for WLF. The other four cases are:

The Court has not yet released opinions in four additional cases in which WLF filed amicus briefs (CalPERS v. ANZ Securities, Inc.; Jennings v. Rodriguez; Ziglar v. Abbasi; and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court), and we are also awaiting a decision on the cert petition WLF filed on behalf of its client, Chance Gordon, in Gordon v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On Tuesday, June 27, 1:00-2:00 pm EST, WLF will be holding its 28th annual US Supreme Court end-of-the-Term briefing, which will focus on the cases noted above as well as other decisions that affect the free-enterprise system and economic liberties. Details appear below:

The U.S. Supreme Court: October 2016 Term Review
>RSVP to attend in person or live online to glammi@wlf.org
>Speakers:

 

 

No “Genericide” for Google: Ninth Circuit Upholds Company’s Trademark Against Cybersquatter’s Challenge

trademarkBy Jillian Beatty, a 2017 Judge K.K. Legett Fellow at Washington Legal Foundation who will be entering her third year at Texas Tech University School of Law in the fall.

Suppose you just bought a house. In the first few years as a home-owner, you revamp the backyard, remodel the master bathroom, and decorate in that mid-century modern style you had always loved. You have done a little maintenance on the pipes and replaced the garbage disposal in the kitchen, all costing you a pretty penny. But that’s ok. This is an investment. Then, just as your home is reaching its pinnacle, as the calls from Better Homes and Gardens and Architectural Digest start pouring in, a man knocks on the door and asks for the keys and the deed. You have done too good of a job maintaining this home and now you are going to lose it. You will receive no compensation. Continue reading

Supreme Court Alters Patent Venue Landscape: Eastern District Texas No Longer the Heartland of Patent Litigation

Kaminski_Jeffri_LRFeatured Expert Contributor – Intellectual Property (Patents)

Jeffri A. Kaminski, Partner, Venable LLP, with William A. Hector, Associate, Venable LLP.

The US Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Group Brands LLC altering the landscape of where patent owners may file patent infringement cases.  Previously, these cases could be filed in essentially any jurisdiction, allowing patent owners to select the forum of their choice.  TC Heartland  now requires that there be some connection between the accused infringer and the jurisdiction where suit is filed.  The Court ruled unanimously that “a domestic corporation ‘resides’ only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.”  Continue reading

“Sandoz v. Amgen”: High Court to Weigh in on Biosimilars’ “Patent Dance”

Kaminski_Jeffri_LRFeatured Expert Contributor – Intellectual Property (Patents)

Jeffri A. Kaminski, Partner, Venable LLP, with Tyler Hale, Associate, Venable LLP.

In 1984, Congress passed the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, commonly known as the Hatch-Waxman Act, and redrew the legal landscape for intellectual property in the pharmaceutical industry.  The law balanced the need for brand-name drug innovators to profit from their research and development investments with the public good of low-cost generic drugs by creating a pathway for swift FDA approval of generic drugs immediately following the expiration of patent exclusivity.  By all accounts, the law has been a success, creating the drug lifecycle we know and expect today: new drugs enter the market at a high price with a limited period of exclusivity, after which several generic competitors enter the market and drive prices down to a fraction of their original cost. Continue reading