News & Analysis as of

Eleventh Amendment

Sovereign Immunity and Inter Partes Review

by Knobbe Martens on

Sovereign immunity refers to the doctrine that the government cannot be sued without its consent. Specifically, the 11th Amendment precludes federal courts from exercising jurisdiction over states in suits brought by private...more

Allergan and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Enter Patent Agreement to Defend Against IPR of RESTASIS® Patents

by Knobbe Martens on

In a creative move to take advantage of recent PTAB decisions regarding Sovereign Immunity, (see e.g., Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation, IPR2016-01274 and Neochord, Inc. v. University of Maryland,...more

Allergan Avails Itself of Sovereign Immunity

The 11th amendment to the Constitution reads: The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of...more

Pharma Patents Assigned to Indian Tribe to Thwart Inter Partes Review

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

As we have previously reported, sovereign immunity of state universities (who are instruments of state government) has been used to avoid IPRs under the immunity clause of the US Constitution (“Sovereign Immunity of State...more

Eighth Circuit Rejects Sovereign Immunity Defense to FCA Qui Tam Action

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Last month the Eighth Circuit considered and rejected an Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity defense to a qui tam action under the False Claims Act. In United States ex rel. Fields v. Bi-State Development Agency, No....more

Sovereign Immunity Cannot Protect Patent Co-Owned by Private Party

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing for the first time the issue of whether an inter partes review (IPR) may proceed where one of the co-owners was entitled to sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) held...more

The PTAB Grants the University of Minnesota Sovereign Immunity but does not Terminate IPR

by Knobbe Martens on

The PTAB has again addressed sovereign immunity in the context of an IPR. Reactive Surfaces, LTD. petitioned for IPR of U.S. Patents No. 8,394,618 and 8,252,571. The ’618 and ’571 patents are co-owned by Toyota Motor...more

Are State-Owned Patents Immune From IPRs Under The Eleventh Amendment?

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

In separate non-precedential decisions issued by three different panels, the PTAB has permitted state university patent owners to invoke the Eleventh Amendment in Inter Partes Review proceedings. Each panel found that IPR...more

Three Point Shot - June 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

"12th Man" Suit Forces Aggies to Call an Audible on Traditional Copyright Defenses - Texas A&M University's "12th Man" is at the center of a legal blitz facing the University's Athletic Department. On January 19, 2017,...more

Eleventh Amendment Revisited – Board Again Finds Sovereign Immunity Applies to PTAB

by Jones Day on

Less than four months after its decision in Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation Incorporated, finding that Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity applies to PTAB proceedings, the Board has again dismissed...more

The PTAB Terminates IPR Based on Sovereign Immunity of University of Maryland

by Knobbe Martens on

On May 23, 2017, the PTAB granted the University of Maryland’s (UM) motion to terminate inter partes review based on UM’s sovereign immunity in Neochord, Inc. v. Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore and Harpoon Medical, Inc.,...more

Ericsson Tests Scope of the PTAB’s Sovereign Immunity Holding

by Knobbe Martens on

On January 25, 2017, a panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) held that “Eleventh Amendment Immunity bars the institution of an inter partes review against an unconsenting state that has not waived sovereign...more

An Omitted Inventor Can’t Correct Inventorship of a Patent Owned by a Government Agency

In a non-precedential opinion in Ali v. Carnegie Institution of Washington, [2016-2320] (April 12, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal, on grounds of sovereign immunity, of Ali’s lawsuit to be added as a...more

State Universities May Use Sovereign Immunity Defense in IPRs

The University of Florida picked up some big wins in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, moving into the tourney’s Sweet Sixteen. But the Gators also earned a big patent dispute victory recently in Covidien LP v. University...more

Sovereign Immunity Can Shield State University Research Foundations in PTAB Proceedings

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the application of the sovereign immunity defense under the 11th Amendment in the inter partes review (IPR) context, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) dismissed three IPR petitions, finding that the...more

PTAB Finds Sovereign Immunity Applies to IPRs for State Universities

by Winstead PC on

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) dismissed three inter partes review (IPR) proceedings involving the University of Florida based on sovereign immunity. As background, the University of Florida Research Foundation...more

Issue Two: Keeping Tabs on the PTAB

by Goodwin on

The availability of post-grant proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has changed the face of patent litigation. This monthly digest is designed to keep you up-to-date by highlighting interesting PTAB,...more

State Universities Gain Immunity from IPRs

State Universities Gain Immunity from IPRs - Today, many universities own extensive patent portfolios that are managed by sophisticated tech transfer offices. Universities obtain these patents for many reasons, not the...more

State Universities Rejoice: PTAB Recognizes Sovereign Immunity Defense

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

In Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation Inc., the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) upheld a defense of sovereign immunity asserted by the University of Florida Research Foundation (the...more

PTAB Applies State Sovereign Immunity in IPR

On January 25, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board dismissed three petitions filed by Covidien LP challenging U.S. Patent No. 7,062,251 (the “’251 patent”) owned by the University of Florida Research Foundation Inc....more

PTAB Denies IPR Petition Against the State of Florida Due to 11th Amendment Sovereign Immunity

by Knobbe Martens on

In Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation Incorporated, IPR2016-01274, -01275, -01276 (January 2017), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board held that Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity applies to inter partes...more

PTAB Declares that State-Owned Patents are Immune from IPR Challenges

A panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) recently issued a decision that could significantly strengthen patent portfolios of public universities and other state entities. In Covidien LP v. University of Florida...more

Eighth Circuit Dismisses Interlocutory FCA Appeal for Lack of Jurisdiction

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

In this April 2016 decision, the Eighth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the appeal of a two-state agency seeking review of a denial of its motion for summary judgment. Below the two-state agency had...more

Sovereign Immunity of State Universities: Can It Shield Them from AIA Patent Challenges?

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

In what appears to be a case of first impression, the PTAB is poised to rule on the question of whether state sovereign immunity prevents an IPR challenge from being maintained against a University of Florida (“UF”) patent...more

First Circuit Adopts “Arm of the State” Test to Affirm Dismissal of FCA Complaint

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

In January 2016 in a matter of first impression, the First Circuit held that the University of Massachusetts Medical School is a state agency, and therefore not a “person” subject to liability in a False Claims Act (“FCA”)...more

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