News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court to Hear Argument on March 31 Whether to Overrule Brulotte v. Thys, Co.

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court held in Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964) that a license agreement requiring royalty payments for use of a patented invention after expiration of the patent term is unlawful per se. ...more

Supreme Court Corner - Q1 2015

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. Patent – Decided: January 20, 2015 - Holding: When reviewing a district court’s resolution of subsidiary factual matters made during its construction of a patent claim,...more

Solicitor General Argues that Antitrust Principles Do Not Warrant Overturning Brulotte

On Friday the Solicitor General filed an amicus brief in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises. As we previously noted, in Kimble, the Supreme Court will consider whether to overturn Brulotte v. Thys Co., a 50-year-old precedent...more

Patent Exhaustion Update: The Federal Circuit Allows Royalties From Different Entities In Supply Chain

Patent exhaustion, or "the first sale doctrine," requires that the initial authorized sale of a patented item by a patent owner or licensee, terminates their ability to subsequently use their patent rights against that item....more

Qualcomm Agrees to $975 Million Fine and Conduct Remedies to Resolve Chinese Standard Essential Patent Licensing Investigation

The assertion of standard essential patents (SEPs) by patent-holders has raised patent, contract, and competition issues in jurisdictions around the world. One SEP holder, Qualcomm, has faced particular scrutiny with respect...more

In Battle Over Patents, Non-Signatory Ties Too Uncertain To Grant Motion To Dismiss

The District Court of Colorado recently denied Defendant Garmin International’s motions to dismiss and to stay pending arbitration, concluding that Plaintiff MSPBO was not bound by an arbitration agreement to which it was not...more

Back to the Future—Supreme Court to Review Rule On Post-Expiration Patent Royalties

Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in affirming a district court decision that toy maker Marvel was not required to make payments after the expiration of a patent,...more

Ericsson, Inc. v. D-Link Sys., Inc. Guidance on Determining Damages for Standard Essential Patents

Patents claiming inventions which must be used to comply with certain technical standards (for example, the Wi-Fi standard or standards for 3G) are referred to as standards-essential patents or “SEPs”. There has,...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q4 2014

KIMBLE V. MARVEL ENTERPRISES, INC. Patent Licensing - Cert. Pending - Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., which held “a patentee’s use of a royalty agreement that projects...more

Will the Supreme Court Remove Brulotte’s Shadow Over Patent Licensing?

Fifty years ago, in Brulotte v. Thys Co., the U.S. Supreme Court held that the collection of royalties after a patent’s expiration constitutes per se patent misuse. Although criticized by scholars, antitrust agencies, and the...more

Judge Griesa declines to revisit Federal Circuit’s finding that a license and settlement agreement is “clear on its face.”

Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Roxane Laboratories, Inc. Case Number: 1:13-cv-03288-TPG - Defendant Roxane Laboratories, Inc. (“Roxane”) was sued by Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Endo”) when Endo learned that...more

Supreme Court 2014 Patent Preview

On average, the U.S. Supreme Court historically hears fewer than one patent case each term. For example, in the 14 years between 1982 and 1995, the Court decided only five patent cases. In the seven years between 1995 and...more

Supreme Court to Decide Whether License Agreements May Require Payment of Royalties After Patent Expiration

The U.S. Supreme Court Friday agreed to revisit a longstanding precedent that bars patent owners from collecting royalties after their patents have expired, even if those post-expiration payments represent compensation for...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Whether Post-Patent Term Royalty Schemes Lawful

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc., No. 13-720, opening the possibility that the Supreme Court will overturn Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964),...more

Actual Negotiations Trump 40-Year Georgia-Pacific Test to Determine Type of Patent Licensing Royalties

The Grigoleit Co. v. Whirlpool Corp. - Addressing a lower court’s reasonable royalty determination that chose not to rely on the Georgia Pacific factors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently...more

Defendant Ordered to Provide Access to Licensee Websites

BNB Health Grades, Inc. ("Health Grades") filed a patent infringement action against MDx Medical, Inc., d/b/a Vitals.com ("MDx"). During the litigation, Health Grades identified licensing agreements and associated systems...more

IP Newsflash - November 2014 #2

Federal Circuit: Licensor Has No Standing to Sue Where it Has Transferred “All Substantial Rights” to Its Licensee - The Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by Judge Schneider in the Eastern District of Texas to...more

The Troubles with Patent Inventorship

Determining inventorship is answering the question: who contributed enough to an invention to be named as an “inventor” on the patent application? It’s critical, as reviewed by my colleague Shohini Bagchee in her article...more

A Cautionary Tale for Universities about Patent Ownership Rights from the Lone Star State

A recent decline in patent litigation has been attributed to the evolving patent eligibility standard, as well as to an increase in post-grant review proceedings at the Patent Office, now reported to be “the second-biggest...more

Defendant Ordered to Keep Discovery Promises despite Plaintiff’s Inability to do the Same (California)

Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coast Sys., 2014 WL 5321095 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 17, 2014). In this patent infringement case, the plaintiff company moved the court to compel the defendant to produce archival emails from eight...more

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Settles Complaint Against Patent Troll That Manufacturers Should Be Aware Of

Earlier this year, I wrote about efforts to reform the patent system to curtail abuses by “patent trolls.” Patent trolls do not manufacture anything. Rather, they often buy up patents and then bring lawsuits against...more

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: The California Strawberry Commission’s Claim to University Plant Breeding Research

Plant patents are often overshadowed by their more well-known utility and design patent counterparts under U.S. law. Yet, with the increasing branding and differentiation of agricultural commodities, plant patent rights...more

Rights of Co-Owners to License Patent Rights

It is sometimes tempting when entering into a joint research agreement to agree that both parties will jointly own any patent rights arising from the collaboration. However, unless the rights of each party are clearly set out...more

Protecting Confidentiality of Patent Infringement Settlements: Is Mediation Necessary?

Parties regularly opt to keep terms, conditions and licensing agreements confidential when settling patent infringement disputes. Often, patentees do not want the license terms to serve as precedent in other assertions of the...more

Success Protecting Intellectual Property in the Lifecycle of a Pre-Sales Revenue Biotechnology Venture Destined for IPO

For a drug discovery start-up, patent protection of the intellectual property underlying the commercialization pursuit is critically important. If the company is a university or research institution spin-out that obtained...more

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