News & Analysis as of

Sovereign Immunity

Pharmaceutical Company Seeks to Use Tribal Sovereign Immunity to Avoid Inter Partes Review

by Snell & Wilmer on

Allergan announced on September 8, 2017, that it had transferred its patents covering the drug Restasis to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and will pay the tribe $13.75 million. The tribe is also eligible to receive $15 million...more

Podcast Episode 8 – When the Government Decides to Flood Your Property, Is There a Claim? With Derrick Carson of Locke Lord LLP,...

by Locke Lord LLP on

Locke Lord LLP’s Eminent Domain team hosts an original podcast series. Derrick Carson, Partner in Locke Lord's Houston office, joins us in Episode 8 to discuss Hurricane Harvey, the flooding in Houston and southeast...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

Mohawks To The Rescue? Can You Immunize Patents From PTAB Review By Assigning To A Native American Tribe?

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

In an unusual move to combat the perceived bias in favor of patent challengers at the U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the Irish drug company Allergan has decided to warehouse its key patents on the...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

Transfer of Patents to Tribe May Preclude PTAB Scrutiny

by Morgan Lewis on

Sovereign immunity is being invoked in an effort to halt inter partes reviews. In two separate opinions earlier this year, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) held that an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding is a...more

Best Practices for Wastewater Utilities in Light of Virginia Inverse Condemnation Decision

by McGuireWoods LLP on

The Virginia Supreme Court recently expanded the potential liability of Virginia localities and public authorities for backups and overflows from sewage collection and treatment systems. The court allowed insurers who paid...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

Tribes Really Need More Than Sovereign Immunity Defense

The title of this article might seem familiar — it should. A year ago we published an article titled “Tribes Need More Than Just The Sovereign Immunity Defense.” In that article, we advised tribes about the value of liability...more

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Supreme Court Review: Mixed Bag For Employers

by Fisher Phillips on

The 2016-17 Supreme Court term was truly a mixed bag for employers. The Court limited presidential power, reined in the appellate courts’ authority to review and overturn trial court decisions regarding EEOC subpoenas,...more

Appeals Court Confirms That a Government Building Has the Status of a Pre-Existing Nonconforming Structure When Transferred to a...

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

In Gund, et al. v. Planning Board of Cambridge, et al., No. 15-P-1339 (Mass. App. Ct. July 19, 2017), neighbors of the former Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge challenged special permits granted by the Cambridge Planning Board...more

Employment Law Letter - Summer 2017

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

How often does the Supreme Court of the United States decide a case that specifically affects a Connecticut employee? And how often are its decisions unanimous? Both occurred recently when the high court reviewed a dispute...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

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Tribal Arm Sovereign Immunity Factors

by Stinson Leonard Street on

The Ninth Circuit, in U.S. ex rel. Fawn Cain et al. v. Salish Kootenai College Inc. et al., recently reversed a lower court's dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit by former Salish Kootenai College employees. The False...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

Herzog Heirs Win Again in Appeals Court on Jurisdiction Over Hungarian Museums

by Sullivan & Worcester on

A federal appeals court has upheld the growing consensus that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) confers jurisdiction over foreign state actors in possession of art allegedly looted by and/or overseen by the Nazis....more

Enforcing awards against states – is it becoming more difficult?

by Hogan Lovells on

Enforcing awards against states – is it becoming more difficult? Energy companies frequently face disputes against states. If successful in such disputes, claimants have to enforce the award or judgment against the state's...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

The Continuing Attack on Tribal Sovereign Immunity at the Supreme Court

by GableGotwals on

Immunity of tribal officers and employees from suit in state and federal court for tort liability should concern tribal governments engaged in gaming operations. Often, because of historical antecedents and general belief,...more

Foreign-State-Sponsored Espionage Not Actionable Under FISA Where Intent to Spy Occurs Abroad

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In concluding that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FISA) exception for non-commercial torts does not abrogate sovereign immunity where the claimed espionage did not occur entirely in the United States, the US Court of...more

Exploring Tribal Sovereign Immunity with Lewis v. Clarke

by K&L Gates LLP on

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that tribal employees can be sued in their individual capacities for torts they commit while acting within the scope of their employment. Relying upon cases involving tort suits against...more

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