On January 10, 2014 the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two patent cases, one copyright case, and a fourth case that may have implications for federal trademark law. The Court had already granted certiorari in at least five other IP-related cases set for argument in 2014. Needless to say, it will be a busy year for IP Law at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s significant IP docket could bring important changes that may affect companies of all sizes and across a variety of industries.

Cases addressing the proper standard for inducing patent infringement (Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Techs., Inc., No. 12-786), the standard for finding a patent invalid due to indefiniteness (Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 13-369), whether streaming TV service Aereo “publicly performs” copyrighted works (American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., No. 13-461), and whether the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act precludes certain claims under the Lanham Act (POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca Cola Co., No. 12-761) join already-pending cases concerning the patent eligibility of certain software-related patent claims (Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, No. 13-298), the burden of proof in a declaratory judgment action brought by a patent licensee (Medtronic, Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 12-1128), the award of attorney’s fees in patent cases (Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Management Sys., Inc., No. 12-1163 and Octane Fitness v. ICON Health and Fitness, No. 12-1184), and whether the defense of laches can apply to copyright claims brought within the statute of limitations proscribed by Congress (Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., No. 12-1315).

Below is a brief summary of the issues presented in the most recent cases granted certiorari.