Upcoming Audio Briefings On Recent Supreme Court Decisions

The Supreme Court  has decided three cases this past month that could have a big effect on patent law.  To help you understand the significance of these decisions and their implications, PLI is offering three timely and topical One-Hour Audio Briefings.

1. June 24th Global-Tech v. SEB: Supreme Court Holds knowledge Requirement Satisfied by Willful Blindness for Patent Infringement:  On May 31, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A. In an 8–1 decision, with Justice Alito writing for the Court, the Court concluded that induced infringement requires knowledge that the induced acts constitute patent infringement, not just knowledge that it was encouraging certain acts which just happened to infringe a patent. Examining the statutory language and tracing pre–adoption case law, the Court further concluded that a defendant’s deliberate indifference to a known risk that a patent exists would not be sufficient to demonstrate knowledge, which was the Federal Circuit’s view below, but that “willful blindness,” well–established in the criminal law context, is enough to satisfy the knowledge element. Although it announced a different standard, the Court concluded that the evidence in this case easily satisfied that standard. For such a doctrine to apply, a defendant must subjectively believe that there is a high probability that a fact exists, and must take deliberate actions to avoid learning of that fact. In dissent, Justice Kennedy argued that the Court took a step too far in concluding that willful blindness is a form of knowledge, and would have required actual knowledge.  This briefing will be conducted by Peter J. Brann, a partner in the law firm of Brann & Isaacson, whose practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, R. Ted Cruz of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and counsel of record for SEB, and William Dunnegan of Dunnegan LLC and counsel of record for Global-Tech Appliances. (more…)

Microsoft v. i4i – The Supreme Court Keeps the Clear and Convincing Standard

In the Microsoft Corp. v. i4i, the Supreme Court had to determine whether the burden of proof for parties alleging patent invalidity should be changed from a clear and convincing standard to a preponderance of the evidence standard.  Yesterday, the Court unanimously decided no!!  Garth M. Dahlen, Ph.D., Partner at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP, sent in this article discussing  the decision and possible ramifications.

Yesterday in Microsoft v. i4i __ U.S. __ (2011)(Sotomayor, J.), opinion below, i4i Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., 589 F.3d 1246 (Fed. Cir. 2009)(Prost, J.), the Supreme Court gave a unanimous decision affirming the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of 35 U.S.C. §282 requiring clear and convincing evidence for an invalidity defense.

The statute at issue was 35 U.S.C. §282 which states:

A patent shall be presumed valid…. The burden of establishing invalidity of a patent or any claim thereof shall rest on the party asserting such invalidity. (more…)

Microsoft v. i4i – Awaiting a Burdensome Decision by the Supreme Court

In the Microsoft Corp. v. i4i, the Supreme Court must determine whether the burden of proof for parties alleging patent invalidity should be changed from a clear and convincing standard to a preponderance of the evidence standard.   Oral arguments took place on April 18, 2011 and the Court’s decision is expected by the end of June 2011.  While we wait for this potentially precedential opinion, Garth M. Dahlen, Ph.D., Partner at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP, brings us up to speed with a comprehensive discussion on the history of the case, the oral arguments and possible outcomes.

In the pending case of Microsoft v. i4i, the Supreme Court must decide whether the Federal Circuit’s requirement of clear and convincing evidence is proper for an invalidity defense, even though the prior art relied upon by the Defendant was not considered by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

The oral arguments were heard April 18, 2011. Prior to the oral arguments, the smart money was on Microsoft , but based on comments by the Justices during oral arguments, it is not clear that Microsoft has an advantage going forward. (more…)