Mr. Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Science from Minnesota State University and his law degree, with honors, from St. Thomas University School of Law. Mr. Ryan is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida.
In the inter partes review (IPR) proceeding between Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Allergan, Inc., before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), counsel representing the Patent Owner raised a defense that, if successful, could circumvent IPR proceedings and shield patents from post-grant review. Allergan, whose patents for the drug Restasis which are the subject of the IPR proceeding challenging their validity, recently struck a deal with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, transferring its patent rights in exchange for a license. Last week, counsel representing the Tribe, a sovereign nation, raised the defense of sovereign immunity, arguing its immunity places the patents at issue beyond the PTAB’s authority. The Tribe has until September 22 to file its brief on the immunity defense.
The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision earlier this week in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., granting district courts the discretion to award enhanced damages up to three times the amount found or assessed, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §284, against those guilty of patent infringement, however, limiting the award to “egregious cases of misconduct beyond typical infringement.” The decision reverses the Federal Circuit’s two-part test, established in In re Seagate Technology, LLC, as inconsistent with the language of §284. Seagate, which required the patent owner to satisfy an objective and subjective test before a court could increase damages for willful infringement, was found to be “unduly rigid” and confined the ability of district courts to exercise the discretion §284 conferred on them. For more on this case, visit http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-1513_db8e.pdf.
In an unanimous decision on remand from the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. (2015), which effectively broadened the category of divided patent infringement of a method claim under 35 U.S.C § 271(a), holding that when all steps of a method claim are not actually being performed by one party, but by multiple actors, all of the steps can be attributed to a single actor even where the parties are acting purely in an arms-length relationship with each other.