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Trademark Litigation Reaches a Four-Year High, with the S.D. Florida as one of the Top Five Venues

According to a recent study by Lex Machine (a LexisNexis Company), trademark litigation in the United States has reached a four-year high, and for the second consecutive year, has exceeded patent cases.  Namely, Lex Machina reports that over 4,300 trademark cases were brought in district courts last year (2019), and that the Southern District of Florida was one of the top five (5) venues, reporting in at 269 filings.  Among the most active caseloads of individual judges were none other than Southern District of Florida Judges Roy Altman and Rodney Smith, both with 32 cases, respectively.    

Supreme Court To Consider Three New Patent Eligibility Cases This Week

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hold certiorari votes on Friday, January 10, to decide which cases it will or will not consider. Among them are three cases involving patent eligibility, and if the Court chooses to hear even one of these cases, it could significantly impact how Section 101 of the Patent Laws is applied for years to come.

In no particular order, the cases and questions presented are as follows:

In HP Inc. v. Berkheimer, the Court has been asked to consider whether patent eligibility is a question of law for the court based on the scope of the claims, or a questions of fact for the jury based on the state of the art at the time of the patent. 

See Petition for a Writ of Certiorari here.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. et al. v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. present the question of whether patents that claim a method of medically treating a patient automatically satisfy Section 101 of the Patent Act, even if they apply a natural law using only routine and conventional steps.

See Petition for a Writ of Certiorari here.

Finally, in Athena Diagnostics, Inc. et al. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC the Court is asked to consider whether a new and specific method of diagnosing a medical condition is patent-eligible subject matter, where the method detects a molecule never previously linked to the condition using novel man-made molecules and a series of specific chemical steps never previously performed.

For more, see Petition for a Writ of Certiorari here.

We, along with the rest of the Intellectual Property Community, will be watching closely to see what the Court decides and why, and we will provide an update in a future blog.

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Patent Eligibility Cases

 The U.S. Supreme Court voted last week on whether or not it would hear one or more of three separate cases involving issues related to subject matter eligibility under U.S. Patent Laws.

As noted in last weeks blog, the cases in which Petitions for Certiorari were under consideration were: HP Inc. v. Berkheimer; Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. et al. v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; and Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC.

The Court denied the petitions for cert in each of the cases, without opinion.