Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to review three intellectual property cases. Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog reported that “[t]he Tuesday grants represent a strong focus on issues related to intellectual property law.” The Court granted petitions to review two patent cases and one copyright case during the upcoming term. The two patent cases both concern standards for awards of fees in patent litigation, and the copyright case pertains to the timeliness of the action.
The first of the two patent cases is Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management Systems (12-1163), and relates to the appropriate standard for appellate review of a district court’s decision to award fees upon a determination that the patent claims are “objectively baseless”. This case involved a claim brought by a non-practicing entity or “patent troll”. The question presented on appeal can be found here.
The second of the two patent cases will be closely watched by patent litigators and companies defending patent infringement claims, since it requests the Court to relax the criteria considered in determining whether a case is “exceptional” for an award of fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 when a Defendant prevails in a patent infringement action. The case is Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc. (12-1184), and the question presented on appeal can be found here.
The third case, Petrella v. MGM (12-1315), is a copyright claim brought on behalf of an author who had written several works about the boxer Jake LaMotta, and involves the timeliness of a copyright infringement claim. The question presented on appeal can be found here.
More information regarding these cases, and others pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, can be found at SCOTUSblog (www.scotusblog.com). We also invite you to attend the Federal Bar Association’s November 13 luncheon featuring Amy Howe, the Editor of SCOTUSblog. More information regarding the luncheon, and other events hosted by the FBA South Florida Chapter can be found at www.fba-sdfla.org.