By: Eric G. Soller
The Supreme Court is reviewing more patent cases in this term than in the entire decade of the 1990’s. This activity has most recently resulted in two rulings that will shape patent litigation for years to come. In Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., the Supreme Court reversed the standard that had been applied for years by the Federal Circuit as to whether a patent is definite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2. The Federal Circuit’s standard was that a patent lacked “definiteness” if it was “insolubly ambiguous.” The Supreme Court opined that the prior standard lacked precision because such terminology “can breed lower court confusion” and “leave courts and the patent bar at sea without a reliable compass,” however, noting the “delicate balance” between requiring definiteness and accounting for the inherent limitations of language, “recognizing that absolute precision is unattainable.” The Supreme Court stated that the proper assessment of definiteness requires, “that a patent is invalid for indefiniteness if its claims, read in light of the specification delineating the patent, and the prosecution history, fail to inform, with reasonable certainty, those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention.”
In Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., the Supreme Court redefined liability for “inducing infringement of a patent under 35 U.S.C. § 217(b) when no one has directly infringed a patent under § 271(a) or any other statutory provision.” The Supreme Court definitively stated that “liability for inducement must be predicated on direct infringement.” The Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit and remanded the case, instructing that the “Federal Circuit will have the opportunity to revisit the § 271(a) question if it chooses.” The Supreme Court held that if “performance of all of the claimed steps cannot be attributed to a single person,” direct infringement has not occurred, and therefore, inducing infringement cannot be found.
While there are many strategic reasons for selecting a venue in which to bring a patent infringement lawsuit, the determination of whether the preferred venue is a proper venue is not as clear as in a non-patent case. However, on February 13, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in In… Read more »Read More
Several members of the Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP Law Firm volunteered this weekend at the Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh event. Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh, is a free, two-day dental clinic for under-served people living in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, many of whom are from working families who do not have access… Read more »Read More
On Tuesday, July 14th, Pietragallo Partner Pamela Coyle Brecht will host a panel presentation to all members of the Qui Tam section of the Federal Bar Association (FBA). The panel will include compliance counsel, defense counsel, and relator’s counsel who will discuss several areas related to the False Claims Act under the program title, “How… Read more »Read More
Pietragallo Partner Douglas K. Rosenblum will be presenting at PBI’s upcoming program, “Intellectual Property Law Institute 2020” on Tuesday, July 28th, 2020. Mr. Rosenblum’s segment is titled, “Trials and Tribulations of Virtual Hearings, Depositions, etc. in the Age of Covid-19.” This year marks the 14th anniversary of the ‘IP Institute’ and the program will be… Read more »Read More