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Intellectual Property

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  • Computer Law
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Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference

The Relationship between Congress and the Executive Branch
Ronald A. Cass, Neil Eggleston, Todd F. Gaziano, Sally Greenberg, Kathleen Grillo, Lisa Heinzerling, Grace Koh, Michael S. Lee, Abbott (Tad) Lipsky, James C. Miller, David M. McIntosh, Mike J. Rogers, David C. Vladeck, Adam J. White, Benjamin Wittes, M. Edward Whelan May 17, 2017

The Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference will examine the changing and often convoluted relationship between the legislative and the executive branches in the United States government. This daylong conference will feature plenary panels, addresses, and breakout panels on topics such as “The Unitary Executive,” “Chevron Deference,” and “Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights.”

The Conference will begin with an opening address by Senator Mike Lee.

Courthouse Steps: Amgen, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc.

Intellectual Property Practice Group Teleforum
Andrew A. Hufford April 26, 2017

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. § 262) created an abbreviated pathway for FDA approval of biological products determined to be “biosimilar” to a reference product. The Act outlines a patent resolution and information exchange scheme, with litigation safe harbors during this “patent dance.”

Subsection (l)(2)(A) provides that not later than 20 days after the application is accepted for review, “…the subsection (k) applicant – shall provide to the reference product sponsor a copy of the application…and other information that describes the processes used to manufacture the biological product…” Subsection (l)(8)(A) provides “[t]he subsection (k) applicant shall provide notice to the reference product sponsor not later than 180 days before the date of the first commercial marketing of the biological product licensed under subsection (k).”

In 2015, Sandoz filed a subsection (k) application based on Amgen’s filgrastim (Neupogen®), but refused to provide its (l)(2)(A) disclosure and claimed that pre-FDA approval notice satisfied (l)(8)(A). Amgen sued in federal court on state law claims of unfair competition and conversion, and patent infringement, and requested a preliminary injunction. The district court granted Sandoz’ motion for partial summary judgment, holding that (l)(2)(A) disclosure was optional and that Sandoz did not have to wait for FDA approval before providing (l)(8)(A) notice.

In a fractured opinion, the Federal Circuit affirmed on the (l)(2)(A) issue, holding that subsection (l)(9)(C) provided a remedy for the reference product sponsor to bring an immediate declaratory judgment action if the subsection (k) applicant failed to provide its (l)(2)(A) information, showing that disclosure was optional. The court reversed on the (l)(8)(A) issue, holding that notice before the FDA approved the subsection (k) application was ineffective under the statute. The Court granted certiorari on both issues.

This case presents intriguing questions of statutory interpretation, as the boundaries of the BCPIA are explored.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Andrew A. Hufford, Intellectual Property Attorney, Brinks Gilson & Lione

 

Courthouse Steps: Fashionable Copyright Law in the U.S. Supreme Court - Podcast

Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
Sandra Aistars April 05, 2017

Last Wednesday the Supreme Court handed down a 6-2 opinion resolving a long mystifying test of when a feature of a useful article may be protected by copyright law. Hewing closely to the text of the Copyright Act, the opinion, authored by Justice Thomas, announced a new separability test holding that a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection if the feature (1) can be perceived as a 2 or 3 dimensional work of art separate from the useful article and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work if it were imagined separately from the useful article.  

Professor Sandra Aistars of Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University explored the implications for copyright in general and industries beyond fashion.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Sandra Aistars, Clinical Professor and Senior Scholar and Director of Copyright Research and Policy of CPIP, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Courthouse Steps: Fashionable Copyright Law in the U.S. Supreme Court

Intellectual Property Practice Group Teleforum
Sandra Aistars April 04, 2017

Last Wednesday the Supreme Court handed down a 6-2 opinion resolving a long mystifying test of when a feature of a useful article may be protected by copyright law.  Hewing closely to the text of the Copyright Act, the opinion, authored by Justice Thomas, announced a new separability test holding that a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection if the feature (1) can be perceived as a 2 or 3 dimensional work of art separate from the useful article and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work if it were imagined separately from the useful article.  

Professor Sandra Aistars of Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University will explore the implications for copyright in general and industries beyond fashion.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Sandra Aistars, Clinical Professor and Senior Scholar and Director of Copyright Research and Policy of CPIP, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Courthouse Steps: TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods - Podcast

Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
J. Devlin Hartline March 29, 2017

The question presented in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC is seemingly straightforward: Does the statute governing venue generally, 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c), supplement the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b)? In particular, the issue is whether § 1391(c)(2)’s broad residency definition, which provides that a corporate defendant “shall be deemed to reside . . . in any judicial district in which such defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction,” should be read into § 1400(b), which provides that a patent infringement action “may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides.” If a corporate defendant “resides” wherever a court has personal jurisdiction over it, a patent owner will typically have many choices of where it may sue that corporation for infringement.

TC Heartland is incorporated and headquartered in Indiana, while Kraft Foods is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Illinois. Kraft Foods sued in the District of Delaware, arguing that TC Heartland established personal jurisdiction—and thus venue—when it knowingly shipped a large number of allegedly infringing goods into that forum. The Federal Circuit held that the patent venue statute is supplemented by the broad definition of residency in § 1391(c). TC Heartland now asks the Supreme Court to reverse the decision and to hold that § 1400(b) is the sole and exclusive statute governing venue in patent infringement actions.

The case itself has garnered much attention because the same broad venue rules also allow non-practicing entities—so-called “patent trolls”—to sue in the Eastern District of Texas. Indeed, the policy implications of the case have taken center stage among many commentators.

The issue of where patent owners may sue alleged infringers is an important one, and this case will determine whether patent owners, like federal plaintiffs generally, have numerous choices, or whether they are limited by the narrow patent venue rules that the Supreme Court has already said should stand alone.

Featuring:

  • Prof. J. Devlin Hartline, Assistant Director, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Courthouse Steps: TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods

Intellectual Property Practice Group
J. Devlin Hartline March 27, 2017

The question presented in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC is seemingly straightforward: Does the statute governing venue generally, 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c), supplement the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b)? In particular, the issue is whether § 1391(c)(2)’s broad residency definition, which provides that a corporate defendant “shall be deemed to reside . . . in any judicial district in which such defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction,” should be read into § 1400(b), which provides that a patent infringement action “may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides.” If a corporate defendant “resides” wherever a court has personal jurisdiction over it, a patent owner will typically have many choices of where it may sue that corporation for infringement.

TC Heartland is incorporated and headquartered in Indiana, while Kraft Foods is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Illinois. Kraft Foods sued in the District of Delaware, arguing that TC Heartland established personal jurisdiction—and thus venue—when it knowingly shipped a large number of allegedly infringing goods into that forum. The Federal Circuit held that the patent venue statute is supplemented by the broad definition of residency in § 1391(c). TC Heartland now asks the Supreme Court to reverse the decision and to hold that § 1400(b) is the sole and exclusive statute governing venue in patent infringement actions.

The case itself has garnered much attention because the same broad venue rules  also allow non-practicing entities—so-called “patent trolls”—to sue in the Eastern District of Texas. Indeed, the policy implications of the case have taken center stage among many commentators.

The issue of where patent owners may sue alleged infringers is an important one, and this case will determine whether patent owners, like federal plaintiffs generally, have numerous choices, or whether they are limited by the narrow patent venue rules that the Supreme Court has already said should stand alone.

Featuring:

  • Prof. J. Devlin Hartline, Assistant Director, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Courthouse Steps: Impression Products v. Lexmark International and the Law of Patent Exhaustion

Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
David S. Olson March 22, 2017

May a patent owner use contracts to prohibit any resale or reuse of its patented products beyond the initial purchaser? OnTuesday, March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Impression Products v. Lexmark International, which raises this important question.

Lexmark makes patented toner cartridges and sells them with a contract restriction that the cartridges not be resold or refilled. Impression Products buys used Lexmark toner cartridges, refills, and resells them. Lexmark argues that because the license accompanying the original sale of the cartridges prohibits transferring the cartridges, any reuse and refilling of the cartridges is an unauthorized use and thus a patent infringement. If Lexmark’s argument wins, then manufacturers of patented goods will be able to restrict downstream uses of their goods by use of licenses, and no privity of contract will be required to hold third parties liable. On the other hand, defendant Impression Products argues that the “patent exhaustion” doctrine should operate here to restrict Lexmark from asserting any patent rights after a first, authorized sale. Also at issue is whether first sales in foreign countries instead of the U.S. should affect the outcome.

The case will have significant effects on the ability of patent owners to control the downstream uses of their patented products, and may affect the ability of patent owners to prevent the importation of “grey market” goods that have been lawfully sold in other countries, similarly to the Supreme Court’s holding in the 2013 copyright case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Professor David Olson of Boston College Law School offered impressions and predictions after the Court heard oral argument.

Featuring:

  • Prof. David S. Olson, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School

Courthouse Steps: Impression Products v. Lexmark International and the Law of Patent Exhaustion

Intellectual Property Practice Group
David S. Olson March 21, 2017

May a patent owner use contracts to prohibit any resale or reuse of its patented products beyond the initial purchaser? OnTuesday, March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Impression Products v. Lexmark International, which raises this important question.

Lexmark makes patented toner cartridges and sells them with a contract restriction that the cartridges not be resold or refilled. Impression Products buys used Lexmark toner cartridges, refills, and resells them. Lexmark argues that because the license accompanying the original sale of the cartridges prohibits transferring the cartridges, any reuse and refilling of the cartridges is an unauthorized use and thus a patent infringement. If Lexmark’s argument wins, then manufacturers of patented goods will be able to restrict downstream uses of their goods by use of licenses, and no privity of contract will be required to hold third parties liable. On the other hand, defendant Impression Products argues that the “patent exhaustion” doctrine should operate here to restrict Lexmark from asserting any patent rights after a first, authorized sale. Also at issue is whether first sales in foreign countries instead of the U.S. should affect the outcome.

The case will have significant effects on the ability of patent owners to control the downstream uses of their patented products, and may affect the ability of patent owners to prevent the importation of “grey market” goods that have been lawfully sold in other countries, similarly to the Supreme Court’s holding in the 2013 copyright case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Professor David Olson of Boston College Law School will offer impressions and predictions after the Court hears oral argument.

Featuring:

  • Prof. David S. Olson, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School

Impression Products v. Lexmark International and the Law of Patent Exhaustion - Podcast

Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
Adam Mossoff, David S. Olson, Steven M. Tepp, Kristen Osenga March 09, 2017

The Federalist Society will host a teleforum discussion of Impression Products v. Lexmark International, which is scheduled for argument before the Supreme Court March 21, 2017. At issue in the case is whether a patent owner may use a combination of patent rights and contract law to restrict what purchasers of patented printer toner cartridges may do with the cartridges. Lexmark makes patented toner cartridges and sells them with a restriction that the cartridges not be resold or refilled. Impression Products buys used Lexmark toner cartridges, refills, and resells them. Lexmark argues that Impression Products’ toner refilling activities violate Lexmark’s patent rights because the license to use the patented product that was given to consumers prohibited refilling, thus putting such use and resale of the patented products outside of the scope of the patent license, in violation of Lexmark’s patent rights. For its part, Impression Products argues that the “patent exhaustion” doctrine should operate here to restrict Lexmark from asserting any patent rights after a first, authorized sale. Also at issue is whether first sales in foreign countries instead of the U.S. should affect the outcome.

The case will have significant effects on the ability of patent owners to control the downstream uses of their patented products, and may affect the ability of patent owners to prevent the importation of “grey market” goods that have been lawfully sold in other countries, similarly to the Supreme Court’s holding in the 2013 copyright case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Featuring:

  • Prof. Adam Mossoff, Co-Founder, Director of Academic Programs & Senior Scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property; Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Prof. David Olson, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School
  • Mr. Steven Tepp, President & CEO of Sentinel Worldwide; Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School
  • Moderator: Prof. Kristen Osenga, Professor of Law, University of Richmond

Impression Products v. Lexmark International and the Law of Patent Exhaustion

Intellectual Property Practice Group Teleforum
Adam Mossoff, David S. Olson, Steven M. Tepp, Kristen Osenga March 08, 2017

The Federalist Society will host a teleforum discussion of Impression Products v. Lexmark International, which is scheduled for argument before the Supreme Court March 21, 2017. At issue in the case is whether a patent owner may use a combination of patent rights and contract law to restrict what purchasers of patented printer toner cartridges may do with the cartridges. Lexmark makes patented toner cartridges and sells them with a restriction that the cartridges not be resold or refilled. Impression Products buys used Lexmark toner cartridges, refills, and resells them. Lexmark argues that Impression Products’ toner refilling activities violate Lexmark’s patent rights because the license to use the patented product that was given to consumers prohibited refilling, thus putting such use and resale of the patented products outside of the scope of the patent license, in violation of Lexmark’s patent rights. For its part, Impression Products argues that the “patent exhaustion” doctrine should operate here to restrict Lexmark from asserting any patent rights after a first, authorized sale. Also at issue is whether first sales in foreign countries instead of the U.S. should affect the outcome.

The case will have significant effects on the ability of patent owners to control the downstream uses of their patented products, and may affect the ability of patent owners to prevent the importation of “grey market” goods that have been lawfully sold in other countries, similarly to the Supreme Court’s holding in the 2013 copyright case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Featuring:

  • Prof. Adam Mossoff, Co-Founder, Director of Academic Programs & Senior Scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property; Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Prof. David Olson, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School
  • Mr. Steven Tepp, President & CEO of Sentinel Worldwide; Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School
  • Moderator: Prof. Kristen Osenga, Professor of Law, University of Richmond