Patent Law And The Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Pending (November 2013)

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently pending petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

Bancorp Services, LLC v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada (U.S.), et al., No. 13-584 Question Presented:

Whether claims to computer-implemented inventions—ncluding claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of manufacture—redirected to patent-eligible subject matter within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 101 as interpreted by this Court? Cert. petition filed 11/8/13.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

Metso Minerals, Inc. v. Poewerscreen Intern. Distribution, No. 13-565 Questions Presented:

Following a civil jury's verdict, whether the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in direct contravention of relevant precedent, may reverse the district court's denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law of patent non-obviousness without applying the regional circuit's standard of review and in so doing, rely only upon contested evidence implicitly rejected by the jury and ignore substantial evidence supporting the jury's verdict, thereby depriving the jury verdict winner of its right to a jury trial under the Seventh Amendment. With respect to commercial success as a secondary indicia of patent non-obviousness, whether a nexus is presumed between a patented invention and commercially successful products covered by the patent where the patent's claims are coextensive with the commercially successful products. Whether, and to what extent, a court of appeals may review the sufficiency of the evidence supporting a civil jury verdict where the party requesting review made a motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure after the jury's verdict that had not been made by the party under Rule 50(a) before submission of the case to the jury. Where a jury instruction was erroneous, may a court of appeals reverse a district court's finding that the erroneous instruction had no prejudicial effect, where the evidence cited by the district court showed that the issue addressed by the instruction was not contested at trial. Cert. petition filed 11/5/13.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

Convolve, Inc. v. Compaq Computer Corp., No. 13-547 Questions Presented:

Rule 56(a), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, permits a grant of summary judgment only if "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." The questions presented for review are:

Whether a United States Court of Appeals, in summarily affirming an internally inconsistent summary judgment that is directly contradicted and discredited by the district court's own fact-findings, has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of summary judgment proceedings as to call for an exercise of this Court's supervisory power? See Sup. Ct. R. 10(a). Whether an internally inconsistent summary judgment—directly contradicted and discredited by the district court's own fact-findings—violates the right to trial by jury secured by the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution? Whether an internally inconsistent summary judgment—directly contradicted and discredited by the district court's own fact-findings—violates the guarantee of due process in federal courts secured by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution? Cert. petition filed 10/29/13, waiver of respondent Seagate Technology filed 11/6/13, waiver of respondent Compaq Computer filed 11/8/13, conference 12/6/13.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

Soverian Software LLC v. Newegg Inc., No. 13-477 Question Presented:

In Graham v. John Deere Co. of Kansas City, 383 U.S. 1, 17 (1966), this Court held that "[w]hile the ultimate question of patent validity is one of law," that question is premised on "several basic factual inquiries." Those inquiries include "the scope and content of the prior art" and the "differences between the prior art and the claims at issue." Id. In KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398, 407 (2007), this Court reaffirmed that the Graham factual questions "continue to define the inquiry that controls" the determination of obviousness. The Federal Circuit in this case resolved disputes about these "basic factual inquiries" under the guise of determining the ultimate legal question.

The question presented is:

Whether the Federal Circuit's effective redefinition of obviousness as a pure question of law, allowing it to resolve disputed factual questions in the first instance on appeal, violates the Seventh Amendment and this Court's precedent.

Cert. petition filed 10/16/13.

CAFC Opinion, CAFC Argument

WilmerHale represents petitioner Soverain Software LLC.

Cephalon, Inc. v. Apotex, Inc., No. 13-441 Questions Presented:

Whether the mere act of omitting purportedly material information during a patent prosecution, without separate proof of intent to deceive the Patent and Trademark Office, can constitute clear and convincing evidence sufficient to support a finding of inequitable conduct. Whether a corporation can be found liable for inequitable conduct in the absence...

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