December 4, 2022

Volume XII, Number 338

Advertisement

December 02, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

December 01, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Supreme Court to Review Rule for Patent Suits

On October 1, 2013, the United States Supreme Court decided to review whether a district court’s decision ordering sanctions for “objectively baseless” patent suits is entitled to deference on appeal. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the petitioner, Highmark Inc.’s (Highmark), challenge to the Federal Circuit’s decision that negated part of a sanctions order against the respondent, Allcare Health Management Systems, Inc (Allcare).

The Patent Act provides that a “court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.” 35 U.S.C. § 285. A case is “exceptional” if it is objectively baseless and brought in bad faith.

The district court in the case originally ordered Allcare, which it described as a “patent troll,” to pay nearly $5 million in sanctions for bringing a baseless suit against Highmark. The Federal Circuit partially reversed the district court’s ruling, holding that a district court’s objective baselessness determination is reviewed without deference, rather than reviewing only for clear error. Upon review, the Federal Circuit found that some of Allcare’s claims were not objectively baseless.

The United States Supreme Court granted Highmark’s request for review, thus agreeing to determine whether sanctions for “objectively baseless” patent suits are entitled to deference. Highmark argues that an “objectively baseless” decision by the district court is not a matter of law, and therefore should be entitled to deference, and thus only be reviewed for clear error.

©2022 MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLPNational Law Review, Volume III, Number 277
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Kevin P. Moran, Intellectual Property attorney, Michael Best, manufacturing industry legal counsel,
Partner

Clients look to Kevin for strategic counsel on the protection of their intellectual property, including acquisition of, enforcement of, and defense against United States and international patents.

His strong track record in these areas, paired with a technical background as a product engineer, give Kevin a unique perspective on the challenges facing developers of mechanical, electro-mechanical, and biomedical technologies.

Kevin has significant experience in the areas of fitness equipment, motorcycles, vehicle braking...

262-956-6510
Brian Jacobs, Michael Best, software technologies legal counsel, trademark copyright lawyer
Associate

Brian draws on his background as an electrical engineer to advise clients on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, as well as related intellectual property issues. Focusing his practice on electrical, computer, and software technologies, clients value his experience in obtaining patent protection and his counsel on patent clearance and infringement matters.

414-270-2733
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement