The Supreme Court recently granted writs of certiorari to two intellectual property cases that could have a lasting impact on patent applicants, practitioners, and universities. In a case related to induced infringement, Global-Tech Appliances Inc. and Pentalpha Enters. Ltd. v. SEB SA, the Supreme Court will determine whether to overturn the ruling of the Federal Circuit that a potential infringer can have the necessary intent to commit induced infringement by acting with “deliberate indifference of a known risk.” As detailed in our March 15, 2010 issue, the Federal Circuit found Pentalpha knew of and disregarded an overt risk by copying everything but the cosmetics of the SEB deep fryer, and thus it had the necessary intent to induce infringement even though Pentalpha was not aware of the patent itself. In a case related to patent ownership stemming from the Bayh-Dole Act, Bd. of Trustees of Leland Stanford Jr. Univ. v. Roche Molecular Sys., the Supreme Court will determine the ownership rights of universities in inventions derived from federally sponsored research. Due to the lack of a proper assignment between Stanford and its faculty member, the faculty member assigned the rights in his invention to a third party company. The Federal Circuit ruled that Stanford did not have superior ownership rights over the third party company merely because the related research was federally funded. We will be keeping our eye on both of these cases and anticipate discussing the ramifications of the Supreme Court rulings in both cases on your business and practices. Stay tuned.
Maximizing the protection and value of intellectual property assets is often the cornerstone of a business's success and even survival. In this blog, Nutter's Intellectual Property attorneys provide news updates and practical tips in patent portfolio development, IP litigation, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing.