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SCOTUS Schedule Stacked with IP Cases

By Robyn Hagan Cain on November 01, 2012 4:02 PM

The Supreme Court is digging intellectual property this term.

The Nine have already have four IP cases on the calendar for the year, according to Patently-O. One of those cases came from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Big deal," you say. "Four cases? That's only 5 percent of the approximately 70 cases the court will hear this year." True, but it's a significant number considering that only 51 petitions have been granted so far in the 2012 term, and the Court is still expected to grant more IP cases.

Let's take a moment to review the grants and likelies for 2012.

  • Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. -- A grey market review to determine whether the first sale doctrine applies to products that are made abroad. (The Court has already heard arguments in Kirtsaeng.)
  • Bowman v. Monsanto -- Reviewing whether patent exhaustion applies to patented seeds sold for planting; and whether there is an exception to patent exhaustion for self-replicating technologies.
  • Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc.-- Examining whether a federal district court is divested of Article III jurisdiction over a party's challenge to the validity of a federally registered trademark if the registrant promises not to assert its mark against the party's then-existing commercial activities.
  • Gunn v. Minton -- Deciding whether federal courts have exclusive "arising under" jurisdiction when the sole substantive issue is the application of a patent law doctrine which is an essential element of a legal malpractice claim.

There are two additional Federal Circuit cases with pending petitions for certiorari, as well: Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, the case holding that genes can be patented, and Retractable Technologies, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co.

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