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IP Alert
IP Alert UPDATE: Supreme Court Remands Three Claim Construction Cases to Federal Circuit

January 26, 2015

UPDATE: Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Universal Lighting Technologies Inc., a case discussed in our earlier alert here. The Lighting Ballast case was one of a series of cases in which the Federal Circuit reiterated that its standard of review of a patent claim construction decision of a lower court is de novo review, the least deferential of the available standards of appellate review. The Supreme Court has now instructed the Federal Circuit to reconsider the Lighting Ballast decision in light of its opinion last week in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. The Court also granted writs of certiorari in two other cases in which the Federal Circuit conducted de novo review of the lower court’s claim construction: Gevo, Inc. v. Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC and Shire Development, LLC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

It remains to be seen whether the Federal Circuit will continue its policy of largely reviewing claim construction de novo as this approach was modified via the Teva decision, or whether the Federal Circuit on remand will take the opportunity to adopt a different, more deferential standard of review. 

Fitch Even attorneys will monitor the progress of these remanded cases at the Federal Circuit and will report in one or more future alerts. 


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