Past Webinars

  • February 22, 2018
Immunity for Sale? Tribal and State Sovereign Immunity at the PTAB

Please join Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery LLP for a complimentary webinar, “Immunity for Sale? Tribal and State Sovereign Immunity at the PTAB,” on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 9:00 am PST / 10:00 am MST / 11:00 am CST / 12 noon EST.

Many patent owners are looking for ways to defend against inter partes review (IPR) challenges to their patents. Pharmaceutical company Allergan made headlines last year when it transferred its patents for its drug Restasis to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in an attempt to shield the patents from IPR challenges by using the tribe’s sovereign immunity. This move increased interest in potential patent deals with Native American tribes, but also drew negative reactions, including from members of Congress and the Federal Circuit judge handling the related district court litigation.

Against this background, our webinar will explore these topics:

  • An overview of tribal and state sovereign immunity and their limitations
  • The law of sovereign immunity with respect to IPR proceedings
  • Can one purchase (or rent) sovereign immunity? The Allergan/St. Regis strategy
  • The future of sovereign immunity at the PTAB and beyond

Our speakers:

Paul B. Henkelmann is a partner at Fitch Even, where he focuses his practice on patent post-issuance proceedings, patent procurement, patent litigation, portfolio management, and IP counseling. With an active practice before the PTAB, Paul has represented clients in dozens of IPR proceedings. 

John M. Peebles is a founding partner at Fredericks Peebles & Morgan, a firm dedicated to representing American Indian tribes and organizations throughout the U.S. John focuses his practice on tribal government, tribal sovereignty and self-determination, trial and appellate advocacy, taxation, reservation economic development, and gaming law, among other areas.


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