Appellate Cases

Recent Supreme Court Briefs Concerning Intellectual Property

The Office of the Solicitor General maintains a public collection of briefs filed in the Supreme Court expressing the views of the United States in intellectual property matters.  Each of these briefs was prepared in the first instance by the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division.

Recent matters of significance include the following:

  • Kimble v. Marvel Enters. (filed Mar. 5, 2015).  Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys, 379 U.S. 29 (1964), which held that a license agreement requiring royalty payments for use of a patented invention after expiration of the patent term is unlawful per se.

  • Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc. (filed Jan. 29, 2015).   Whether a good-faith belief that a patent is invalid is a defense to liability for induced patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(b).

  • B&B Hardware v. Hargis Indus., Inc. (filed Sept. 11, 2014).  Whether and in what circumstances a district court in a trademark infringement action must give preclusive effect to a likelihood-of-confusion determination previously rendered by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. 

  • Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. (filed June 16, 2014).  Whether, in reviewing a district court’s interpretation of the words of a patent claim, the court of appeals must review the district court’s subsidiary findings of fact under a deferential “clear error” standard. 

  • Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. (filed April 2, 2014).  Whether a patent claim may satisfy the requirement of 35 U.S.C. 112(b) that a patent applicant “particularly point[] out and distinctly claim[]” the invention sought to be patented, when a term in the claim is subject to multiple reasonable interpretations. 

  • American Broadcast Co. v. Aereo, Inc. (filed March 3, 2014).  Whether a commercial service that uses thousands of miniature antennas to capture broadcast television signals and stream individual digital copies of copyrighted television programs to paying subscribers infringes the copyright owners’ exclusive right of public performance under 17 U.S.C. 106(4). 

  • Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Techs., Inc. (filed March 3, 2014).  Whether a defendant that performs some steps of a patented method and that actively induces its customers to perform the remaining steps is liable for inducement of infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(b). 

  • Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l (filed Feb. 26, 2014).  Whether computer-implemented systems and methods for mitigating financial risk by using a third-party intermediary are eligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. 101. 

  • Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (filed Nov. 22, 2013).  Whether and under what circumstances laches may bar relief on a claim of copyright infringement brought within the three-year limitations period set out in 17 U.S.C. 507(b).

Updated September 30, 2015