SCOTUS Schedule Stacked with IP Cases

By Robyn Hagan Cain on November 01, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

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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