Alice v. CLS Bank

On June 19, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l that all the patent claims in the case, meaning all method, system and “computer-readable medium” claims, were not patent eligible.

America Invents Act

On Sept. 16, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most significant patent reform legislation implemented by Congress in the last 60 years.

Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee

On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Cuozzo Speed v. Lee, Inc., affirming the Federal Circuit’s judgment in full, thus resolving two significant issues for inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under the America Invents Act.

Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics and Stryker v. Zimmer

On June 13, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision in cases Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc., which rejected the Federal Circuit’s rigid, two-part test for willful infringement and awarding enhanced damages in patent cases under 35 U.S.C. § 284.

Impression Products v. Lexmark International

On May 30, 2017, the Supreme Court changed the law of patent exhaustion in Impression Products v. Lexmark International and limited the ability of patent owners to control the use of patented products once they are sold.

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., that it is appropriate for a court to give substantial weight to the reasonableness of a losing party’s position when deciding whether to award attorney’s fees in a case brought under the Copyright Act as long as “all other relevant factors” are taken into account.

Life Technologies v. Promega

On Feb. 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Circuit erred when it decided that shipment outside the United States of one component of a multicomponent invention could violate 35 U.S.C. §271(f)(1).

Matal v. Tam

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam that the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, and therefore is unconstitutional.

Samsung v. Apple

On Dec. 6, 2016, the Supreme Court said in Samsung v. Apple that the Federal Circuit “reading ‘article of manufacture’ in §289 to cover only an end product sold to a consumer gives too narrow a meaning to the phrase,” and reversed.

SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products

On March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court decided in SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products that laches cannot be interposed as a defense against damages where the infringement occurred within the six-year period prescribed by Section 286 of the Patent Act.

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court affirmed in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands that two-dimensional graphic designs are entitled to copyright protection as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works” under the copyright law for useful articles under certain circumstances.

TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods

On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands that “a domestic corporation ‘resides’ only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.” The decision reversed the Federal Circuit and confirmed decades-old Supreme Court precedent that the patent venue statute, § 1400(b), does not incorporate a broader definition of residency found in the general venue statute, § 1391(c).

The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement

On May 13, 2015, the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs went into effect for the United States.