Whether you’re a startup or a Fortune 500 business, patent protection is important. And when the time comes for you to pursue or defend against claims of patent infringement, you need attorneys who know not only the rules for patent prosecution before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) but also the latest legal developments affecting infringement claims and defenses.

 

PAMH’s skilled counselors have extensive experience before the PTO and stand ready to assist you. Just as every case is different, so too is our approach. We employ our extensive knowledge of patent law to develop individualized patent litigation strategies for every single client. We’re home to attorneys who work in both patent consulting and litigation, which helps maintain the “big picture” outlook needed to get the best results for our clients. We also provide infringement opinion letters when clients are seeking a determination of whether to pursue a claim or have otherwise been accused of violating the rights of a patentee. And because we integrate our practice groups, our patent attorneys have also been called upon to assist our clients reviewing patent portfolios at the time of acquisition.

 

We encourage you to talk with our patent attorneys today about these recent developments and how they may affect the patent dispute before you:

  • The Supreme Court’s decision in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., No. 12­786 (June 14, 2014) (slip opinion), reversed an en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit governing the requirements for a finding of direct or indirect infringement of method claims. Specifically, the Court ruled that a single actor must perform all of the steps of the infringed method (or in the case of multiple actors all steps must be controlled by a single actor) in order to find direct infringement and before there could be a finding of indirect infringement. For defendants, this ruling likely presents an additional non­infringement defense when method claims are asserted. For plaintiffs, Limelight Networks presents a new vulnerability when method patents are at issue, which will require seasoned professionals to acquire the necessary discovery to prove your case.
  • In Alice Corp. PTY, Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, No. 13­298 (June 19, 2014) (slip opinion) the U.S. Supreme Court added to its jurisprudence on the issue of patentable subject matter. While not substantially departing from prior rulings, Alice Corp. has garnered a lot of attention and has raised awareness of the difficult and unclear area of patentable subject matter, giving rise to new concerns for patentees and potential defenses to those charged with infringement.
  • In Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., No. 12­1184 (April 29, 2014) (slip opinion), the SCOTUS revisited the standards for an award of attorneys’ fees in patent litigation. The applicable statute allows for attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in “exceptional cases.” This had previously been interpreted to require a showing of both objective and subjective bad faith. In Octane Fitness, the Court ruled that a showing of bad faith was no longer a per se requirement in order for a case to be determined “exceptional” and for an award of attorneys’ fees to issue.