U.S. Supreme Court Opens 2014 Term

While the Supreme Court is expected to maintain is keen interest with patent cases during this term, the first day of the term witnessed no intellectual property cases taken up for review.  A number of cases were denied, including Classen Immunotherapies, Inc. v. Somaxon Pharm., No. 13-1508, Segal v. Rogue Pictures, No. 13-1425, Petroliam Nasional Berhad v. GoDaddy.com, Inc., No. 13-1255, and Herb Reed Entm’t, LLC v. Florida Entm’t Mgmt., Inc., No. 13-1271.

In one key case in which review was not denied, the en banc Federal Circuit decided to retain its de novo standard of review for claim construction.  Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Elecs. N. Amer. Corp., No. 13-1536. In that case, the standard was upheld as a matter of stare decisis.

The same question will be addressed on October 15, 2014 when the Supreme court will hear oral argument in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., U.S., No. 13-854.  The decision in this case will affect whether interpretation of patent claim construction involves questions of law.