High Court Delays Decision on AIA Patent Review a Week

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By Tony Dutra

Jan. 11 — The U.S. Supreme Court denied review Jan. 11 in 118 cases that were scheduled for discussion in its conference three days earlier, but three high-profile intellectual property issues were left to linger for at least a week. 

Two of the cases were “relisted,” which means the justices considered the petitions but didn't act, rescheduling discussion for the next conference.

The patent-owner community is hoping the court will consider the way the America Invents Act of 2011 has been implemented by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, as well as the Federal Circuit's deference to the PTAB's judgments, in Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, No. 15-446 (U.S., review sought Oct. 6, 2015).

Copyright community stakeholders are anxious to see if the high court will change the law, as it did recently in the patent context, on when losing parties should pay the attorneys' fees of successful litigants, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375 (U.S., review sought Sept. 24, 2015).

Both of those cases were rescheduled for the court's Jan. 15 conference, with a decision likely the following week unless they are relisted again.

A case on athletes' right of publicity—their likenesses were used in a Madden NFL video game without permission—was listed on the court's docket as “rescheduled” without a follow-on date, in Elec. Arts Inc. v. Davis, No. 15-424 (U.S., review sought Oct. 5, 2015).

The only intellectual property issue on the court's agenda so far this term had been relisted.

Research cited in an Oct. 19 Bloomberg BNA U.S. Law Week blog post showed that relisted petitions have a higher chance of being granted, as only two cases granted in the Supreme Court’s 2014 term had not first been relisted.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Dutra in Washington at adutra@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek in Washington at mwilczek@bna.com

Cuozzo petition at http://src.bna.com/vi.

Kirtsaeng petition at http://src.bna.com/bX1.

Electronic Arts petition at http://src.bna.com/bX0.