Supreme Court's Surprising Interest In Patent Law

from the will-it-help-or-hurt? dept

While Congress is looking at various bad ideas to make the patent system even worse than it is today, it appears that the Supreme Court may be taking an interest in shaping the future of the patent system in the US as well. Some are noting how odd it is that the Supreme Court is looking at three different patent cases -- all of which may have dramatic effects on the system. The Supreme Court doesn't take many patent cases, so the fact that they're looking at three suggests the court is suddenly much more interested in patent-related issues. Whether or not that's a good thing, remains to be seen. The first two cases mentioned, we've already discussed. They involve the eBay-MercExchange battle over granting injunctions and the Metabolite case about whether or not someone can get a patent on the correlation between an amino acid and a vitamin -- i.e., something found in nature. The final case is the MedImmune case, and will determine whether or not it's okay for a company to challenge the validity of a patent after the company has already licensed the patent. The lower court said that MedImmune couldn't sue, because if it felt the patent was invalid, it never should have licensed it in the first place. This is problematic, because many companies will end up licensing patents simply to avoid the uncertainty involved in a long lawsuit. In fact, that's a big part of why RIM finally settled with NTP -- despite plenty of evidence that NTP's patents were invalid. While each of these decisions may impact patent law in some significant ways, it's still a drop in the bucket compared to what Congress could, but won't, do in improving the way the country tries to set up incentives for innovation.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous of Course, 1 May 2006 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Gaps

    It's convenient to leave the law making up
    to the court when it's a hot issue. Congress
    figured this out long ago.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Advertisment

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.