List of United States Supreme Court patent case law

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This is an incomplete list of Supreme Court of the United States cases in the area of patent law.

19th century[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
19th century
Tyler v. Tuel 10 U.S. 324 1810 Patent Act of 1793 Assignee of geographically-limited patent right could not bring action in their own name.
Evans v. Jordan 13 U.S. 199 1815 Patent Act of 1800, An Act for the Relief of Oliver Evans
Evans v. Eaton 16 U.S. 454 1818 Patent Act of 1793, An Act for the Relief of Oliver Evans
Evans v. Eaton 20 U.S. 356 March 20, 1822 Patent Act of 1793, An Act for the Relief of Oliver Evans A patent on an improved machine must clearly describe how the machine differs from the prior art.
Evans v. Hettich 20 U.S. 453 1822 Patent Act of 1793, An Act for the Relief of Oliver Evans
Pennock v. Dialogue 27 U.S. (2 Pet.) 1 1829 Commercial exploitation of invention for long period forfeits right to patent.
Grant v. Raymond 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 218 1832 improved machine for making hats Chief Justice Marshall Patent Act of 1800 Effect of a reissued patent having a corrected specification
Hogg v. Emerson 47 U.S. (6 How.) 437 1848 improved machine – steam engine Justice Woodbury Patent Act of 1836, Section 17
Gayler v. Wilder 51 U.S. 477 1850 Novelty means knowledge or use accessible to the public.
Hotchkiss v. Greenwood 52 U.S. 248 1850 Introduced the concept of non-obviousness as a patentability requirement in U.S. patent law.
O'Reilly v. Morse 56 U.S. 62 1853 Patent-eligibility: patent-eligibility (Invalidating method claims for "abstract idea", where steps of method not tied to particular machine). Undue patent claim breadth: Patent holder can only hold a patent on the steps taken, not on every means to the result.
Winans v. Denmead 56 U.S. 330 1853 Established doctrine of equivalents: Even if not literally within the claims, a device infringes if it arrives at the same result in the same way.
Godfrey v. Eames 68 U.S. 317 1863 Continuing application.
Seymour v. Osborne 78 U.S. 516 1870 Prior art must enable a person having ordinary skill in the art (PHOSITA) to make and use the invention.
Coffin v. Ogden 85 U.S. 120 1873 Patent Act of 1836 Anticipating invention or discovery must be complete and capable of working to invalidate a patent for lack of novelty, but the prior knowledge or use does not need to be public. The words "by others" only require that the invention be known or used by someone other than the applicant.
Cochrane v. Deener 94 U.S. 780 1876 (March 19, 1877) Patentability.
City of Elizabeth v. American Nicholson Pavement Co. 97 U.S. 126 1878 "Prior use" does not include experimental use.
Trade-Mark Cases 100 U.S. 82 1879 9–0 Constitutional basis for trademark regulation Majority:
Miller (unanimous)
The Copyright/Patent Clause does not give Congress the power to regulate trademarks.
Egbert v. Lippmann 104 U.S. 333 1881 Public use of an invention bars patent.
Hollister v. Benedict & Burnham Mfg. Co. 113 U.S. 59 1885
Rowell v. Lindsay 113 U.S. 97 1885
Consolidated Safety-Valve Co. v. Crosby Steam Gauge & Valve Co. 113 U.S. 157 1885
Voss v. Fisher 113 U.S. 213 1885
Black Diamond Coal Mining Company v. Excelsior Coal Company 156 U.S. 611 1895
Andrews and others v. Hovey (The Driven-Well Cases) 123 U.S. 267 1887 Improved method of constructing wells Patent Act of 1839, Section 7
Schillinger v. United States 155 U.S. 163 1894 Patent infringement claim against the United States cannot be asserted.

1900–1920[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
1900–1920
Mast, Foos & Co. v. Stover Mfg. Co. __ U.S. ___ 1900
Carnegie Steel Co. v. Cambria Iron Co. __ U.S. __ 1902
Continental Paper Bag Co. v. Eastern Paper Bag Co. 210 U.S. 405 1908 Established the principle that patent holders have no obligation to use their patent.
Leeds and Catlin Co. v. Victor Talking Machine Co. __ U.S. __ 1909
Expanded Metal Co. v. Bradford General Fireproofing Co. v. Expanded Metal Co. __ U.S. __ 1909
Diamond Rubber Co. v. Consolidated Rubber Tire Co. __ U.S. __ 1911 Inventor not obliged to know scientific theory underlying invention; can be pure empiricist
Henry v. A.B. Dick Co. 224 U.S. 1 1912 The Court found contributory infringement for the sale of the defendant's ink with patent owner's machine (inherency doctrine).
Westinghouse Elec. & Mfg. Co, v. Wagner Elec. & Mfg. Co. __ U.S. __ 1912
Bauer & Cie. v. O'Donnell 229 U.S. 1 1913 Patent right does not include right to dictate the price of the product.
The Fair v. Kohler Die and Specialty Co. __ U.S. __ 1913
Dowagiac Mfg.Co.v. Minnesota Moline Plow Co. & Dowagiac Mfg. Co.pany v. Smith __ U.S. __ 1915
Minerals Separation v. Hyde 242 U.S. 261 1916 Holding valid claims directed to critical proportions of oil to ore in a concentrating ore.
American Well Works Co. v. Layne and Bowler Co. 241 U.S. 257 1916
Motion Picture Patents Co. v. Universal Film Mfg. Co. 243 U.S. 502 1917 Holding unenforceable a restriction that a user of a patented film projector must use it to screen only such films as the patentee authorized; tie-in is patent misuse

1921–1959[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
1921–1959
United States v. General Electric Co. 272 U.S. 476 1926 A patentee who has granted a single license to a competitor to manufacture the patented product may lawfully fix the price at which the licensee may sell the product.
Carbice Corp. v. Patents Development Corp. 283 U.S. 27 1931
Carbice Corp. v. American Patents Dev. Co. 283 U.S. 420 1931
General Talking Pictures Corp. v. Western Electric Co. 304 U.S. 175 1938 Upholding enforceability of field-of-use limitations in a patent license
Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co. 305 U.S. 111 1938 Once a patent has expired, the benefits of the invention are to be enjoyed by the public and may not be extended by trademark.
Morton Salt Co. v. G.S. Suppiger Co. 314 U.S. 488 1942 Patent misuse.
United States v. Univis Lens Co. 316 U.S. 241 1942 Explaining the exhaustion doctrine and applying it to find an antitrust violation because Univis' ownership of patents did not exclude its restrictive practices from the antitrust laws.
Altvater v. Freeman 319 U.S. 359 1943 Although a licensee had maintained payments of royalties, a claim of invalidity of the licensed patent still presented a justiciable case or controversy.
Sinclair & Carrol Co. v. Interchemical Corporation 325 U.S. 327 1945 Selection of a chemical from a catalog based on predetermined qualifications is obvious.
Transparent-Wrap Mach. Corp. v. Stokes & Smith Co. 329 U.S. 637 Feb. 3, 1947
Funk Brothers Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co. 333 U.S. 127 1948 A facially trivial implementation of a natural principle or phenomenon of nature is not eligible for a patent.
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. v. Supermarket Equipment Corp. 340 U.S. 147 1950 Only when the whole in some way exceeds the sum of its parts is a combination of old elements patentable.
Graver Tank & Manufacturing Co. v. Linde Air Products Co. 339 U.S. 605 1950 Introduced the doctrine of equivalents.
Kerotest Mfg. Co. v. C-O-Two Fire Eqpt. Co. 342 U.S. 180 1952
Besser Mfg. v. United States ___ U.S. ____ 1952 Compulsory licensing remedy in patent antitrust case; joint agreement not to license (veto)
Sanford v. Kepner ___ U.S. ____ 1952
U.S. Gypsum v. National Gypsum 352 U.S. 457 1957 https://www.oyez.org/cases/1956/11
Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp. 353 U.S. 222 1957

1960–1969[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
1960–1969
Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co. (Aro I) 365 U.S. 336 Feb. 27, 1961 Redefined the doctrine of repair and reconstruction
Schnell v. Eckrich & Sons __ U.S. __ 1961
Glidden v. Zdanok 370 U.S. 530 1962 CPPA court
White Motor v. US __ U.S. __ 1963 antitrust, tying
Sperry v. Florida __ U.S. __ 1963 patent practice
US v. Singer __ U.S. __ 1963 Sherman Act
Wilbur-Ellis Co. v. Kuther 377 U.S. 422 1964 Extended the repair-reconstruction doctrine of Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Stiffel Co. 376 U.S. 225 1964 Companion to Compco Corp. v. Day-Brite Lighting, Inc.. State unfair competition law.
Compco Corp. v. Day-Brite Lighting, Inc. 376 U.S. 234 1964 Held that state law that, in effect, duplicated the protections of the US patent laws was preempted by federal law.
Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co. (Aro II) 377 U.S. 476 1964
Brulotte v. Thys __ U.S. __ 1964 Royalties after expiration of patent non-enforceable
Walker Process v. Food Mach. & Chem. __ U.S. __ 1965 antitrust
Hazeltine v. Brenner __ U.S. __ 1965 prior art
Graham v. John Deere Co. 383 U.S. 1 Feb. 21, 1966 Clarified the requirement of nonobviousness.
United States v. Adams 383 U.S. 39 Feb. 21, 1965 Wet battery including a combination of known elements not obvious because the operating characteristics were unexpected and improved over then-existing wet batteries.
Brenner v. Manson 383 U.S. 519 March 21, 1966
Zenith Radio v. Hazeltine (Zenith I) __ U.S. __ 1969
Lear, Inc. v. Adkins 395 U.S. 653 1969 Overturned the doctrine of licensee estoppel.
Anderson's-Black Rock, Inc. v. Pavement Salvage Co. 396 U.S. 57 1969 Related to obviousness.

1970–1979[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
1970–1979
Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research, Inc. (Zenith II) 401 U.S. 321 1971 Patent misuse.
Blonder-Tongue v. University of Illinois __ U.S. __ 1971 Collateral estoppel.
Deepsouth v. Laitram __ U.S. __ 1972
Brunette v. Kockum __ U.S. __ 1972
Gottschalk v. Benson 409 U.S. 63 1972 Held that an algorithm is not patentable if the claim would preempt all uses of the algorithm.
United States v. Glaxo Group Ltd. 410 U.S. 52 1973 Relation between patent law and antitrust law.
Kewanee Oil v. Bicron 416 U.S. 470 1974 State trade secret law not preempted by patent law.
Dann v. Johnston 425 U.S. 219 1976 Patentability of a claim for a business method patent (but the decision turns on obviousness rather than patent-eligibility).
Sakraida v. Ag Pro 425 U.S. 273 1976 An invention that arranges old elements with each performing the same function it had been known to perform fell under the heading of "work of the skillful mechanic, not of that of the inventor".
Parker v. Flook 437 U.S. 584 1978 Ruled that a mathematical algorithm is not patentable if its application itself is not novel.
Aronson v. Quick Point Pencil 440 U.S. 257 1979

1980–1989[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
1980–1989
Diamond v. Chakrabarty 447 U.S. 303 1980 Patentable subject matter: A genetically-modified micro-organism is patentable.
Dawson Chem. v. Rohm & Haas __ U.S. __ 1980 Patent misuse.
Diamond v. Diehr 450 U.S. 175 1981 The execution of a process controlled by running a computer program was patentable.
General Motors v. Devex __ U.S. __ 1983
Dennison Manufacturing v. Panduit __ U.S. __ 1986 Nonobviousness standard of review
Christianson v. Colt 486 U.S. 800 1988 Federal Circuit jurisdiction.
Bonito Boats, Inc. v. Thunder Craft Boats, Inc. 489 U.S. 141 1989 State law partially duplicating and therefore interfering with federal patent law. Reaffirmed Stiffel.

1990–1999[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
1990–1999
Eli Lilly & Co. v. Medtronic, Inc. 496 U.S. 661 1990 Held that premarketing activity conducted to gain approval of a device under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is exempted from a finding of infringement.
Cardinal Chemical v. Morton __ U.S. __ 1993
Asgrow v. Winterboer __ U.S. __ 1995 PVPA
Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc. 517 U.S. 370 1996 Held that an issue [of claims interpretation/construction] designated as a matter of law is resolved by the judge [and subject to de novo review by appellate court], and an issue construed as a question of fact is determined by the jury.
Warner-Jenkinson Company, Inc. v. Hilton Davis Chemical Co. 520 U.S. 17 1997. Updated the doctrine of equivalents.
Pfaff v. Wells Electronics, Inc. 525 U.S. 55 1998 Determined what constitutes being "on sale" for the purposes of barring the grant of a patent for an invention.
Dickinson v. Zurko 527 U.S. 150 1999 APA standards of review; PTO fact-finding gets "substantial evidence" standard on review
Florida Prepaid v. College Savings Bank 527 U.S. 627 1999 Unconstitutional for Congress to eliminate states' 11th Amendment sovereign immunity against patent infringements.

2000–2009[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
2000–2009
Nelson v. Adams 529 U.S. 460 2000 Procedure.
J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. 534 U.S. 124 2001 Utility patents & plant patents. Plant breeds are patentable subject matter.
Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co. 535 U.S. 722 2002 In the doctrine of equivalents, prosecution history estoppel creates only a rebuttable presumption against infringement.
Holmes Group v. Vornado 535 U.S. 826 2002 Patent issues raised in counterclaim do not give rise to Federal Circuit jurisdiction
Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd. 545 U.S. 193 2005 Related to Research exemption.
EBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. 547 U.S. 388 2006 Ruled that an injunction should not automatically issue based on a finding of patent infringement.
Illinois Tool Works Inc. v. Independent Ink, Inc. 547 U.S. 28 2006 Related to "tying" arrangements of patented products.
LabCorp v. Metabolite, Inc. 548 U.S. 124 June 22, 2006 Dismissed as improvidently granted. Breyer dissented from the DIG, with Stevens & Souter joining.
MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc. 549 U.S. 118 2007 8-1 Standing of a Paying Licensee to Challenge Validity of Licensed Patent Actual Controversy Requirement MedImmune was not required to break its contract before suing, because "The rule that a plaintiff must [...] risk treble damages and the loss of 80 percent of its business[] before seeking a declaration of its actively contested legal rights finds no support in Article III." The Declaratory Judgment Act only requires that disputes be non-hypothetical and non-abstract. The mere fact that royalties were still being paid, the Court ruled, was not sufficient to remove the courts' jurisdiction under Article III. 28 USC 2201 Declaratory judgment jurisdiction is available to patent licensees who continue to pay royalty and have not breached the licensing agreement.
KSR v. Teleflex 550 U.S. 398 2007 Concerning the issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims.
Microsoft v. AT&T 550 U.S. 437 2007 Related to international enforceability of U.S. software patents.
Quanta v. LG Electronics 553 U.S. 617 2008 Patent exhaustion and its applicability to certain types of method patents.

2010–2019[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
2010–2019
Bilski v. Kappos 561 U.S. 593 2010 Refocused subject matter eligibility test on the three judicial exclusions "laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas."
Global-Tech v. SEB 563 U.S. __ 2011
Stanford v. Roche 563 U.S. __ 2011 Bayh-Dole
Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Ltd. Partnership 564 U.S. __ 2011 Invalidity must be shown by clear and convincing evidence.
Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. 566 U.S. __ 2012 9-0 Patent Eligibility Medical Treatment The patent claims say nothing significantly more than apply the law, i.e., apply the natural laws that they describe and that simple additional instruction, by itself, is insufficient to transform an otherwise unpatentable claim into a patentable one. 35 U.S.C. 101 Invalidated attempt to patent natural law.
Caraco v. Novo __ U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1670 April 17, 2012
Kappos v. Hyatt 566 U.S. __ 2012
Bowman v. Monsanto 566 U.S. __ 2012 Patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder's permission.
Gunn v. Minton 568 U.S. 310 2013
Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics __ U.S. __ 2013 9-0 Patent Eligibility Isolation of Genetic Materials Myriad's claims are not saved by the fact that isolating DNA from the human genome severs the chemical bonds that bind gene molecules together. The claims are not expressed in terms of chemical composition nor do they rely on the chemical changes resulting from the isolation of a particular DNA section. Consequently Myriad's patent on BRCA gene—on the BRCA gene, are invalid. But because cDNA is not naturally occurring but is instead the product of human ingenuity, we conclude that cDNA is distinguishable from not-patentable products of nature. 35 U.S.C. 101 Invalidated patents on naturally occurring DNA segments, but not on cDNA.
FTC v. Actavis, Inc. __ U.S. __ 2013 Pay-for-delay is subject to antitrust analysis
Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International __ U.S. __ 2014 9-0 Patent Eligibility Business Transaction and Hedging Under Section 101 precedence and instruction to apply an abstract idea using a generic computer is not enough to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention. Petitioner's system and media claims are patent-ineligible, too, because they add nothing of substance to the underlying idea. 35 USC 101 Invalidated patent based on abstract idea.
Medtronic v. Boston Scientific __ U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 843 2014 Declaratory Judgment Act Burden of persuasion on infringement in declaratory judgment cases
Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness 572 U.S. __ 2014 9-0 Damages Attorney Fees An "exceptional" case is simply one that stands out from others because of its frivolous nature relating to the legal arguments or merits of the claim. District courts may determine exceptionalness by considering the totality of the circumstances on a case-by-case basis. The Court rejected the appellate court's "clear and convincing evidence" standard that successful patent litigants would have to establish in order to receive fees. Instead, the Court held that a simple discretionary inquiry would serve to determine whether granting attorney fees is appropriate. 35 U.S.C. 285 The lower appellate court construed the attorney fees statute in a manner that was unduly rigid. Restricting the grant of reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in all but two exceptions would render the statute meaningless and would contradict patent litigation norms. The appellate court's interpretation of the statute would also impermissibly encumber the district court's discretionary power to award such fees.
Highmark v. Allcare __ U.S. __ 2014 Fee-shifting.
Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies 572 U.S. __ 2014 9-0 Patent Infringement Induced Infringement A defendant cannot be liable for inducing infringement of a patent unless some party directly infringes the patentee's legal rights. Direct infringement of a method patent in turn can only occur where all steps of the method are performed because the patentee has a legally protected interest only in the claim's set of steps as a whole. A method patent steps have not all been performed as claims by the patent unless they are all attributable to the same party. 35 U.S.C. §271(a) and (b) Induced Infringement liability requires direct infringement. The en banc federal circuit court of appeal held that even assuming that Limelight did not directly infringe the patent, the evidence could nevertheless support a finding of inducement of infringement because the defendant who performs some steps of the patent and encourages others to perform the remaining steps may be liable for inducement even if all the steps are not attributable to the defendant. SCOTUS reverses this position.
Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. 572 U.S. __ 2014 9-0 Patentability Requirement Claim Definiteness Determining whether a patent claim is sufficiently definite must be done by evaluating the patent with the perspective of an individual learned in the relevant field, a standard that accepts a certain amount of ambiguity in the patent claim. However, because patents serve a public service function, patent claims must be definite enough to appraise the public at large as to what has or has not been patented yet. In attempting to balance these interests, the Court held that a patent is sufficiently definite when the patent taken as a whole, which includes the patent application, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's response, and any amendments made by the applicant, informs those learned in the relevant field of the scope of the invention with reasonable certainty. 35 U.S.C. §112 SCOTUS rejected the Court of Appeals' indefiniteness test of whether a patent claim is "amenable to construction of insolubly ambiguous" because such standard is insufficiently exacting. The asserted test is that if its claims read in light of the patent's specification and prosecution history failed to inform those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention with reasonable certainty, then a patent is invalid for indefiniteness. A definite claim takes into account the inherent limitations of languages and is meant to be understood by a PHOSITA.
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. 574 U.S. __ 2015 7-2 Standard of Review Claim Construction A federal appellate court could only overturn a district court's finding of fact if those findings were determined to be "clearly erroneous." Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a)(6) established this standard without any exceptions, and there was no reason to create one in this case. Because the construction of a patent claim is essentially a factual determination, it should be governed by this well-established standard. Therefore, while an appellate court may still review a lower court's construction of a claim de novo, to overturn the lower court's ruling, the appellate court must find that the lower court has made a clear error with respect to the findings of fact. Common Law Claim interpretation in patent, standard of review by the Federal Circuit.
Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. 575 U.S. __ 2015 6-2 Defense to Indirect Infringement Standard of Induced Infringement A defendant's good-faith belief that a patent is invalid is not a defense to a claim of induced infringement. Case Law After a trial court awarded damages to Commil, Cisco appealed and argued that the trial court erroneously instructed the jury that the standard for inducement was negligence and precluded the submission of evidence of Cisco's good-faith belief that Commil's patent was invalid. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and held that the standard for induced infringement is actual knowledge or willful blindness, and therefore that a good-faith belief of patent invalidity was a defense to claims of induced infringement. SCOTUS reversed.
Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC 576 U.S. __, 135 S. Ct. 2401 2015 6-3 Defense Based on Patent Misuse Royalty Payments Beyond Patent Term The precedent established in Brulotte v. Thys Co.—that a patentee cannot receive royalty payments after the patent has expired—should be upheld because there was no sufficient reason to overturn it. Case Law [Patent misuse] doctrine is governed by patent policy, not antitrust policy; not necessary to show anticompetive impact in misuse case
Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. 579 U.S. __, 2016 9-0 Damages Willful Infringement Determination The plain language of Section 284 simply stated that courts "may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed." There is no language that creates the kind of test (referring to the two-part test in In re Seagate.) that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit applied and precedent had established that the word "may" connotes judicial discretion. Enhanced damages serve as a sanction for egregious infringement behavior (e.g., willful, wanton, malicious, bad-faith, deliberate, consciously wrongful, flagrant, or acting like a pirate). 35 U.S.C. §284 The Seagate two-part test that required both objective and subjective bases is overruled. This case reviewed both Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc., both of which used the Seagate two-part test to determine willful infringement as the basis for deciding enhanced damages per Section 284. SCOTUS held the test overly rigid and could insulate some of worst patent infringers from liability for enhanced damages. Courts should take into account all related factors in applying Section 284.
Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc. 2016 8-0 Damages Design Patent Damages For the purpose of calculating damages in a patent infringement action, the infringing "article of manufacture" may be defined as either an end product sold to a consumer or as a component of that product. 35 U.S.C. §289 The relevant text of the Patent Act encompasses both an end product sold to a consumer as well as a component of that product. The fact that a component may be incorporated into the larger end product does not place it outside the category of an "article of manufacture." Therefore, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit erred in interpreting that phrase too narrowly to only refer to the end product. Under the proper reading of the phrase, an infringer will sometimes be liable for the total profit from the component of the end product, but the Court declined to determine whether that is the case.
Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC 2018
SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu 2018
WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp. 2018
Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. 2019
Return Mail Inc. v. United States Postal Service 2019
Peter v. NantKwest, Inc. 589 U.S. 2019 9-0 Damages Attorney fees USPTO cannot recover the salaries of its legal personnel under section 145 of the Patent Act. 35 U.S.C § 145 Patent applicants who are unhappy with the final decision of the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board have two options to appeal: they can appeal to the Federal Circuit (which conducts a limited review of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's decision) or sue the USPTO Director in the Eastern District of Virginia (which can consider new evidence not presented to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board). Because the second option is more expensive, litigants who choose it must pay all of the government's expenses regardless of whether they win or lose. The Supreme Court held that "all expenses" did not include the government's attorney fees.

2020–2029[edit]

Case Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary
2020–present
Thryv, Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies, LP 2020
United States v. Arthrex, Inc. 2021
Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc. 2021


See also[edit]

References[edit]