Shook Attorneys Submit Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court Urging Patent Claim Construction Changes

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Seattle Managing Partner Bart Eppenauer, Seattle Partner Bill Harmon, Chicago Partner Lynn Murray and San Francisco Partner Rachael Smith submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Intellectual Property Owners Association. 

IPOA, a trade organization that advocates for effective and affordable IP ownership rights and counts several Fortune 500 companies as members, is the latest group to encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to change the patent claim construction standard for America Invents Act reviews by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Critics of the current approach say it is harmful to the patent system. 

IPOA’s brief supports the position of Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC, whose lawsuit has reached the Supreme Court; Cuozzo was the first company to have a patent invalidated in an AIA inter partes review. Cuozzo, IPOA and other companies and interest groups all advocate that the Supreme Court require the PTAB to follow the standards prescribed to district courts, which is to construe claims by giving them their “plain and ordinary meaning.” The PTAB has been instructed, in the America Invests Act, to construe claims of challenged patents by giving them their “broadest reasonable interpretation.” This broader standard, argues Cuozzo, results in too many patent claims being ruled invalid. 

In addition to its Shook team, IPOA is represented by Kevin H. Rhodes, Steven W. Miller of the IPOA.

A March 8, 2016, Law360 article covered the IPOA brief and issue in more depth.

The case is Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee; arguments will occur in the near future.