On June 9, 2016, the United States Tax Court issued an opinion rejecting the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) proposed transfer pricing method that would have increased royalties payable to Medtronic, Inc. by $1.4 billion, calling the IRS’ proposed method arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable. The court instead accepted Medtronic’s chosen transfer pricing method with minor alterations.
On June 1, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied Exergen Corporation’s (“Exergen”) motion for enhanced damages in a patent infringement action against Kaz USA, Inc. (“Kaz”). Exergen accused Kaz. of infringing its patents directed to temporal artery thermometers. Exergen moved for enhanced damages after a jury awarded it roughly $15 million in lost profits and reasonable royalties.
In granting defendant’s proposal regarding the scope of a prosecution bar, the court faulted plaintiff’s failure in developing a record to demonstrate the alleged harm it would suffer if it were denied counsel of its choice.
According to the Federal Circuit, a party seeking imposition of a patent prosecution bar must show that there is a risk that counsel involved in matters before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) may inadvertently use confidential information learned in litigation. The risk of inadvertent disclosure turns on the extent to which counsel is involved in “competitive decision-making” with its client. The court must then balance that risk against the potential harm that the party affected by the bar would face were it to be denied counsel of its choice.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Alps South’s writ to review the Federal Circuit’s decision that the company lacked standing to assert its patent covering prosthetic liners against The Ohio Willow Wood Company. The district court initially found that the patent was valid and willfully infringed, and denied Ohio Willow’s motion to dismiss for lack of standing. On appeal, Ohio Willow argued that Alps South did not possess all substantial rights to the asserted patent. Alps South obtained the asserted patent via a license agreement in which the original licensor retained the rights to make and sell products outside the field of prosthetic liners. Because the license agreement had a field-of-use restriction and Alps South did not join the original assignee as a co-plaintiff, Ohio Willow argued that Alps South lacked standing to sue.
PTAB, in a rare move, granted-in-part and denied-in-part the Petitioner AVX Corp.’s Request for Rehearing and instituted an inter partes review of a Greatbatch Ltd. patent on a pacemaker component. The Request asserted that the Board misapprehended or overlooked certain matters in its decision on institution. The same three-judge panel of the PTAB that had previously denied AVX’s request for inter partes review under the America Invents Act in August, granted the company’s request for rehearing and agreed that the first decision was erroneous. In doing so, the Board agreed that it had overlooked Petitioner’s previously presented arguments about the disclosure in the alleged prior art. The Board held that upon properly considering AVX’s arguments, it was persuaded that AVX had shown that several claims of the patent are likely invalid.