Federal Circuit - The FindLaw Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

October 2017 Archives

Not all Silicon Valley legal disputes get handled in California. Google has found itself in front of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals quite a bit recently, particularly as the tech giant's self-driving car division, Waymo, has started to take off.

If you're wondering why, the answer is rather simple: The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals is home to more patent cases than any other federal appellate court because it's the only circuit court of appeals with jurisdiction over patent appeals. And naturally, tech companies are going to fight over tech patents. Fortunately, this means the judges on the court are usually rather well suited to hearing cases involving tech companies.

Below are three recent Google cases at the Federal Circuit.

Federal Circuit Shifts Burden of Proof in Patent Challenges

Who'd have thought an automatic swimming pool cleaner would make such a splash on patent law?

But such is the case in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal after a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Divided on the core question of a patent owner's ability to amend claims, the appeals court issued what it called a "narrow" opinion.

The justices said a petitioner in an inter parties review has the burden to prove unpatentability in amended claims. That changes everything.