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Court Strikes Down Tribe's Sovereign Shield Against Patent Review

A federal appeals court struck down a Native American tribe's claim of sovereign immunity against inter partes patent challenges.

In Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said the United States Patent and Trademark Office acts for the United States as a "superior sovereign." It has the power to review its own grants of patents, the appeals court said.

If Allergan has anything to do with it, however, the battle over inter partes review is far from over.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals lost its recent appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit related to its narcolepsy drug Xyrem, which had several of its "subsets" of Xyrem patents invalidated by PTAB.

The drug, which utilizes an illicit drug more commonly known as GHB, or the date rape drug, is, under the Controlled Substances Act, a Schedule III drug. The drug was only approved by the FDA under "restricted distribution regulations." Interestingly, along with patents for the drug, Jazz also sought patent protection for their method of monitoring and controlling the distribution of sensitive drugs, like Xyrem. Unfortunately, both the patent board and federal appellate court found the patents a little too obvious.

Does Coke Have 'Zero' Chance in Trademark Lawsuit?

There's a word for what the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said in Royal Crown Company v. The Coca-Cola Company. It's "zero."

Of course, the decision is much more complicated but still came down to the same word. Basically, the appeals court zeroed out a trademark decision regarding the term.

The Federal Circuit said the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board erred in framing the genericness of the term and sent the case back for further consideration. For Coca-Cola, it's back to zero.

Pfizer Loses Patent Appeal, But Wins FDA Approval

At a multi-national monster like Pfizer, good news and bad news happens daily.

Last week, the good news came from government approval of its anemia treatment. The bad news came from a court invalidating one of its patents.

In Anacor Pharmaceuticals v. Iancu, a federal appeals court said a process for using tavaborole was too obvious for patent protection. That's a treatment for "toenail fungus," if you wanted to know.

Dr. Dre Loses Trademark Case Against Dr. Drai

Dr. Dre, the rap star, sued to block a trademark by Dr. Drai, a gynecologist.

Dr. Draion Bruch, who goes by Dr. Drai, said he uses his short name for business purposes. Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, said the trademark would confuse people.

The Patent and Trademark Office was not confused, however, and ruled against the music man in Young v. Burch. But what is mind-blowing, how come the highest paid doctor is a rapper?

Oil Field Technology Patents Invalidated

Somewhere beneath the ocean floor, oil pools in rich supply.

On the surface, oil companies fight over the technology to get it. In WesternGeco LLC v. Ion Geophysical Corporation, an appeals court declared a winner.

The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said three WesternGeco patents for finding suboceanic oil were invalid. The winner claims it conquered a leviathan.

BigLaw Firm Offers Six-Figure Bonus to Former Federal Circuit Clerks

Fish & Richardson is like a flying fish.

One year, the law firm is flying with more than 400 lawyers. The next year it's down in the low 300s.

Now the lawyers are trying to make a big leap again. And this time they're recruiting with some serious bait -- a six-figure bonus.

For Google fans and investors, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals recent panel decision may not be the easiest read. Basically, Oracle's lawsuit against Google stemming from the unlicensed use of Java APIs was not just resurrected from the dead by the appellate panel, the jury's verdict for Google was turned into a win for Oracle.

The panel remanded the case back to the trial court, but only to conduct a trial on damages. It is expected that Oracle will seek approximately $9 billion for the extensive unlicensed use of the Java APIs. Notably, that's a rather large drop in the Alphabet Inc./Google bucket; a drop that represents a little less than 10 percent of the giant's annual revenue.

Patent Infringement Suit Revived Against Google

Everybody knows how to 'google,' but not everybody knows a 'googol.'

That happens sometimes when a word becomes so popular that another gets lost in usage. "Google," the company, has also eclipsed another company with its cloud messaging.

SimpleAir owns a '433 patent relating to push notification technology, which allows messages to pop up on devices without opening a separate application. SimpleAir won an appeal against Google for infringement of related patents, but is still under the long shadow of Google's popular cloud.

The Elbit Systems v. Thales Visionix appeal came down to a battle of experts, and it was the more supported expert's testimony that carried the day for Thales Visionix.

Thales Visionix is a French defense company that has vigorously defended their motion tracking patent. It has accused the U.S. Government as well as Elbit Systems of infringing on their IP. In response, Elbit brought an inter parties review action, which has not been successful.