2013/2014 Federal Circuit Year in Review

November 20, 2014

We are pleased to present Gibson Dunn’s second "Federal Circuit Year In Review," providing a statistical overview and substantive summaries of the 128 precedential patent opinions issued by the Federal Circuit over the 2013-2014 year. This term was marked by one en banc decision and several significant shifts in patent law jurisprudence, including significant developments in the law of claim construction (Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics North America Corp. and Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC v. Gevo, Inc., following last year’s Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., which is currently before the Supreme Court), induced infringement (Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc.), objective indicia of non-obviousness (Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Teva Pharm.), and Section 101 (Accenture Global Servs., GMBH v. Guidewire Software, Inc.; In re Roslin Institute (Edinburgh); In re Teles AG Informationstechnologien; Digitech Image Technologies, LLC v. Electronics for Imaging, Inc.).

The issues most frequently addressed by the Court this last year were claim construction (46 opinions), infringement (27 opinions), obviousness (26 opinions), district court procedures (23 opinions), and Section 112 (20 opinions).

The Year In Review provides a concise, substantive analysis of the Court’s decisions. The easy-to-use Table of Contents is organized by issue, so that the reader can easily identify all of the relevant cases bearing on the issue of choice.

Use the Year In Review to find out …

  • Which issues have a better chance on appeal based on the Federal Circuit’s history of affirming or reversing that issue in the past, including the real rate of affirmance on claim construction.
  • The average length of time from issuance of a final decision in the district court and docketing at the Federal Circuit to issuance of a Federal Circuit opinion on appeal.
  • What the likelihood of success is at the Federal Circuit if you are a patentee or the opponent based on the issue being appealed.
  • The Federal Circuit’s history of affirming or reversing cases from a specific district court.
  • How likely a particular panel will be to render a unanimous opinion or a fractured decision with a majority, concurrence, and dissent.
  • The Federal Circuit’s affirmance/reversal rate in cases from the district court, ITC, and the PTO.

The Year In Review provides a statistical analysis of how the Federal Circuit has been deciding cases, such as affirmance and reversal rates (overall, by issue, and by District Court), average time from lower tribunal decision to key milestones (oral argument, decision), win rate for patentee versus opponent (overall, by issue, and by District Court), decision rate by Judge (number of unanimous, majority, dissent, etc. opinions), etc. The Year In Review is an ideal resource for practitioners seeking an objective report on the Court’s decisions.

To view the Federal Circuit Year in Review – CLICK HERE

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP     

Gibson Dunn’s lawyers are available to assist in addressing any questions you may have regarding developments at the Federal Circuit.  Please contact the Gibson Dunn lawyer with whom you usually work or the authors of this alert:

Thomas G. Hungar - Washington, D.C. (202-955-8500, thungar@gibsondunn.com)
Michael Sitzman – San Francisco (415-393-8200, msitzman@gibsondunn.com)
Ellen Lin – Los Angeles (213-229-7000, elin@gibsondunn.com)

Please also feel free to contact any of the following practice group co-chairs or any member of the firm’s Appellate and Constitutional Law or Intellectual Property practice groups: 

Appellate and Constitutional Law Group:
Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. – Los Angeles (213-229-7000, tboutrous@gibsondunn.com)
Thomas G. Hungar - Washington, D.C. (202-955-8500, thungar@gibsondunn.com)
Caitlin J.
Halligan – New York (212-351-4000, challigan@gibsondunn.com)

Intellectual Property Group:
Josh Krevitt – New York (212-351-4000, jkrevitt@gibsondunn.com)
Wayne Barsky - Los Angeles (310-552-8500, wbarsky@gibsondunn.com)
Mark Reiter – Dallas (214-698-3100, mreiter@gibsondunn.com)

© 2014 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Attorney Advertising: The enclosed materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.