Intellectual Property Outlook: Cases and Trends to Follow in 2018

Intellectual Property Outlook: Cases and Trends to Follow in 2018


By: Robert M. Masters, Jonathan R. DeFosse, Timothy P. Cremen, Kevin A. Ryan

Over the past several years, the U.S. Supreme Court has become increasingly involved in intellectual property law. In 2017 alone, the Court issued significant decisions addressing venue requirements for patent infringement cases, a U.S. manufacturer's liability for exporting components later incorporated into an infringing product, the ability of companies to copyright design features of useful articles, the First Amendment right to register disparaging trademarks, and the appropriate measure of damages for design patents. This year could rival or even surpass the last, with the Court already scheduled to address several potential high-impact issues, including the constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, the estoppel arising from those proceedings, and the ability of a patent owner to recover worldwide lost profits arising from infringement in the U.S. These forthcoming decisions, combined with district courts' ongoing interpretation of the patent venue provisions, an interesting attorney fees issue before the Federal Circuit, several potential bills before Congress, and new regulations from the Patent Office, may make 2018 a very interesting year in intellectual property law.

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