by Dennis Crouch
By the time the Federal Circuit opines about a distinct patent, that patent is generally at minimum 8 decades old (median). I was wanting to know about the shortest time from patent-issuance to Federal Circuit composed conclusion. The swiftest I could find (for the past decade) is M-I LLC v. FPUSA, LLC, 626 F. App’x 995 (Fed. Cir. September 24, 2015) (non-precedential).
M-I’s US9004288 issued Apr. 14, 2015 and directed to a procedure for recovering drilling fluid by utilizing an improved “shaker.” A thirty day period later, May well 15, 2015, M-I sued FPUSA for patent infringement in W.D.Tex and requested a preliminary injunction. The district court reviewed the equitable factors and granted the preliminary injunction on June 24, 2015. As was its ideal, FPUSA quickly appealed — submitting its observe of appeal five times later on alongside with a movement to expedite. The Federal Circuit granted that movement. Appellate was finish on September 8, and the court read oral arguments on September 16. Eight days later, the court released Judge Hughes 7-website page non-precedential impression that affirmed-in-portion. In individual, the court docket agreed that the preliminary injunction was suitable, but concluded that the district courtroom should really have extra very carefully approved the scope. “[T]he preliminary injunction is overbroad … As we have previously held, broad injunctions that simply instruct the enjoined social gathering not to infringe are improper due to the fact these types of an get frustrates the remedy of contempt.” Id.
Overall time from patent issuance to composed decision: 163 times.
Observe – This data will come from my individual compilation of patent knowledge blended with some of Prof. Rantanen’s work obtainable right here: Jason Rantanen, “Federal Circuit Docket Dataset”, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/EKSYHL, Harvard Dataverse, V3 (2021). I’ll note that these are preliminary studies and so it is achievable that there is an additional case with a quicker opinion.
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Just one of the longest-delays from the past various decades is uncovered in Dome Patent LP v. Lee, 799 F.3d 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2015). The patent at challenge there was granted in 1981, nearly 34 many years right before the appellate choice. US4306042 (Oxygen permeable speak to lens material). Dome had filed the infringement lawsuit in 1997 — not a great deal just before the time of patent expiration. The defendants despatched the patent by way of reexamination. After dropping at the PTO on obviousness, the patentee filed a civil action to affirm patentability (this is no longer permitted for reexams). That complete course of action took extra than a decade to solve. Lastly in 2015, the Federal Circuit affirmed — holding the promises invalid as clear.