Reasons for invalidating a patent


The Obama administration sided with i4i and noted that defendants can always pursue re-examination of a patent by the Patent and Trademark Office if new evidence of prior art is discovered.Additionally, the American Intellectual Property Law Association and firms that greatly depend upon patent protection (such as 3M) urged the Court to use the “clear and convincing evidence” standard.Justice Benjamin Cardozo wrote that patents had a “presumption of validity, a presumption not to be overthrown except by clear and cogent evidence.” The Court decided to follow Justice Cardozo’s opinion in the 1934 RCA case to adopt the “clear and convincing evidence” standard and decided that the Patent Act’s enactment in 1952 should be interpreted as implicitly incorporating that standard.In this case, , the Court unanimously decided that Congress intended to utilize the higher “clear and convincing evidence” standard when it enacted the Patent Act.Microsoft questioned why the “clear and convincing evidence” standard should apply even for issues that the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) did consider.

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In addition, i4i strongly argued that the Court should use the “clear and convincing evidence” standard instead of the “by a preponderance of the evidence” standard supported by Microsoft.The Court acknowledged that the text of the statute itself, the Patent Act of 1952, establishes no particular standard of proof.However, the Court focused on Radio Corporation of America (RCA) v. The RCA case featured a dispute among various inventors about who had first invented a particular technology.The Supreme Court Justices affirmed the Federal Circuit’s decision and were unanimous in their 8-0 decision in which they rejected Microsoft’s challenge to the Federal Circuit precedent and held that “an alleged infringer must show by clear and convincing evidence that the patent it is accused of infringing is invalid.” At issue in the case was whether the invalidity defense provided for in the Patent Act of 1952 must be proved by “clear and convincing evidence.” As Lisa Mc Elroy explains on SCOTUSblog, the significant question in the case was what type of burden of proof applies when a party claims a patent is invalid.

Deputy Solicitor General Tom Hungar, advocating for Microsoft, claimed broadly that the preponderance standard applies for all challenges to patent validity.

i4i, patent, Patent Act, Patent Act of 1952, patent infringement, Patent Litigation, patents, SCOTUS, US Patent No.