Supreme Court Holds that New Evidence May Be Presented in § 145 Actions, Must Be Reviewed De Novo

By Charles Pierce In Kappos v. Hyatt, 566 U.S. ___ (2012), the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that in a 35 U.S.C. § 145 action, there are no evidentiary restrictions beyond those imposed by the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The Supreme court also held that when new evidence is presented, the district court must make a de novo finding on a disputed question of fact. In 1995, Gilbert Hyatt filed U.S. Patent Application No. 08/471,701 (the ‘702 application), “Improved Memory Architecture Having a Multiple Buffer Output Arrangement.”  After amendments, the ‘702 application had a total of 117 claims, which were all rejected by the examiner.  Hyatt appealed to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences,  and the Board approved 38 claims, but upheld the examiner’s rejection for lack of adequate written description for the rest.  Hyatt then filed an action under 35 U.S.C. § 145 in District Court. 35 U.S.C. § 145 states, An

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Federal Circuit considers boundaries of spoilation

In Hynix Semiconductor Inc. v. Rambus Inc., Nos. 2009-1299, 1347 (Fed. Cir. May 13, 2011), Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (“Hynix”) appealed the District Court of Northern California’s denial of Hynix’s motion to dismiss arising from Rambus Inc.’s (“Rambus) alleged spoliation of documents. Hynix Semiconductor is a companion case to Micron Technology, Inc. v. Rambus Inc., No. 2009-1263, slip.op. (Fed. Circ. May 13, 2011) (“Micron II”). In Micron II the District Court of Delaware held that Rambus spoilated documents in dereliction of a duty to preserve and held Rambus’ patents unenforceable as a sanction. Both cases were decided contemporaneously by the Federal Circuit.