The United States Supreme Court took a slight breather from patent-law issues in 2008. After issuing three patent-law decisions in 2007 (including KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc.), the Court issued just one patent-law decision in 2008—Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc. Despite the Supreme Court’s slower pace, however, the Court’s influence loomed large in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2008. In a number of cases, the Federal Circuit continued to work through the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent precedents, most notably KSR and the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. The Federal Circuit’s continued efforts to apply these cases in different technological and competitive settings may be setting the stage for further elaboration from the Supreme Court on the standard for obviousness and the availability of injunctive relief in patent infringement cases. The Federal Circuit also, in two en banc decisions, preemptively reevaluated some of its own precedents, considering how they measured up against older (but still binding) Supreme Court case law. In In re Bilski, the Federal Circuit considered its 35 U.S.C. § 101 patentable-subject-matter jurisprudence against previous Supreme Court decisions such as Diamond v. Diehr and Gottschalk v. Benson. And in Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa, Inc., the Federal Circuit went back even further in the annals of Supreme Court jurisprudence and revised its own design patent case law in light of the Supreme Court’s 1871 decision in Gorham Co. v. White.
Zubler, Todd; Tallon, Nina; Wisz, Jamie; Szeliga, Jamaica; Lantier, Greg; Heffel, Kevin; Chachkin, Carolyn; Lin, Ronnie; Straw, Christopher; Carvalho, Evandro; Chen, Joyce. “2008 Patent Law Decisions of the Federal Court A Review of Recent Decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: Area Summaries.” American University Law Review 58, no. 4 (February 2009): 747-945.