There have been a number of important decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit Court that will have significant impact on U.S. patent law and the litigation resulting from the patents. A brief description of each case is set forth below.
The Microsoft and Therasense decisions appear to strengthen patents by making it more difficult to invalidate them during litigation. The Stanford decision makes it clear the importance of having the appropriate employment agreement in place with employee inventors, especially if the work was funded at least partially by U.S. federal funds. While the impact of these cases is somewhat speculative at this point, it is undisputable that these cases will have a significant impact. Only years from now will we be able to determine the true impact of these cases.