Amicus Briefs Filed with Supreme Court Support Certiorari in Soverain v. Newegg
CHICAGO, Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ Soverain Software acknowledges strong amicus support for its petition for certiorari in Supreme Court case no. 13-477, which seeks review of the appellate court decision in the patent suit Soverain Software v. Newegg on the issues of property rights, validity of patents, obviousness, and the scope of the legal system. The appellate court reversed Chief Judge Leonard Davis, who correctly ruled that Soverain's patents were not invalid and were infringed by Internet retailing giant Newegg. The amicus briefs are written by leaders in intellectual property, technology, investing and academia who urge the Supreme Court to grant certiorari.
"These amicus briefs demonstrate the broad importance of Soverain v. Newegg, and the urgent priority for the Supreme Court to grant certiorari," said Soverain President Katharine Wolanyk. "Patent protection is vital to a thriving economy and the Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial. Judge Davis ruled that Newegg had not met its burden of proof, saying 'I don't think it's a close call on obviousness.' So it was error for the Federal Circuit to assume the role of the jury, reverse the decision and invalidate Soverain's patents," said Wolanyk.
Fellow technology company i4i Limited Partnership, which prevailed in its Supreme Court patent litigation suit against Microsoft in 2011, filed an amicus brief because, in i4i's view, the appellate court decision in Soverain's case directly undermines the Supreme Court's opinion in the i4i case. In that case, the Court reaffirmed the clear and convincing burden of proof that a challenger to a patent must meet in order to prove invalidity. "This attack on patent-holders and the adverse implications from the change proposed by Newegg are unprecedented, and would deal a devastating blow to any U.S. patent-holder, large or small," said Loudon Owen, Chairman of i4i. "The proposed change would alter the law and effectively eviscerate the patent system."
Professors Eileen Herlihy of Boston University School of Law and Adam Mossoff of George Mason University School of Law also filed an amicus brief. Professor Herlihy's legal scholarship focuses on the historical precedent for jury trials in patent litigation matters. "It is critically important that this Court grant certiorari in this case because the consequences of leaving the Federal Circuit's error uncorrected are far-reaching. The existing decision will lead to problems in the area of obviousness, by undermining the role of the jury in this important area of patent law related to patent validity," said Professor Herlihy. "In addition, the Federal Circuit's error in this case in applying the Seventh Amendment is part of a continuing pattern of error that threatens to pervade patent law. For this reason, it is vitally important that this Court take this case to provide guidance to the Federal Circuit concerning Seventh Amendment rights."