KNOWING MATTERS

NEWS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2018 – Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, announced that a member of firm pro bono client Resilient Agriculture Group (RAG), testified before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources oversight hearing, “The Weaponization of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Implications of Environmental Lawfare,” held on April 25, 2018.

The hearing focused on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process and related litigation for projects on public lands. RAG member Dr. Laura Alice Watt of Sonoma State University testified at yesterday's oversight hearing. Based on her research and analysis of regulation of sustainable grazing at the Point Reyes National Seashore, Dr. Watt addressed how the NEPA process can be improved so that projects on lands designated for multiple uses are not subjected to costs, delays or uncertainties that make them infeasible, while at the same time ensuring that NEPA’s objectives of robust public participation and meaningful evaluation of environmental impacts are vindicated.

Witnesses at the committee hearing presented case studies for grazing, gas extraction, renewables transmission, and gas pipelines.

Baker Botts partner Chris Carr and Ebbin Moster + Skaggs lawyer David Moser co-counsel RAG in its efforts to preserve and maintain working ranches and dairies on Point Reyes in Marin County, California.

Baker Botts lawyers are currently prosecuting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request against NPS for public records about the agency’s grazing management at Point Reyes.
 
Next Story / BREAKING NEWS

Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of IPR, Directs PTAB to Assess All Challenged Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2018 –The U.S. Supreme Court announced decisions today, April 24, 2018, in the much-anticipated patent related cases Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC and SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office. Baker Botts Intellectual Property lawyers release an analysis of the Court’s opinions and discuss what impact the outcomes have on patent prosecution, IPRs, Federal Circuit appeals and District Court litigations.

The Court determined in Oil States that inter partes review (IPR) is constitutional and does not violate the US Constitution's Seventh Amendment. In SAS, the Court reversed a Federal Circuit judgment by confirming today that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) must assess all, not some, challenged claims in an inter partes review.

Eliot Williams (Palo Alto)

“This pair of decisions cements the PTAB as an important forum in the patent litigation landscape. In Oil States, the Court, for the second time in two years, emphasizes the importance of the PTAB’s work in protecting the “public’s paramount interest in seeing that patent monopiles are kept within their legitimate scope.” In SAS, the Court expands the potential impact of the PTAB on litigation by requiring the Board to address in its final written decision every claim challenged in the petitioner’s initial filing. This will eliminate the PTAB’s current practice of “partial” institution decisions, which has led to some inefficient piecemeal validity litigation in both the PTAB and the district courts.”

Sarah Guske (San Francisco)

“While Oil States has dominated the headlines leading up to the opinions that the Court issued today, the Court’s opinion in SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu is likely to have greater impact on PTAB and district court strategies. Under SAS, the PTAB must now decide the validity of all challenged claims if it has agreed to institute review of any claim. With declining institution rates and open questions regarding the scope of the estoppel effect of PTAB final written decisions, the outcome of SAS may factor in to petitioners’ strategies in selecting claims to challenge at the PTAB.”

Michael Hawes (Houston)

“Reserving the due process issue is more important for particular procedures employed in IPRs than for IPRs as a whole. For example, during argument, the Court’s questions suggested that procedures such as adding judges to a panel to change a decision might not survive due process scrutiny. However, there was no suggestion that the entire IPR structure would violate the due process clause. This Court’s reservation of a due process ruling makes clear that the Court retains the ability to find specific parts of the IPR process unconstitutional for lack of due process in future cases.”

With over 180 IP lawyers and patent professionals, holding over 220 technical degrees, Baker Botts has an incredibly deep bench of practitioners with a wealth of experience in patent litigation, patent prosecution and post-grant proceedings. Baker Botts’ IP practice also authors the PTAB Trials Blog, which provides a unique perspective on news, trends and analysis of PTAB proceedings as they evolve, including IPRs, CBMRs, and post-grant reviews (PGRs), and the wide-ranging impact the proceedings have on the patent litigation landscape.
 
Next Story / OUR LAWYERS

London Law Firm Helps Fight Meningitis

LONDON, 12 April, 2018 - London based lawyers and staff at global law firm Baker Botts (UK) LLP are fighting back against meningitis through their support of UK charity Meningitis Now.
 
They have chosen the UK’s leading meningitis charity as their charity for the second quarter of this year.
“Both as individuals and as a firm, we are strong believers in supporting charities. We are very excited to be partnering with Meningitis Now to raise much-needed funds and help to continue the great work they do,” said Baker Botts Associate Sarah Beaumont.

Sarah suggested Meningitis Now in memory of her friend Nigel Bulmore, who sadly passed away from meningitis in 2007.
 
She added: “Each quarter a different member of staff fronts the charity initiative for the London office. Staff then raise funds through a range of events and donations for the chosen charity. We plan on hosting drinks socials, office Olympics, a cocktail and canapé reception and a raffle, plus dress-down Fridays every week throughout the quarter. We’ll also be handing out the charity’s signs and symptoms cards and putting collection boxes – and cakes – in the kitchens to encourage donations.”
 
Over the last 178 years, Baker Botts has established a long and distinguished tradition of giving back to the communities in which its lawyers and staff live and work. 
 
Harry Gardner, Corporate Account Executive at Meningitis Now, said: “Thank you so much to Sarah and everyone at Baker Botts for supporting us."
 
“Meningitis is a devastating and deadly disease that can kill, or leave survivors with life-changing disabilities and ongoing health issues, such as memory loss, deafness and loss of limbs. As a charity that receives no Government funding, Meningitis Now relies entirely on the generosity, energy and initiative of our supporters to raise the vital funds we need to carry out our lifesaving and life-changing work. Their efforts will make a real difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.”
 
Meningitis Now is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.
 
It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.
 
For more information visit www.meningitisnow.org
Next Story / MEDIA ALERT

IP Lawyers Speak to Supreme Court Case Questioning Constitutionality of AIA Patent Review

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2018 – The U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision this morning in the much anticipated Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC, a case questioning whether inter partes review, an adversarial process used by the Patent and Trademark Office to analyze the validity of existing patents, violates the Constitution by extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury.

The Court decided today that the America Invents Act (AIA) patent review program is valid.

Baker Botts Intellectual Property partners Sarah Guske, Michael Hawes, Christa Sanford, Wayne Stacy, and Eliot Williams are available to discuss:
  • Impact on patent prosecution
  • Impact on IPRs
  • Impact on Federal Circuit appeals
  • Impact on District Court litigations

To speak with any of our Intellectual Property lawyers, please contact Brecke Boyd at Brecke.Boyd@bakerbotts.com.

With over 180 IP lawyers and patent professionals, holding over 220 technical degrees, Baker Botts has an incredibly deep bench of practitioners with a wealth of experience in patent litigation, patent prosecution and post-grant proceedings. Baker Botts’ IP practice also authors the PTAB Trials Blog, which provides a unique perspective on news, trends and analysis of PTAB proceedings as they evolve, including IPRs, CBMRs, and post-grant reviews (PGRs), and the wide-ranging impact the proceedings have on the patent litigation landscape.
Next Story / NEWS RELEASE

Baker Botts Client Testifies to U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on National Environmental Policy Act