KNOWING MATTERS

MEDIA ALERT

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 / 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 / OUR LAWYERS

Baker Botts’ Lawyers comment on Private Equity Trends in the Oil and Gas Sector

HOUSTON AND LONDON – March 27, 2018 - Private Equity (PE) investment in oil and gas companies has raised $100 billion since 2014 and is predicted to continue to bridge the funding gap as a key source of capital vs. more traditional lending sources in North America and Europe during 2018.
 
Baker Botts’ lawyers predict that the recent trend of PE companies purchasing legacy E&P assets, undertaking drillco joint ventures (JVs), investing in midstream and downstream infrastructure projects will continue as investors seek new growth opportunities in the oil & gas sector.
 
“The funding landscape of the oil and gas industry has shifted dramatically over the last five years in the US, as private equity players have both entered the market as competitors to strategic oil & gas companies but have also partnered with them in developing many of the shale plays. Infrastructure investments are also on the rise around the oil & gas sector, as the expansion in drilling is driving a new round of midstream and other infrastructure development to handle the resulting hydrocarbons. Private equity involvement in the oil & gas upstream and midstream sectors has been good for the industry and will continue to grow,” said Jason Bennett, Chair of the Global Projects Practice, and a partner in Baker Botts’ Houston office.
 
“The main driver for PE activity outside the US has been low valuations, with the upstream sector generating the most interest. In mature regions like the UK, a particular challenge is how to manage decommissioning costs, and this has had a big impact on the structuring of recent deals,” added Paul Exley, a Corporate partner in Baker Botts’ London office. Mr. Exley commented, “The scale and uncertainty around these costs makes it difficult to ‘price them in’, so parties are having to be more creative to get the deals through.”
 
“Analysts are predicting that by 2020 many private equity oil & gas sector investors will have progressed investment portfolio diversification, and we will have seen a major shift in the location of infrastructure spending from the West to the East. Portfolio companies and funds with a better understanding of these trends in the international markets will be well positioned to capitalise on stabilised oil prices over the medium to long term, making their investment in longer cycle projects more attractive. Whilst some more established IOCs, and strategic players are ahead of the investment community in this regard, and are already replenishing their inventories in projects with first production post 2020, there remain significant opportunities for private equity in this more diverse and developed energy and infrastructure investment environment,” added Hamish McArdle, a Global Projects Partner in the London office.
 
Jason Bennett, Paul Exley and Hamish McArdle are available to discuss the increasingly pivotal role of PE firms in the oil and gas sector and examine what the future holds for larger E&P or upstream players looking to pursue JVs or divest their assets.
Next Story / MEDIA ALERT

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