Two eagerly-awaited Supreme Court decisions maintain the status quo

In Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior Univ. v. Roche Molecular Sys., Inc., the Supreme Court found the inventor keeps the rights to the invention even if the research is federally funded. In deciding against the Board of Trustees at Stanford, the majority, led by Chief Justice Roberts, held that the Bayh-Dole Act does nothing to change the fact that US patent rights have always initially vested in "the inventor." Here is our earlier blog.

On July 9, the Supreme Court rejected Microsoft’s appeal of the finding that Microsoft infringed on an i4i patent. Rather than appeal the damages award (Microsoft will pay nearly $300M), the standard of proof to be met when trying to invalidate a patent was the issue litigated, as Microsoft argued that the “clear and convincing” standard should be changed to “the preponderance of the evidence.” In essence, Microsoft’s attempt (with a lot of software industry support) to change the entire patent legal landscape failed; the status quo remains.