State Sovereign Immunity Doesn't Apply In IPRs: Fed. Circ.

Law360 (June 14, 2019, 11:31 AM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit on Friday ruled that state sovereign immunity does not apply in inter partes reviews, allowing challenges to patents belonging to the University of Minnesota to go forward at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

The appeals court, in a precedential opinion, said while states are typically shielded from lawsuits from private parties, inter partes reviews are more similar to an enforcement action brought by a federal agency, where sovereign immunity typically does not apply.

“IPR is properly viewed as an agency’s reconsideration of a previous patent grant that is aided by information supplied by a third party, and...

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