The Top Intellectual Property Decisions of 2017: Their Practical Impact and Strategies for Addressing Them

January 22, 2018

The Supreme Court issued several important intellectual property decisions over the course of last year, but for the most part its opinions notably lacked any real weighing of policy considerations or practical consequences.

In the patent field in particular, the Supreme Court repeatedly rejected the Federal Circuit’s efforts to fashion patent-specific jurisprudence based on concerns perceived as unique to patent law. Instead, in reversing the Federal Circuit in six of seven cases, the Court hewed to simple (if not simplistic) principles of law, with little regard for their market impact. Here, we recap the most important decisions and their practical implications, and offer suggestions for pragmatic, strategic responses to these new developments.