On January 20, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., No. 13-854, which addressed an issue with widespread importance in the interpretation of patents: whether a district court’s factual findings in support of its construction of a patent claim term may be reviewed de novo or only for “clear error.” In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, the Supreme Court held that, when reviewing a district court’s factual findings made in the course of its claim construction, the Federal Circuit must apply the clear-error standard of review. That holding reverses nearly two decades of practice before the appellate court.
- A review of the case law and legal proceedings leading up to these decisions
- A summary of the opinion and the Supreme Court’s adoption of “clear error” review for factual findings made in the course of claim construction
- The potential impact of the Teva decision on future patent litigation and appeals
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