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Supreme Court rules in immigration, patent cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down decisions in three cases Tuesday, including US v. Resendiz-Ponce [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], where the Court upheld the conviction of Juan Resendiz-Ponce on charges of attempting to re-enter the United States illegally from Mexico after being deported. The indictment in the case did not allege an overt act showing that he tried to enter the US, but the Supreme Court ruled that the indictment was not defective as it "need not specifically allege a particular overt act or any other 'component par[t]' of the offense." Read the Court's opinion [text] per Justice Stevens, along with a dissent [text] from Justice Scalia. AP has more.

In MedImmune v. Genentech [Duke Law case backgrounder], the Court ruled that MedImmune did not need to breach its patent license agreement with Genentech before challenging the patent's validity, overturning a Federal Circuit decision [PDF text]. Read the Court's opinion [text] per Justice Scalia, along with a dissent [text] from Justice Thomas. AP has more. In a statement Tuesday the industry group Coalition for Patent Fairness [advocacy website] said that the ruling demonstrated yet again that "the patent system needs to be modernized. Fair patent protections deliver innovative products for consumers and strengthen America's international competitiveness. This ruling is a positive step, but it is clear that a legislative remedy is needed to strengthen our overall patent system."

Finally, the Court remanded Burton v. Stewart [Duke Law case backgrounder] back to the lower courts, saying that Lonnie Lee Burton's appeal should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The Court had agreed to hear the case to determine whether Blakely v. Washington [PDF text], the 2004 decision which limited judges' discretion in criminal sentencing, "announced a new rule and, if so, whether it applies retroactively on collateral review." Despite hearing oral arguments [transcript, PDF] on those issues, the Court ruled that Burton never complied with the jurisdictional requirements of 28 US 2244(b) [text]. Read the Court's per curiam opinion [PDF text]. AP has more.

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