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Supreme Court to rule on patent appeals

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. [docket] to determine how the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is to interpret claims in a patent appeal. Federal appeals courts traditionally review a district court's conclusion only to determine if their decision was "clearly erroneous." However, the Federal Circuit has a long-standing practice of reviewing patent appeals de novo by exercising its own independent judgment to assess an inventor's claims. This case, involving the patent of the pharmaceutical company's popular drug for multiple sclerosis, will determine which approach is to be followed by the Federal Circuit. It will be argued next October or November.

The Supreme Court also denied review [JURIST report] of Roman Catholic Archbishop v. Sebelius and Priests for Life v. Health and Human Services Department [dockets] on Monday. These petitions sought the court's review of the validity of government rules to exempt religious employers from having to follow the birth-control mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [text]. These cases are already scheduled to be heard by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website] on May 8.

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