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Supreme Court hears arguments in patent dispute

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases Monday. The court heard arguments first in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. [transcript, PDF; JURIST report], a long-running patent infringement case. Biosig sued Nautilus [corporate websites] in 2004, alleging that Nautilus infringed its patent for a heart rate monitor. A district court found Biosig's patent invalid because of "indefiniteness." However, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the lower court and found that the patent was clear and valid, as long as the ambiguity is not insoluble. The court will determine whether ambiguous patent claims with multiple reasonable interpretations defeats the statutory requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming.

In Lane v. Franks [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] the court heard arguments on (1) whether the government is categorically free under the First Amendment to retaliate against a public employee for truthful sworn testimony that was compelled by subpoena and was not a part of the employee's ordinary job responsibilities; and (2) whether qualified immunity precludes a claim for damages in such an action.

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