Jenner & Block

"Supreme Court Holds that Underlying Factual Issues in Patent Claim Construction Must be Reviewed for Clear Error"

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., et al., 135 S. Ct. 831 (2015) will have a big impact on patent claim construction determinations. Decided on January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court in Teva held that the Federal Circuit must apply the deferential “clear error” standard of review to the underlying factual issues in a district court’s claim construction ruling, although the non-deferential “de novo” review standard still applies to the ultimate claim construction determination. Partner Louis E. Fogel discusses how this is a departure from the prior situation in which the appellate court applied de novo review to even the factual issues associated with a district court’s claim construction analysis.