The Supreme Court denied review today in the Phillips claim construction case. It granted review, however, in the MedImmune v. Genentech case. The question is whether a patent licensee must breach the license agreement before suing (by declaratory judgment action) to challenge the patent’s validity. The Federal Circuit has held that a licensee must breach the license. The Court will argument in the case in the October 2006 term.
As I’ve indicated before, the Supreme Court has an appetite for patent law not seen since the 1960s. With the three cases heard on the merits this term (Independent Ink, Metabolite, and eBay), and the three cases on which the Court has called for the views of the Solicitor General (KSR, SmithKline, and another I can’t remember at the moment), the MedImmune case rings in lucky number 7.
UPDATE: Dennis Crouch’s Patently O has the questions presented, and links to the Federal Circuit’s decisions in the MedImmune cases, here.