Orrick Library Seminar Series: US Supreme Court May Rule IPRs Unconstitutional: What Should Your Company Be Doing?

Report on Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group LLC’s case

Seminar | December.13.2017 | 9:00am - 10:30am (Tokyo Standard Time)

Orrick Tokyo Office オリック東京オフィス


Orrick’s Global Japan Practice is hosting a series of “Orrick Library” seminars to explore legal issues in various fields in Japan as well as the United States, Asia and Europe. The appellate attorney who will attend the Oil States argument will be joining the 90 minute event in our Tokyo office.  

For the past 5 years, Japanese companies sued by sophisticated NPEs in the United States have defended using the inter partes review (“IPR”) process of the U.S. Patent Office.  But in a few weeks, the Supreme Court will consider whether to strike down this critical procedure.  Mark Davies, our appellate attorney who will attend the Oil States argument, will be in our Office to discuss the case, and he will be joined by two of our experts in the IPR process, Vann Pearce in our Washington D.C. Office and Alyssa Caridis in our Los Angeles Office.  Please join us on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 to learn about the best strategy for Japanese companies that currently use the IPR process. 


Since the passage of the America Invents Act, Japanese companies have effectively used the inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings at the Patent Office to invalidate or narrow patent claims asserted by NPEs.  In Oil States v. Greene’s Energy, however, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the IPR process violates the Constitution.  If IPR proceedings are held unconstitutional, there will be a great deal of unpredictability about current IPR proceedings and even past IPR decisions.  Orrick’s Mark Davies will be attending oral arguments at the Supreme Court on November 27th and will be reporting on the proceedings in person at Orrick’s Tokyo office on December 13, 2017.  This is a special opportunity for Japanese companies to hear first-hand about the Supreme Court proceedings.  In addition, Vann Pearce and Alyssa Caridis will discuss whether Japanese companies should file IPRs while waiting for the Supreme Court’s ruling and also strategies to consider in case the Supreme Court rules IPRs unconstitutional.

Although the conventional wisdom suggests that the Supreme Court is unlikely to hold IPRs unconstitutional, there are several reasons to be far more concerned.  First, the Supreme Court only decided to consider the question after a new Justice was added to the bench, and that Justice is considered generally skeptical of administrative agency authority.  Second, there are surprisingly credible substantive arguments against the validity of the IPR process.  For example, the patent owner suggests that patents are private rights and therefore should not be subject to cancellation by an administrative court without the right to a jury.  Third, the Court is unlikely to fear the practical ramifications of holding IPRs unconstitutional.  The “friend of the Court” briefs are divided on whether IPRs promote Progress, and the Court has in the past not let concerns about practical consequences stop it from holding a law unconstitutional. 

Accordingly, there is a real possibility that the Supreme Court will hold IPRs unconstitutional.  Japanese companies should consider their strategies before the Supreme Court’s ruling, which we expect sometime between April and July of 2018.  A lot can be learned from attending the oral argument and listening closely to the questions the Justice ask and reactions to the answers.  Mark, Vann and Alyssa will talk about possible rulings and sensible next steps.    

There will be time set aside for questions and answers.  

Date: December 13 (Wednesday) 9:00 am – 10:30 am (Registration from 8:45 am)
Place: Orrick Tokyo Law Office (Map)
Mark Davies, Partner, Orrick Washington D.C. Office
T. Vann Pearce, Partner, Orrick Washington D.C. Office
Alyssa Caridis, Partner, Orrick Los Angeles Office
Language: English
Fee: No charge
Registration deadline: December 11 (Monday)

* David Case, Shinsuke Yakura and Anri Nakamoto will join and offer additional perspectives in Japanese.

** Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is an accredited MCLE provider in the States of New York and California.  This continuing legal education course has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 1.5 credit hours, of which 1.5 credit hours can be applied toward the areas of professional practice requirement.

For questions, please contact Aya Mori .


Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group LLC 事件の米国連邦最高裁の法廷からのレポート~

オリック・グローバル・ジャパン・プラクティスでは、「Orrick Library」と題し、日本のみならず米国、アジアおよびヨーロッパの各地域における様々な分野の法律問題についてセミナーを開催しております。今回のセミナーは現在米国連邦最高裁判所にて審理中のOil States Energy Services v. Greene's Energy Group 事件の口頭弁論を傍聴する予定の米国弁護士を当オフィスに迎え、口頭弁論で行われた審理の詳細について解説いたします。

過去5年間、米国のNon-Practicing Entity (NPE) に訴えられた日本企業は、米国特許商標庁の 当事者系レビュー(IPR)手続を活用してきました。しかし、米国連邦最高裁判所では、IPR手続の合憲性についてOil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group LLC 事件において審理が行われることになりました。同事件において、当事務所ワシントンD.C.オフィスに在籍し、弊所控訴審グループに所属のマーク・デイビース米国弁護士を東京オフィスに迎え、IPR手続のエキスパートであるヴァン・ピアース米国弁護士がワシントンD.C.オフィスから、アリサ・カリディス米国弁護士がロサンゼルス・オフィスからビデオで参加し、同事件について解説を行います。


米国発明法America Invents Act (AIA)の成立以来、NPEが依拠する特許権に対する無効の主張または特許請求の範囲を減縮させるために、日本企業は米国特許庁の当事者系レビュー(IPR)手続を効果的に活用してきました。しかしながら、Oil States Energy Services v. Greenes Energy Group 事件において米国連邦最高裁判所は、IPR手続の合憲性についての審理を受理しました。IPR手続が違憲となった場合、現在のIPR手続のみならず過去のIPRによる判断にも影響を及ぼす可能性があります。マーク・デイビース米国弁護士は、2017年11月27日に予定されている米国連邦最高裁判所における口頭弁論を傍聴し、今回12月13日開催の同セミナーにおいて直接皆様に同裁判における審理の状況について報告致します。




日 時:2017年12月13日(水)9:00 am – 10:30 am (開場および受付開始8:45 am)
会 場:オリック東京法律事務所(アクセス)
講 師:
言 語:英語

※1 当セミナーのプレゼンテーションは英語で行われますが、東京オフィスのディビッド・ケイス(第二東京弁護士会)、矢倉 信介(第一東京弁護士会)および中本 安利(米国弁護士・弁理士)が適宜協議に参加すると共に、日本語で対応質問等にお答え致します。

※2 このプログラムは米国ニューヨーク州及びカリフォルニア州のCLEクレジットの対象となっています。


CLE Credits Available: Y