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Tuesday, 21 March 2017 17:20

SCOTUS Rejects Laches Defense in Patent Case

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Today, the Supreme Court in SCA Hygiene Prods. v. First Quality Baby Prods. (2017) held that the defense of laches cannot be invoked in patent cases to prevent legal damages within the 6-year statutory limitation set forth by 35 U.S.C. 286. In the overwhelming majority opinion authored by Justice Alito, the Court reiterated that laches is a judicial doctrine designed as an equitable relief, where there is no statute of limitations enumerated by law, or in other words, that laches is "a gap-filling doctrine, and where there is a statute of limitations, there is no gap to fill", but rather, "applying laches within a limitations period specified by Congress would give judges a 'legislation overriding' role that is beyond the Judiciary's power." For the full opinion -- https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-927_6j37.pdf

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Tony Guo

As a specialized technology counsel, Tony supports his clients in the high tech, creative, and online industries. His primary areas of practice include intellectual property protection, Internet law, and startups. Tony is a USPTO registered patent attorney, as well as a licensed lawyer in California and Florida. He comes from a background involving considerable hardware and software development experience, having worked in both development and IT roles in the tech and finance industries.