Justices Told Smartwatch Case Is Best for Tackling Alice
Intellectual Property attorney Anthony Fuga was quoted in a Law360 story about a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review a patent infringement case in hopes of clarifying patent eligibility under Section 101. The Supreme Court is currently awaiting the U.S. solicitor general's brief on the case American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, but a group of attorneys recently filed an amicus brief saying the court should instead look to Interactive Wearables LLC v. Polar Electro Oy et al. In that case, a U.S. District Court found the patent Interactive Wearables claimed was infringed by Polar was invalid. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed without an opinion and then denied an en banc review petition without comment. Both Interactive Wearables' cert petition to the Supreme Court and the amicus brief argue that the case involves commonly available products and patents found to cover abstract ideas, which gets to the heart of the confusion surrounding Section 101 and therefore makes it a better candidate than American Axle to address the issue. On the other hand, Mr. Fuga, who represents Polar, said attempts to compare the cases fail, particularly considering how they were treated by courts — the Federal Circuit split on whether to rehear American Axle en banc but summarily affirmed the lower court in Interactive Wearables.
"Interactive Wearables and American Axle are beyond dissimilar," he commented. "The Federal Circuit has spent countless hours and pages debating American Axle; the Federal Circuit dispelled Interactive Wearables as quickly as it could."