Julie Langdon, Dunlap Codding Senior Associate, Quoted in BloombergBNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal
On May 3, 2016, BloombergBNA quoted Julie Langdon in “Supreme Court Will Review SCA Hygiene On Bar Against Patent Case Filing Delays.” The article noted that “The U.S. Supreme Court agreed May 2 to review whether a patent owner can recover damages if it waits more than six years after becoming aware of infringement to file a complaint (SCA Hygiene Prods. AB v. First Quality Baby Prods. LLC, U.S., No. 15-927, review granted 5/2/16).”
The “laches” doctrine blocks a lawsuit when a plaintiff has waited too long to bring a lawsuit. One issue raised in the instant case, is the difference between the language in the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 286, and the language in the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 507(b), and whether a ruling by the Supreme Court relating to the applicability of laches under the Copyright Act (or lack thereof) applies similarly to the Patent Act.
Langdon said, “The impact of a stronger (or weaker) laches defense will fall most heavily on non-practicing entities who primarily assert technology-related patents….And those patents [that are at least six years old and never asserted in an infringement action] are often being asserted by NPEs, or other entities that sit on their rights for years while others in that tech area develop potentially infringing products/methods.”