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Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation

IPR2016-01274 (2017)

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Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation

United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board

IPR2016-01274 (2017)

Facts

Covidien LP (petitioner) filed three petitions for inter partes review of a patent owned by the University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc. (foundation) (respondent). Separately, the foundation had filed a lawsuit in Florida state court, alleging that Covidien breached a license agreement regarding the same patent. Covidien filed a counterclaim in that case, seeking a declaratory judgment that it had not infringed the patent, and removed the action to federal court. The federal district court determined that as a state entity, the foundation was entitled to immunity from suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. The district court, therefore, remanded the matter to the state court. In the inter partes review proceeding, the foundation again argued that its status as an arm of the state entitled it to immunity. Covidien argued that allowing state entities to invoke the Eleventh Amendment would have the effect of unjustly immunizing patents owned by state entities from inter partes review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ippolito, J.)

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