Federal Circuit Rules That States Are Not Immune from IPR

June 14, 2019

Since early 2017, courts have grappled with the issue of whether the sovereign immunity held by states and Native American tribes could shield them from inter partes review (IPR). That debate was resolved in April as to Native American tribes, when the US Supreme Court declined to review a July 2018 Federal Circuit decision that tribal sovereign immunity does not apply to IPR. Now, the Federal Circuit has ruled that states similarly lack immunity from IPR, holding in an appeal of IPRs filed against the public University of Minnesota by Broadcom (Avago and LSI) and Ericsson that there was no reason to treat states differently from tribes in this context.

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