An expanded Patent Trial and Appeal Board panel ruled Dec. 19 that the University of Minnesota must defend against inter partes reviews that Ericsson Inc. brought against five of its patents, finding the university waived sovereign immunity when it sued Ericsson customers such as AT&T Inc. for infringement, Law360 reported.
The seven-member panel, which included Chief Judge David Ruschke, ruled that state sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment is waived when an infringement lawsuit has been filed in federal court involving the challenged patent. In a concurring opinion, one of the judges concluded that sovereign immunity does not apply to IPR proceedings. ...
UM’s patents relate to wireless communications technology, and Ericsson filed petitions for review earlier in 2017.
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