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Patent Case Implicates Fundamental Due Process Question

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January 3, 2022

One of the first cases the Supreme Court will consider in 2022 involves one of the oldest conundrums in U.S. jurisprudence, the division between issues-of-fact and issues-of-law, and how it affects due process. A design company’s petition for cert in respect to a patent infringement issue implicates what Dennis Crouch calls “ an odd dynamic in patent law.” Patent infringement is an issue-of-fact tried by a jury, but claim construction is often treated as a question of law and decided by a judge, thus settling a case before the right to a jury trial can be invoked. Does this undermine the Constitutionally protected jury system? Olaf Sööt Design, LLC v. Daktronics, Inc., et al., No. 21-438 (Petition) focuses-in on these issues.

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