Welcome to Skilled in the Art. I’m Law.com IP reporter Scott Graham. Just when the PTAB sovereign immunity wars seemed to be winding down, the U.S. Supreme Court has heated them up again. Was Monday’s decision in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt a game changer for state university patent owners, or just some meaningless dicta nestled in a tax dispute, as a lawyer for an accused infringer puts it? I’ve got some thoughts. Meanwhile, Stanford Law School has unveiled a publicly accessible database of 12 years’ worth of patent litigation, featuring 11 different categories of non-practicing entities. Mark Lemley is already putting it to work. As always you can email me your own perspectives and follow me on Twitter.

Justice Clarence Thomas. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

An Enigma Nestled in a Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court on Monday overruled a 40-year-old decision on sovereign immunity between the states. A lot of normal people looked at Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt and became concerned—or encouraged, depending on their perspective—about the high court’s willingness to cast aside other precedents, perhaps on issues like abortion or gun rights.

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