The U.S. Supreme Court waded into a quagmire of procedural and constitutional issues last week when it tackled the case of an Ohio man socked with attorneys’ fees after his company was found guilty of patent infringement ( Nelson v. Adams USA Inc. , U.S., No. 99-502, oral argument 3/27/00).

At issue was whether Donald Nelson, president and sole shareholder of Ohio Cellular Products Corp., was ever a party to the lawsuit that resulted in voiding of his two patents — and, if not, whether he could be made to pay attorneys’ fees to the businesses he originally sued for infringement of those patents.