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Justices Threaten To Sanction Foley Partner Over Petition

The U.S. Supreme Court made the surprising move of ordering Foley & Lardner LLP partner Howard Shipley to show why he shouldn’t be sanctioned for his conduct stemming from an apparently jumbled petition for a writ of certiorari filed in a suit over a telephone call routing patent.

The order didn’t elaborate on why the high court disapproves of Shipley’s conduct, but a reading of the attorney’s petition raises at least two possibilities. First, the petition uses seemingly random punctuation and format changes, as well as confusing language and sentence structure.

For instance, the petition begins, “This petition is a refinement of SSBG’s preceding petition [121]1), asking this Court to unmistakably clarify, to the whole patent community12), that its Mayo/Biosig/Alice decisions (‘3 decisions’) ended the claim construction anomaly2) hampering especially ET CIs1) – but meet, by their ‘ET proof’ refined claim construction, all ET CI’s needs [sic].”

Additionally, the end of the petition specifies that the patent’s primary inventor, Sigram Schindler, made “significant contributions” to the petition.

Furthermore, the high court also rejected without comment Sigram Schindler’s challenge of an April ruling by the Federal Circuit that U.S. Patent Number 6,954,453 — which covers a method and apparatus for transmitting data in a telecommunications network — was obvious.

The panel’s ruling had affirmed a finding of obviousness by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which reached its decision at the conclusion of a pre-America Invents Act re-examination proceeding performed at the request of Cisco Systems Inc.

For more information, see Law360.



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