The Court has issued a new order list, and in addition to one GVR there are 4 new substantive grants (2 pairs of consolidated cases):
(1) Hughes v. PPL Energyplus and CPV Maryland v. PPL Energyplus were granted, consolidated, and given an hour of oral argument. Questions presented: (1) Whether, where, as a result of a state-directed procurement, the contract price to build and operate a power plant is the developer’s bid price, and may result in payments beyond what the developer earns selling the plant’s capacity in the auction supervised by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the program is “field preempted” as a state’s attempt to set interstate wholesale rates; and (2) whether a state-directed contract to support construction of a power plant is “conflict preempted” because its long-term pricing structure provides incentives different from the incentives provided by prices generated in the FERC-supervised yearly capacity auction.
(2) Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer were granted, consolidated, and given an hour of oral argument. The grant was limited to question (1) in Halo—whether the Federal Circuit erred by applying a rigid, two-part test for enhancing patent infringement damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284, that is the same as the rigid, two-part test this Court rejected last term in Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc. for imposing attorney fees under the similarly-worded 35 U.S.C. § 285—but included both questions in Stryker: (1) Whether the Federal Circuit improperly abrogated the plain meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 284 by forbidding any award of enhanced damages unless there is a finding of willfulness under a rigid, two-part test, when this Court recently rejected an analogous framework imposed on 35 U.S.C. § 285, the statute providing for attorneys' fee awards in exceptional cases; and (2) whether a district court has discretion under 35 U.S.C. § 284 to award enhanced damages where an infringer intentionally copied a direct competitor's patented invention, knew the invention was covered by multiple patents, and made no attempt to avoid infringing the patents on that invention. In addition, regarding Stryker SCOTUS granted the motions of Independent Inventor Groups and Nokia Technologies OY, et al. leave to file a brief as amici curiae.