Brief Fact Summary. The Respondent, College Savings Bank (Respondent), brought suit against a Florida state agency, alleging infringement of a patent it holds, under the Patent and Plant Variety Protection Remedy Clarification Act (Patent Remedy Act).
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Congress may not abrogate state sovereign immunity in patent infringement cases under Section: 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution).
Issue. May Congress abrogate state sovereign immunity in the Patent Remedy Act through Section: 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution?
Held. No. Ruling reversed and remanded.
Although Congress clearly meant to abrogate sovereign immunity by enacting the Patent Remedy Act under its Fourteenth Amendment power to enforce, the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) finds the legislation inappropriate under City of Boerne, 521 U.S. 507 (1997).
Specifically, the Supreme Court finds that the legislation is neither preventative nor remedial and as such is not congruent or proportional as required by City of Boerne. In particular, the Supreme Court notes that only eight patent infringement suits were brought against the states over the past century.
The Supreme Court also notes that the Respondent may still have state law remedies available to it.
Smith held that neutral, generally applicable laws may be applied to religious practices even when not supported by a compelling governmental interest.View Full Point of Law