Last week, we reported that the Federal Circuit issued a relatively rare opinion granting panel rehearing in a patent case, Novartis Pharmaceuticals v. Accord Healthcare Inc. In the original, now-vacated opinion, a panel comprised of Judges O’Malley and Linn, with Chief Judge Moore dissenting, indicated the court would affirm a district court’s judgment that claims are not invalid for inadequate written description. Notably, however, a different panel ruled on the motion for panel rehearing. In particular, with Judge O’Malley’s retirement from the court, Judge Hughes joined the panel. The new panel, and in particular Chief Judge Moore (no longer dissenting) and Judge Hughes, with Judge Linn now dissenting, granted the petition for panel rehearing, vacated the panel’s prior decision, and, in the new opinion, now reverse the district court’s judgment. Perhaps most importantly, the changed outcome reflects a difference of view regarding application of the written description requirement. Here is an update on the case.
Here is a special report on recent news and commentary related to the Supreme Court’s denial of the petition for certiorari in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, an important patent eligibility case decided by the Federal Circuit in 2019. Today’s report highlights:
- an article discussing how the Supreme Court declined to hear “a case that may have clarified the circumstances under which inventions warrant a patent”;
- another article highlighting how “[a]ttorneys say the denial was particularly frustrating because all parties charged with interpreting this law have said it’s still unclear”; and
- a third article addressing how the denial “leaves it up to Congress and the USPTO to take action to fix some of the unpredictability.”
This morning the Federal Circuit released a nonprecedential opinion in a case appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board, affirming the Board’s decision to dismiss a petition for enforcement of a settlement agreement. Notably, Judge Chen dissented. The Federal Circuit also released a nonprecedential order dismissing a petition for a writ of mandamus based on alleged lack of jurisdiction. Here is the introduction to the opinion and text from the order.
Breaking News — Supreme Court Denies Review in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings, LLC
This morning, the Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, an important patent eligibility case decided by the Federal Circuit in 2019. In this case, the petitioner requested the Supreme Court grant review to reconsider the appropriate standard for determining patent eligibility and to determine whether eligibility is a question of law or fact. The Solicitor General previously recommended the Court grant review to reconsider the first question presented, addressing the appropriate standard for determining eligibility. But today the Court denied the petition.
Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. With respect to granted cases, there is no new activity to report since our last update. With respect to petition cases, six waivers of right to respond were submitted; two briefs in opposition were filed, one in an Equal Access to Justice Act case and one in a patent case; and the Court denied certiorari in three cases, two in patent cases and one in an employment case. Here are the details.
One of Justice Breyer’s last acts as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court might be voting to deny a petition for a writ of certiorari in an important patent eligibility case decided by the Federal Circuit. The case, American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc., tests the precedential value and limits of the test Justice Breyer himself created for patent eligibility ten years go in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. Today, the Supreme Court held its last conference of the current term; American Axle was on the list for consideration at today’s conference; and Justice Breyer notified President Biden that his retirement would be effective as of tomorrow at noon eastern.
This morning the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions. The first comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, vacating the Veterans Court’s decision and remanding the case. Notably, Judge Bryson wrote a dissent disagreeing with the majority’s analysis of causation. The second opinion comes in a trademark case appealed from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, reversing the Board’s decision. Notably, in the second case, Judge Reyna wrote a concurring opinion. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. The court sua sponte granted en banc consideration in a case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims. In another pending en banc veterans case, the veteran filed his en banc response brief, and the Federal Circuit scheduled the case for oral argument in October. The court also received a new petition raising questions related to the court’s grant of a petition for a writ of mandamus to order transfer of a patent case from the Western District of Texas to the Northern District of California. Here are the details.
This morning the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions. The first comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; the second comes in a case appealed from the Western District of Wisconsin and reverses a contempt finding based on an alleged violation of protective order. Notably, in the second case, Judge Reyna filed a dissent. The Federal Circuit also released a precedential order sua sponte granting en banc consideration to a case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims. The Federal Circuit released a nonprecedential opinion in a trade case appealed from the Court of International Trade and three nonprecedential orders denying petitions for a writ of mandamus, denying a petition for a writ of control, and granting a motion for a summary affirmance. Here are the introductions to the opinions and text from the orders.