Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report covers a discussion of the Federal Circuit’s struggle to apply precedent in the context of patent eligibility, a note on a recent petition for certiorari, and an article on a Federal Circuit decision related to the government’s alleged breach of loan agreements to provide housing for low-income tenants.
Kevin Noonan over at Patent Docs discussed the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, citing it as an example of the Federal Circuit “struggling to properly apply Supreme Court and its own precedent . . . and failing.” He notes that while the majority found the patents in suit invalid using “the two-step test for patent eligibility announced in Mayo and further clarified in Alice,” Judge Moore wrote a “full-throated dissent” stating that “[t]he majority’s decision expands § 101 well beyond its statutory gate-keeping function and the role of this appellate court well beyond its authority.”
Patently-O’s Dennis Crouch highlighted Athena’s new petition for certiorari in Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, which asks if “the Supreme Court really intend[ed] to bar patenting new diagnostic methods absent creation of new technological equipment.” Crouch notes that “this is an important issue” because “[t]he Federal Circuit judges agreed that this is the type of invention that SHOULD be patent eligible, but is NOT patent eligible.”
Daniel Seiden reported for Bloomberg Law on the Federal Circuit’s decision in Callaway Manor Apartments Ltd. v. United States, in which the Federal Circuit ruled that “[t]he U.S. Court of Federal Claims improperly concluded that the plaintiffs lacked standing because they assigned contract rights to the government when they transferred their properties and left the program.” Seiden highlights that “Callaway Manor Apartments Ltd. and other housing providers will get another chance to show that the government breached loan agreements to provide housing for low-income housing tenants under a federal program.”