Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights a comment on confidence in the U.S. patent system, a question about Rule 36 summary affirmances by the Federal Circuit, and an article on the Federal Circuit setting aside a district court ruling that Facebook did not infringe in Mirror Worlds Technologies, LLC v. Facebook, Inc.
At the Wall Street Journal, former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul R. Michel and Matthew J. Dowd commented on their view that “America’s innovators need clear patent laws.” Michel and Dowd contend that “America is the world’s leader in technological innovation, and that’s unlikely to change,” but also assert that “America’s most important asset—intellectual property—is easily copied and counterfeited.” The authors note that the Supreme Court’s recent refusals to hear important intellectual property cases related to patent eligibility “diminish confidence in the U.S. patent system.” (We have similarly noted the significance of the Supreme Court’s denial of the petitions in these cases and highlighted other criticism on the same subject.)
PatentlyO’s Dennis Crouch posed the question, “[d]oes an appeal deserve an opinion?” Crouch highlights Fote v. Iancu. Crouch explains that Fote appealed, but the Federal Circuit “simply affirmed the PTO determination without issuing any opinion under its internal R. 36.” According to Crouch, “Fote has indicated his plans to ask the Supreme Court to review the propriety of the Federal Circuit’s no-opinion judgments.” (The Supreme Court has recently denied more than one recent petition raising the same issue related to the use of Federal Circuit Rule 36. You can search for these petitions by subject on our Supreme Court petitions search page.)
Jan Wolfe reported for Reuters that in Mirror Worlds Technologies, LLC v. Facebook, Inc. “the Federal Circuit set aside a lower court ruling that Facebook did not infringe three Mirror Worlds patents on data storage technology.” Wolfe notes that “[t]he decision, written by Circuit Judge Richard Taranto, sets the stage for a potential jury trial.”