Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. There is no news to report on granted cases and no new petitions were filed. However, four new reply briefs in support of petitions were filed, and the Supreme Court did deny four previously-filed petitions. Here are the details.

Activity in Granted Cases

No new activity.

Activity in Petition Cases

New Petitions

No new petitions.

New Responses

In Bible v. United States, the United States waived its right to respond to the pro se petition.

New Replies

New reply briefs were filed in support of four petitions.

In Francway v. Wilkie, the petitioner, Francway, criticizes how the “the Department of Veterans Affairs and its reviewing courts currently deny veterans disability benefits by applying a judge-made presumption that relieves the VA of the burden to demonstrate that its medical examiner is competent.” The petitioner further alleges the Federal Circuit “expanded” the presumption of competency, not only by presuming the VA medical examiners are competent but also by “presum[ing] [them] to be specialists in any given area of medicine.” He goes on to argue that the Federal Circuit’s “’overrul[ing]’ some undefined aspects of the doctrine” in its decision in this case does not solve the problem, but instead “adds further complexity to an already complicated system that veterans are ill equipped to navigate.”

In Collabo Innovations, Inc. v. Sony Corp., the petitioner, Collabo, made three arguments in its reply brief supporting its position that the Supreme Court should grant review to consider whether retroactive application of inter partes review to a patent that issued prior to passage of the America Invents Act violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

First, the petitioner argues that the Supreme Court should grant certiorari because, otherwise, “the Federal Circuit will have the last (and only) word on the important questions of constitutional law raised by Collabo.” The petitioner, moreover, denies respondent’s position that a circuit split is necessary. Moreover, the petitioner argues that it did not raise new arguments not addressed to the Patent Office, but even even if it did, “the Court may nevertheless review them because they were addressed by the Federal Circuit.” 

Second, the petitioner argues that “the date on which Collabo acquired the [relevant] patent is irrelevant” because of “how the Patent Act ‘qualified [the] property rights that [the] patent owner ha[d] in [the] issued patent’ at the time.”

Third, the petitioners argue that “[Sony] should not be rewarded for its delay [in challenging the relevant patent], especially when Collabo began its licensing discussions with Sony in August 2014 and specifically asserted that Sony infringed the . . . patent in May 2015, over a year before the patent expired.” It goes on to explain that the relevant “patent should not receive less favorable treatment under the law simply because Sony waited until the eleventh hour to file its petition for inter partes review.” 

In Reese v. Sprint Nextel Corp., the petitioner, Reese, argues that certiorari should be granted because the “[petition] presents an ideal vehicle through which to address” the question “whether it is proper to import Sections 102-03 considerations into a patent-eligibility determination.” Reese further argues that other petitions addressing patent eligibility have not directly answered these questions. Moreover, he argues that “no court of appeals decision could present a more succinct and clear illustration of the importation of Section 102-03 considerations into a Section 101 patent-eligibility analysis.”

In Maxell, Ltd. v. Fandango Media, LLC, the petitioner, Maxell, argues that  “the Court should revisit the framework for determining patent eligibility” because “[t]he Federal Circuit has struggled to apply” it, and various Federal Circuit judges “have called on this Court to provide additional guidance.” The petitioner further argues that “the issue is important, because the standard for patent eligibility has significant consequences for technological innovation.”

New Grants and Denials

The Court denied four petitions this week: