Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights a Vietnam veteran’s attempt to collect legal fees related to Agent Orange benefits, a rare free speech ruling by the Federal Circuit in a patent case, and a recent petition by Comcast to the Supreme Court.
At Law.com, Marcia Coyle filed an article stating that in Procopio v. Wilkie “[t]he Trump administration’s Justice Department is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a Vietnam veteran’s attempt to collect $35,000 in legal fees for his landmark court victory opening potentially billions of dollars in Agent Orange benefits to thousands of so-called ‘blue water’ Navy service members.” Coyle notes that in the Justice Department’s brief, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco stated that, “[i]f Congress had intended that attorney’s fees be more readily available to prevailing veterans than to other persons who litigate against the government, it could have enacted a separate attorney’s-fee provision specifically governing veterans’-benefits cases.”
Jan Wolfe reported for Reuters that “[i]n a rare ruling on free speech rights in a patent case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday lifted an injunction that had blocked an eye care company from making public statements about a rival it accused of infringement.” As explained by Wolfe, in Myco Industries, Inc. v. BlephEx, LLC, the Federal Circuit ruled that “[g]ranting the injunction was . . . an abuse of discretion because [U.S. District Judge Gershwin] Drain never made a finding that BlephEx acted in bad faith.”
PatentlyO’s Dennis Crouch highlighted Comcast’s recent petition to the Supreme Court in Comcast Corp. v. International Trade Commission. According to Crouch, “[t]he USITC sided with Rovi against Comcast and barred importation of the set top boxes that Comcast uses for its X1 cable service.” Crouch notes that Comcast’s petition raises three questions, including whether “the case [should] be vacated as moot since the patents are now expired.” (We reported on this petition last week.)