Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights a Federal Circuit decision related to proposed amended patent claims at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to undo harm caused by Fresenius, a comment on the increase of Federal Circuit opinions caused by record oral argument cancellations, and a Federal Circuit decision which sheds new light on Section 101 defenses.

Ruling Lets PTAB Keep Close Eye On Amendments

Ryan Davis filed an article with Law 360 stating that “[a] recent Federal Circuit decision that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board can devise its own reasons for rejecting proposed amended patent claims will ensure that amendments aren’t issued without close scrutiny.” According to Davis, however, the Federal Circuit’s decision in Nike, Inc. v. Adidas AG “left an intriguing question open” because the court “declined to rule on whether the board can look outside the record of the [inter partes review] in crafting its rationale for rejecting an amendment.”

Fix Fresenius to Restore Faith in the U.S. Patent System?

At IPWatchdog, Eileen McDermott highlighted that in Chrimar Systems, Inc. v. Ale USA Inc., “[t]hree amici have weighed in supporting Chrimar Systems, Inc.’s petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court and urging the High Court to clarify the law and undo the harm they say has been caused by the Federal Circuit’s application of the so-called Fresenius/ Simmons preclusion principle.” As explained by McDermott, “Chrimar and now the amici argue that the Federal Circuit’s Fresenius/ Simmons preclusion principle has caused confusion and is in conflict with other circuits as well as within the Federal Circuit itself.” (We previously reported on the amicus briefs which can be found on the corresponding case page.)

Opinions Surge

Perry Cooper commented for Bloomberg Law that “[t]he Federal Circuit’s record oral argument cancellation caused by the coronavirus has an upside for lawyers who complain the court doesn’t issue enough opinions.” According to Cooper the “Federal Circuit always writes an opinion to explain its reasoning when it doesn’t hear oral argument in a case,” and “after the court canceled half the arguments scheduled for April, opinions skyrocketed.”

New Section 101 Dispute

Scott Graham reported for that the Federal Circuit’s decision in CardioNet, LLC v. InfoBionic, Inc. “has revived a long-running patent infringement fight between providers of ambulatory cardiac monitoring systems” and “opened a new front in the ongoing debate over how to properly analyze Section 101 defenses.” As explained by Graham, “[t]he court found that a CardioNet Inc. patent on an automated process for identifying atrial fibrillation and flutter, and distinguishing them from more benign forms of cardiac arrhythmia, is eligible for patent protection.”