Court Week

This week (and next Monday) the Federal Circuit will convene 18 panels to consider about 69 cases. This month, like last moth, the court will hear all of its oral arguments telephonically given the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, the court will hear fewer oral arguments than normal, with only about 26 cases being argued this month. Three of these argued cases attracted amicus briefs. Here is what you need to know about those three cases.

Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Hulu, LLC

As discussed in our argument preview, this case is an appeal from an invalidation of patent claims in an inter partes review proceeding. In it, Uniloc argues the Patent Trial and Appeal Board “erred in denying, based only on a § 101 patent eligibility challenge, Uniloc’s motion to amend the patent.” In particular, Uniloc’s position is that § 101 challenges are not permissible in IPRs, even with respect to proposed new claims.

Askeladden LLC filed an amicus brief in support of Hulu. Askeladden’s “urg[es] the Court to affirm the decision of the Board below holding that, in inter partes review, the Board may analyze and determine whether substitute claims submitted by a patent owner in a motion to amend comply with the subject-matter eligibility requirements of § 101.”

Brian M. Koide will argue for Uniloc.

Farheena Y. Rasheed and Jeffrey E. Sandberg will argue for the USPTO.

Former USPTO Solicitor Nathan K. Kelley will argue for Hulu.

The argument will be Thursday, May 7, at 10:00 A.M.

Hardy v. United States

As discussed in our argument preview, this is a takings case on appeal from the United States Court of Federal Claims. The plaintiffs are 112 individuals who collectively own 173 parcels of land adjacent to a railroad corridor in Newton County, Georgia. The United States appeals a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, who contend that they own the disputed property in fee simple, and that a conversion of the railroad line for use as a public recreational trail under the Trails Act exceeded the scope of an easement and thus constituted a taking.

An amicus brief filed by the National Association of Reversion Property Owners, Professor James W. Ely Jr., the Cato Institute, and the Southeastern Legal Foundation supports the plaintiffs.

Erika B. Kranz will argue for the government.

Thomas S. Stewart will argue for Hardy.

The argument will take place on Friday, May 8, 10:00 A.M.

Sellers v. Wilkie

As discussed in our argument preview, in this case the government appeals the grant of veterans benefits. The government alleges that this case presents the question of “[w]hether a claimant’s general statement requesting benefits on a formal claim form that identifies specific disabilities constitutes a claim for all ‘reasonably identifiable’ diagnoses within the claimant’s records.”

An amicus brief filed by the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc. and the National Veterans Legal Services Program supports the veteran.

David R. Pehlke will argue for the government.

Kenneth M. Carpenter will argue for Sellers.

This argument will also take place on Friday, May 8, 10:00 A.M.