Here’s the latest.

D.C. Protests Shutter Federal Circuit for Second Day in a Row

Reported by Perry Cooper on

Due to protests following the death of George Floyd, the Federal Circuit clerk’s office was rendered inaccessible for both Monday and Tuesday this week. For both days, the office was inaccessible for paper filings, mail deliveries, and night box submissions. However, electronic filing was not affected. As of Wednesday, the clerk’s office has been reopened and made accessible. Cooper explained:

The Federal Circuit closed its offices [again] early Tuesday after receiving advice from law enforcement monitoring protests in Washington.

For information on any further closings, see the Federal Circuit’s announcements web-page.

Federal Circuit Allows ‘Pump And Dump’ Victims To Recoup Losses

Reported by Dylan Moroses on

The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded the lower court’s decision in Adkins v. U.S. on the grounds that the plaintiff “did not have to show that there was no possible way to recover any of their money to deduct the losses” to avoid denial of their tax refund bid. Victims of a fraudulent “pump and dump” investment scheme, the plaintiffs sought to recoup some of the over two million dollar loss sustained from the scheme. The lower court claimed the plaintiffs were not entitled to the judgement because they had other remedies available to compensate them for their loss. However, the Federal Circuit disagreed:

The correct standard to apply to determine if the couple could claim the theft loss deduction is whether there was ‘a reasonable prospect of recovery’ of their losses according to the opinion. Under that lens, there was overwhelming evidence to determine that the Adkinses had a reasonable claim to request a tax refund, the opinion said.

For more on this case, see our coverage.

A Party May Have Standing Even with Incorrect Patent Assignment

Reported by Cecilia Choy on

In Schwendimann v. Arkwright Advanced Coating, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision “that a reformation of an incorrect assignment supports Article III standing.” The defendant claimed the plaintiff lacked standing because the plaintiff did not own the patents at issue because they were not properly assigned to the plaintiff. However, the Federal Circuit explained that “whether a party is a patentee under 35 U.S.C. § 281 does not implicate district court subject-matter jurisdiction.” In her report, Cecilia Choy explained:

First, the Court found that Schwendimann was a patentee when she filed her action. An assignment must be documented in writing to confer patentee status to an assignee. The assignment of a patent’s legal title is interpreted under the state’s laws where the assignment took place. The Court concluded that the district court could reform a written contract to accurately reflect the parties’ intention. . . . Second, the Court found that the assignment was reflected in a ‘written instrument’ under 35 U.S.C. § 261, as neither § 261 nor case law specified the type of writing necessary to convey an assignment of patent rights. The district court’s reformation corrected the written instrument retroactively to confirm that the instrument predated the filing of the lawsuit.

For more on this case, see our coverage.