Here’s the latest.

Ruling on Major GI Bill Benefits Case Won’t Come in Time for Fall Classes

Reported by Leo Shane III on

Numerous veteran students hoped the case Rudisill v. Wilkie, currently pending appeal in the Federal Circuit, would soon be resolved before classes begin this Fall. A favorable ruling by the Federal Circuit would protect 12 months of financial aid provided to eligible veterans under the Montgomery GI Bill, averaging around $24,000 in benefits for the full 12-month period. The Department of Veterans Affairs argues the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit, which provides up to 36 months of aid to students, cannot be used in conjunction with the Montgomery GI Bill benefit. Despite the significant impact the Federal Circuit’s decision, in this case, has on hundreds of thousands of veterans, court officials expect oral arguments to be scheduled in late August or early September, well after the start of the Fall semester. In the lower court, Shane explains:

Last year, [the] lower appeals court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ practice of requiring veterans to give up their Montgomery GI Bill eligibility to receive Post-9/11 GI Bill payouts was improper. That means that veterans who use up their 36 months of Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits should still have access to 12 months of Montgomery GI Bill benefits if they paid into the program while they were serving.

Despite a favorable ruling for veterans in the lower court, VA officials refuse to recognize the lower court’s ruling and continue to deny eligible veterans their benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill. Enforcing the lower court’s decision without the Federal Circuit’s input would likely require a secondary lawsuit but, in the meantime, many veterans trying to further their education are being left out in the cold.

Independently Performed, Publicly Disclosed Prior Work Can Lead to Joint Inventorship

Reported by Alexander P. Ott on

In Dana-Farber Cancer Institute v. Ono Pharma. Co., Ltd., the Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision that ruled two Dana-Farber researchers to be joint inventors for six cancer treatment patents assigned to Ono Pharmaceutical. In this precedential opinion, “the Federal Circuit agreed that the co-inventors’ work constituted joint inventorship even though it was performed independently and publicly disclosed prior to [the] conception of the claimed invention.” Specifically, Ott explains:

The Federal Circuit acknowledged that simply informing another inventor about the state of the prior art does not make one a joint inventor. However, the Court contrasted that situation with a genuine contribution by a participant in a collaborative enterprise that lasted over a year, where the contribution happened to be published shortly before conception. The Court stated that such a situation may be sufficient to lead to joint inventorship.

For more on this case, see our coverage.

Full Federal Circuit Won’t Revisit ‘Alarming’ Relistor Ruling

Reported by Tiffany Hu on

The Federal Circuit denied Valeant Pharmaceuticals en banc rehearing of their April decision in Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. regarding Mylan’s alleged infringement on Valeant’s opioid-induced constipation drug, Relistor. In their April decision, the Federal Circuit reversed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment and found that “the lower court erred in determining that it wouldn’t be obvious to a skilled artisan to try a claimed pH range for stabilizing the drug.” Following the Federal Circuit’s original ruling, Hu writes, Valeant argued:

The panel’s ruling ‘threatens settled principles of obviousness in . . . alarming ways’ that the full appeals court needed to fix, Valeant said. The Federal Circuit was unpersuaded, however, and stood by its earlier decision without further explanation Friday.

After being denied en banc review, this case will be sent back to New Jersey for further consideration in light of the Federal Circuit’s April ruling.

For more on this case, see our coverage.