- Consensus-Building Judge Taking the Reins at Federal Circuit – According to Perry Cooper at BloombergLaw.com, as the new Chief of the Federal Circuit, Judge Moore could try to bring the court together on sticky issues.
- Court Reverses Ruling Critics Said Left Feds Vulnerable to Retaliation, Citing ‘Magnitude’ of Errors – Eric Katz at GovernmentExecutive.com commented on a recent employment law decision by the Federal Circuit reversing the Merit Systems Protection Board.
- Australian Company Loses Ugg Trademark Battle – Yan Zhuang from the New York Times reported on a Federal Circuit trademark decision that reportedly “hits a nerve for Australians, who consider [Ugg] footwear a national, if unfashionable, symbol.”
Here is the latest.
Consensus- Building Judge Taking the Reins at Federal Circuit
As noted by Perry Cooper, shortly after Judge Prost began her term as Chief Judge “in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, which upended the law on patent eligibility.” In her article, Cooper theorizes that Judge “Moore could try to garner more consensus on the state of patent eligibility law, which has sharply divided the court in the seven years that Judge Sharon Prost has been chief.” Indeed, as reported by Perry Cooper, “[i]ncoming Federal Circuit Chief Judge Kimberly Moore is known for fostering relationships among clerks and judges, a style that could help bring together a court split over knotty legal issues.”
Court Reverses Ruling Critics Said Left Feds Vulnerable to Retaliation, Citing ‘Magnitude’ of Errors
As summarized by Eric Katz, the Federal Circuit “has overruled an administrative judge on a case with significant implications for federal employee protections, saying the judge’s errors in his initial ruling were so severe he should be removed from the case entirely.” In the case, Tao v. Merit Systems Protection Board, Katz explains that the Office of Special counsel filed a brief saying that the MSPB judge’s ruling was “too narrow and ignored that [Tao] was involved in several protected activities, not just shedding light on wrongdoing.” As reported by Katz, the Federal Circuit “ruled with Tao . . . [reversing] the judge’s ruling on several key issues in the case and remanded it back to him for further proceedings.”
For more information on this case, see our coverage.
Australian Company Loses Ugg Trademark Battle
In a New York Times article, Yan Zhuang reports on Deckers Outdoor Corporation v. Australian Leather Pty Ltd, where the Federal Circuit rejected an Australian company’s “long-shot bid to scrap a U.S. trademark on the word ‘Ugg’.” In the article, Zhuang reports that the owner of Australian Leather, Eddie Oygur, declared that he is willing to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be because “’[t]he trademark should never have been given in the first place to the U.S.’” Zhuang comments that this case “illustrate[s] how global access to products on the internet could create clashes between local legal systems.”