Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. Currently, with respect to the Supreme Court’s October 2021 term, the Court has not granted any petitions in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. As for pending petitions, since our last update four new petitions were filed in a patent case, a case challenging the Federal Circuit’s use of Rule 36 summary affirmances, and two pro se cases; the government submitted waivers of right to respond in four pro se cases; and the government filed a brief in opposition in a veterans case. Here are the details.
There is no new activity to report.
Four new petitions were filed with the Court this week.
In Bobcar Media, LLC v. Aardvark Event Logistics, Inc., the petitioner asked the Court to review the following three questions:
- “Whether the Court should resolve the circuit split under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 36 (wherein a minority of circuit courts issue judgments without any explanation of their decisions), and elucidate whether or not the use of one-word affirmances has constitutional and statutory boundaries.”
- “Whether the Federal Circuit’s extensive use of its Rule 36, to enter judgments which extinguish constitutional rights and private property rights without any explanation, violates constitutional and statutory protections, principles of right and justice, and this Court’s supervisory authority.”
- “Whether Federal Circuit Rule 36(a)(3) violates constitutional principles, such as the Seventh Amendment, Due Process, and Equal Protection, by authorizing panels to affirm summary judgment decisions denying jury trials, without any explanation whatsoever, and irrespective of the rules and rights in the circuit from which the case was appealed.”
In Rain Computing, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., the petitioner presented two questions to the Court:
- “Whether a patent claim may be invalidated for indefiniteness only if, under 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 2 (now subsection 112(b)) as construed by Nautilus, Inc. u. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 572 U.S. 898, 901 (2014), the whole claim, ‘read in light of the specification delineating the patent, and the prosecution history, fail[s] to inform, with reasonable certainty those skilled in the art about the scope of the claim’ and 35 U.S.C. § 112(f) (previously 112 para. 6) affects only coverage of a combination claim of which an element is expressed as allowed by the subsection?”
- “Whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit panel in this case erred by invalidating a patent as indefinite without mentioning 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 2 (now subsection 112(b)) and applying the Nautilus test and by substituting, without clear and convincing evidence, its conclusion of a ‘general purpose computer’ for the district court’s finding of no ‘general computer’?”
In Mankaruse v. Intel Corporation, a pro se petitioner asked the Court to consider seven questions.
In Mankaruse v. Raytheon Company, the same pro se petitioner presented seven questions for the Court to review.
Waivers of Right to Respond
In a veterans case, Garvey v. McDonough, the government filed its brief in opposition to the petition, which presents questions related to statutory interpretation. According to the government, “Congress declined either to limit the statutory definition of ‘veteran’ to servicemembers who were ‘honorably discharged,’ or to encompass within that definition all servicemembers who were ‘not dishonorably discharged.'” As a result, the government contends, “Congress left the ‘eligibility of persons discharged with neither Honorable nor Dishonorable discharges to a determination by the VA.'” The government further argues that, “[w]hen Congress revisits a statute giving rise to a longstanding administrative interpretation without pertinent change . . . [it] is persuasive evidence that the interpretation is the one intended by Congress.” With respect to the regulation at issue, moreover, the government explains that “the regulation must be upheld if it reflects a permissible construction of the statutory text,” and it argues the “views [of members of Congress] are powerful evidence that the VA’s regulation reflects a permissible construction.” Lastly the government points out that “the court of appeals [previously] upheld that regulation against a challenge materially identical to the one petitioner brings now,” and the government contends that the “[p]etitioner offers no sound reason to disturb that settled law and practice.”