Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights:

  • an article discussing how the Patent Office “let’s women shine in court while Big Law sends men,”
  • commentary on a Federal Circuit decision addressing the timeline limitations on interlocutory appeals,
  • a blog post discussing a transition in the position of the Deputy Director of the USPTO, and
  • an article highlighting a Federal Circuit case that may determine an Appointments Clause challenge to the members of the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Perry Cooper reported for Bloomberg Law about how “[w]omen accounted for 65% of the patent office attorneys arguing at the Federal Circuit over the last 20 months” but “[a]ttorneys arguing from private practice over that same time period were only women 13% of the time.” She goes on to explain how “[w]omen are traditionally underrepresented in appellate practice overall, where often the senior partner with the most experience at the lectern gets the arguments.”

In a post on The National Law Review, Colin J. Statler commented on a recent Federal Circuit decision, Mondis Technology Ltd. v. LG Electronics Inc., “[a]ddressing the time limits for filing an interlocutory appeal in patent cases.” As explained by Statler, the court found that “all . . . liability issues were resolved as of the district court’s September 2019 order and that the 30-day clock started at that time.” Statler noted that, “[b]ecause LG did not file its notice of appeal within 30 days of the September 2019 order, the Court found that LG’s interlocutory appeal was untimely and that the Court did not have jurisdiction over the appeal.”

IPWatchdog discussed how “the USPTO announced that Coke Stewart, performing the functions and duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, will be leaving the agency in order to become a faculty member at the Regent University School of Law.” The post noted that “David L. Berdan, who was appointed General Counsel of the USPTO in November 2020, will take over the role.”

Nicole Ogrysko for the Federal News Network explained how a recent opinion from the Federal Circuit “strongly hinted that it’s closing in on a decision [about] whether the [Merit System Protections] [B]oard’s judges are ‘principal officers’ who need to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate in order for their decisions to be binding on any federal agency.” According to Ogrysko, “[t]he answer to that question is especially important at the present moment without any board members, let alone a quorum that can make official decisions.”