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

  • a post commenting on the Federal Circuit’s rehearing grant rates and how to achieve rehearing at the court;
  • discussion of a letter sent by two U.S. senators to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office concerning patent law’s disclosure requirements; and
  • an article discussing a recent case addressing subject matter eligibility of software claims based on improvement to computer functionality.

Patrick Wingrove authored a post for Managing IP discussing rehearing petitions, explaining that rehearing is “very difficult to get, in part because circuit judges really don’t like granting them.” As for the Federal Circuit, Wingrove expressed a “template for success,” recognizing that, “[w]ith the odds stacked against them, counsel need to be armed with good stories and evidence of division if they’re to have any hope of getting rehearings at the Federal Circuit.”

Steve Brachmann reported for IPWatchdog about how two U.S. senators, “Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT),” recently sent a letter to the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office “asking the USPTO to take swift action to ensure that applicants are disclosing all known prior art at both the USPTO and the FDA.” Brachmann noted the nucleus of the particular issue, stating that, “in a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit . . . Belcher Pharmaceuticals v. Hospira, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling following a bench trial that patent claims asserted by Belcher were unenforceable for Belcher’s inequitable conduct at the USPTO.”

James Baldwin published on article on JDSupra, highlighting that, “[i]n a recent subject matter eligibility decision, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the claims of several patents regarding authentication technology were not patent eligible.” Baldwin explained that, “[w]hile the phrase ‘improvement to computer functionality itself’ is opaque, [the] Federal Circuit provided some guidance [on eligibility in this circumstance] through the lens of other failed claims.”