Here is this month’s update on activity in cases pending before panels of the Federal Circuit where the cases involve at least one amicus brief. We keep track of these cases in the “Other Cases” section of our blog. Today, with respect to these cases we highlight three opinions: the first in a death benefit case addressing a former spouse’s annuity, the second in a patent case, and a consolidated cases regarding the Tucker Act. We also highlight reply briefs in three patent cases, and an argument recap in a patent case that attracted two amicus briefs. Here are the details.
Since our last report, the Federal Circuit has heard oral argument in a case that attracted two amicus briefs.
Zaxcom, Inc. v. Lectrosonics, Inc.
In this patent case, the parties presented their arguments concerning whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board correctly construed certain claims, correctly found certain claim elements in the prior art, whether its analysis of secondary considerations of non-obviousness was correct, and whether the Board correctly found substitute claims to be patentable. See our argument recap for a summary of the oral argument. Notably, the court recently issued its opinion in this case, as discussed below.
This past month the Federal Circuit issued three opinions disposing of case that attracted amicus briefs.
Cross v. Office of Personnel Management
In this death benefit case involving the survivor benefits of a surviving former spouse, the Federal Circuit reversed the Merit Systems Protection Board’s denial of survivor benefits. The Federal Circuit determined Ms. Cross was entitled to receive a former spouse survivor annuity because of the undisputed intent of the decedent to provide this to his former spouse following his death. See our opinion summary for more information.
Zaxcom Inc. v. Lectrosonics, Inc.
As discussed above, in this case, the parties presented their arguments concerning whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board correctly construed certain claims, correctly found certain claim elements in the prior art, whether its analysis of secondary considerations of non-obviousness was correct, and whether the Board correctly found substitute claims to be patentable. The Federal Circuit affirmed the final decisions of the PTAB. We will publish an opinion summary soon.
Fairholme Funds, Inc. v. United States; Owl Creek Asia I, L.P. v. United States; Cacciapalle v. United States; Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. United States
In these consolidated Tucker Act cases, the non-government parties appealed a judgment of the Court of Federal Claims, which granted-in-part the government’s motion to dismiss the parties’ constitutional and non-constitutional claims for either lack of standing or lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The government cross-appealed a judgment denying its motion to dismiss shareholders’ derivative claims. The Federal Circuit concluded “that the Claims Court correctly dismissed shareholders’ directly pled claims but erred in not dismissing shareholder’s derivatively pled allegations.” Therefore, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part. We will publish an opinion summary soon.
Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Thales USA, Inc.
In this patent case, Thales appeals a district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction that sought “to prevent Philips from pursuing an . . . exclusion order against Thales.” As we have previously reported, Thales received support in the form of two amicus briefs.
Since our last report about this case, Thales filed its reply brief. In it, Thales reasserted its argument that the district court made a legal error regarding FRAND commitments. Thales maintains that a question on appeal is “whether Philips can pursue an ITC exclusion order on FRAND-encumbered patents (‘SEPs’) against Thales” while Thales was a “willing licensee that pledged to take a global license to Philip’s entire SEP portfolio” based “on terms determined by” a court of Philip’s choosing.
Centripetal Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc.
In this patent case, Cisco appeals a district court’s ruling, arguing the judgment was the “result of multiple misunderstandings of patent law.” As we previously reported, Cisco received support in the form of an amicus brief filed by High Tech Inventors Alliance.
Since our last report about this case, Cisco filed its reply brief. In it, Cisco maintains that Centripetal’s patent claims “are far narrower and include specific limitations that Cisco’s products do not practice.” Cisco then contends that Centripetal’s arguments on appeal “retreat from the infringement and damages theories” it presented in the district court and instead presents new arguments that are “unsupported by its experts.”
Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Motorola Mobility LLC
In this patent case, Uniloc appeals a decision by the District of Delaware granting a motion to dismiss filed by Motorola. As we previously reported, Uniloc received support in the form of an amicus brief filed by Circa Inc. (d/b/a “Densify”).
Since our last report about this case, Uniloc filed its reply brief. Uniloc maintains that precedent establishes its constitutional right of standing in filing suit. Uniloc then asserts that Motorola’s argument concerning Uniloc’s standing was “belatedly” presented. According to Uniloc, Motorola not only “failed to preserve preclusion” but “waived preclusion” when it told the district court that the precedent it now cites was “not binding.”