This morning the Federal Circuit released a precedential opinion in a case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims concerning attorney’s fees; a nonprecedential opinion in a patent case appealed from the Southern District of California; and a nonprecedential order dismissing an appeal for failure to prosecute. Here are the introductions to the opinions and text from the order.  

Haggart v. United States (Precedential)

In 2009, the United States Court of Federal Claims (Claims Court) certified a class of landowners seeking just compensation from the United States under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution for what they alleged was a government taking of their property. Two of the class members are spouses Denise and Gordon Woodley, who sought compensation for taking of property they jointly own as community property. After approval of a settlement agreement that required payment of compensation to the class under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA), 42 U.S.C. § 4654(c), the Woodleys sought attorney’s fees for work performed by counsel they jointly hired. The Claims Court awarded those fees, which are not at issue here.

What is at issue is a motion filed separately by Denise Woodley for fees and expenses. In the motion, she sought attorney’s fees for work performed by her attorney-spouse, Gordon Woodley, joint owner of the property at issue and co-plaintiff in the case, explaining that he was one of her lawyers throughout the proceeding, and she also sought to recoup certain expenses. The Claims Court denied the motion, reasoning that pro se litigants cannot recover attorney’s fees and expenses and that the work of Gordon Woodley, as a co-plaintiff and joint owner of the property at issue, was pro se and thus not compensable. Haggart v. United States, 149 Fed. Cl. 651, 661–62 (2020) (Claims Court Op.); Haggart v. United States, 151 Fed. Cl. 58, 65– 66 (2020) (Reconsideration Decision).

Denise Woodley appeals. We affirm the Claims Court’s determination that she is not entitled to attorney’s fees for the legal work performed by her attorney-spouse in this case. But we vacate the court’s determination that she is not entitled to any expenses on that basis, and we remand for a determination of the proper reimbursement, if any, of the claimed expenses.

Golden Eye Media USA, Inc. v. Evo Lifestyle Products Ltd. (Nonprecedential)

Evo Lifestyle Products Limited, formerly known as Trolley Bags UK Ltd (“TB UK”), appeals from a decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granting summary judgment in favor of Golden Eye Media USA, Inc. (“GEM”). The court held that TB UK’s U.S. Patent D779,828 (the “’828 patent”) is invalid for reasons of functionality and obviousness, and that, even if it were valid, GEM did not infringe the patent or TB UK’s trademark. See Golden Eye Media USA, Inc. v. Trolley Bags UK Ltd., 525 F. Supp. 3d 1145 (S.D. Cal. 2021) (“Decision”). We affirm.

Bangkok Bangkok Import & Export Inc. v. 2M Associates, Inc. (Nonprecedential Order)

The appellant having failed to file the required Entry of Appearance form by an attorney admitted to the bar of this court, and having failed to file the brief required by Federal Circuit Rule 31(a) within the time permitted by the rules, it is

ORDERED that the notice of appeal be, and the same hereby is, DISMISSED, for failure to prosecute in accordance with the rules.