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 two opinions, one in patent case and one in a takings case; one new trade case; three oral argument recaps, two in to patent cases and one in a takings case; and two upcoming oral arguments. Here are the details.
This past month, the Federal Circuit issued two opinions disposing of cases that attracted amicus briefs.
Milton v. United States
In this case, the Federal Circuit held that the plaintiffs-appellants “alleged cognizable property interests in flowage easements, reverse[d] the decision of the Court of Federal Claims, and remand[ed] for further proceedings.” The court rejected the government’s claim that Milton did not have cognizable property interest because Hurricane Harvey was an Act of God. The Federal Circuit said that “Acts of God relate, if at all, to whether a taking has occurred, not whether a party has a cognizable property interest.” The court, however, ultimately declined to answer the question of whether the government took a flowage easement from the affected downstream property owners.
Centripetal Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc.
In this case, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of Cisco’s motion for recusal because “the district court judge was disqualified from hearing the case once he became aware of his wife’s ownership of Cisco stock.” The Federal Circuit vacated all orders and opinions made after the judge was made aware of his wife’s ownership in Cisco stock. The court remanded the case for further proceedings before a different district court judge.
Since our last update we have identified two new cases with amicus briefs.
Panduit Corp. v. International Trade Commission
In this case, Panduit appeals a determination by the International Trade Commission that its products infringe certain patents. In its opening brief, Panduit argues that the precedent used by the Commission should not have extended to apparatus claims. Additionally, it argues, the Commission “applied an improper construction.”
Diversified Material Specialists, Inc. filed an amicus brief. It asserts the court should find “the asserted claims are undefined and overly broad, that the Commission erred in their enablement and infringement analysis, and that the court continuing to hold the asserted claims valid would stifle innovation.”
Doyon v. United States
In this veterans case, Doyon appeals a decision by the Court of Federal Claims to upheld a judgment by the Board for the Correction of Naval Records denying Doyon’s application to correct his discharge records. Doyon was administratively separated from the Navy because he was unable to perform his duties. His records state that a “personality disorder” was the reason for his discharge, but Doyon seeks to correct the reason to post traumatic stress disorder. In his opening brief, Doyon argues that the Board failed to give his application “liberal consideration.” Additionally, Doyon contends that his inability to perform his duties to the Navy was caused by PTSD, not a “personality disorder” that predated his enlistment.
Three veterans organizations filed amicus briefs in support of Doyon.
Since our last report, the Federal Circuit has heard oral argument in three cases that attracted amicus briefs.
Thaler v. Vidal
In this patent case, the Federal Circuit is considering whether “an artificial intelligence machine cannot be an ‘inventor’ under the Patent Act.” This case attracted a pro se amicus brief in support of affirming the lower court’s decision. See our argument recap for more details.
Memmer v. United States
In this takings case, Memmer challenges the lower court’s analysis of causation as well as its decision that “the duration of the taking lasted as long as the railroad’s abandonment authority existed.” Moreover, the United States cross-appeals to argue that the lower court “erred in holding that Indiana Southwestern would have abandoned if the [notice of interim trail use] had not issued.” This case attracted one amicus brief in support of Memmer. See our argument recap for more details.
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” in the International Trade Commission. Two amicus briefs were filed in support of Thales. See our argument recap for more details.
Upcoming Oral Arguments
This month two cases that attracted amicus briefs will be argued.
Doyon v. United States
In this veterans case, discussed above, Doyon presents the following issues:
“Whether the [Board for the Correction of Naval Records] erred by failing to give ‘liberal consideration’ to Doyon’s application seeking discharge relief related to his service-connected PTSD, including by failing to give liberal consideration when determining whether Doyon’s PTSD led to his discharge.”
“Whether the BCNR’s decision denying Doyon’s application lacks substantial evidence.”
Personalized Media Communications, LLC v. Apple Inc.
In this patent case, Personalized Media Communications presents the following issues:
1. “Whether the district court committed legal and clear factual errors and otherwise abused its discretion in holding that Apple met its burden of establishing, by clear and convincing evidence, that PMC’s conduct in prosecuting the ’091 Patent constituted an egregious misuse of the patent system causing an unreasonable and unexplained delay in prosecution, and so declaring the ’091 Patent unenforceable based on prosecution laches.”
2. “Whether the district court committed legal and clear factual errors and otherwise abused its discretion in holding that Apple met its burden of establishing, by clear and convincing evidence, intervening rights during a period of unreasonable and unexplained delay, and so declaring the ’091 Patent unenforceable based on prosecution laches.”