Court Week / Panel Activity

This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit, with hearings starting today. The Federal Circuit is providing access to live audio of each panel scheduled for argument via the Federal Circuit’s YouTube channel. In total, the court will convene six panels to consider about 36 cases. Of these 36 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 24. Of these argued cases, two attracted amicus briefs: one veterans case and one patent case. Here’s what you need to know about these two cases.

Doyon v. United States

As explained in our argument preview, Doyon is a Vietnam veteran who 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 argues that the CFC should not have upheld the Board’s decision because the Board refused to give his application “liberal consideration.” Doyon cites “mandatory agency guidance” to argue that a post traumatic stress disorder “diagnosis from the VA must be considered ‘persuasive evidence’ that PTSD existed during military service.” Ad Doyon asserts that the Board’s decision was not supported by substantial evidence.

In response, the United States argues that, during proceedings before the Board, Doyon did not raise the question of whether a particular statutory provision obligated the Board to apply the liberal consideration standard and thus cannot raise the argument on appeal. Additionally, the government argues, the cause of Doyon’s discharge was a personality disorder.

This case attracted three amicus briefs in support of Doyon from the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, and Protect Our Defenders.

Michael Clemente will argue for Doyon.

Elizabeth Speck will argue for the United States.

This argument is scheduled to take place this morning, Tuesday, July 5, in Courtroom 402 at 10:00 A.M. Eastern.

Personalized Media Communications, LLC v. Apple Inc.

In this patent case, Personalized Media Communications appeals a district court’s decision to overturn a jury verdict. While the district court applied the “equitable doctrine of prosecution latches,” Personalized Media claims the district court committed legal error and abused its discretion in ruling that Personalized Media engaged in an “egregious misuse” of the patent system.

In particular, Personalized Media asserts that “prosecution laches is reserved for egregious misuses of the patent system that give rise to intervening rights.” It claims that it “engaged in none of the conduct that has resulted in a finding of laches in prior cases.” And it argues that the district court’s findings of “egregious misuse” of the patent system, causing “unreasonable and unexplained delays,” were clearly erroneous.

In response, Apple asserts the “district court properly found that PMC’s delay prosecuting the [relevant] patent was unreasonable and inexcusable under the totality of the circumstances.” It further argues the “district court properly found that Apple’s work on [its own product] overlapped with the improper delays PMC engineered through its conduct.”

This case attracted an amicus brief filed by Fair Inventing Fund in support of Personalized Media and reversal of the district court’s ruling.

Kevin Martin will argue for Personalized Media Communications.

John O’Quinn will argue for Apple.

This argument is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 7, in Courtroom 402 at 10:00 A.M. Eastern. We will post an argument preview later this week.