Panel Activity

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 an opinion in a patent case addressing the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin the International Trade Commission, a new patent case appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and two oral argument recaps in a veterans case and a patent case concerning prosecution laches. Here are the details.


Since our last update, the Federal Circuited issued an opinion in a patent case that attracted two amicus briefs.

Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Thales USA, Inc.

In this case, the Federal Circuit considered whether the district court erred in denying a motion for a preliminary injunction. In particular, Thales sought to “prevent Philips from pursuing an . . . exclusion order against Thales” at the International Trade Commission based on a commitment by Philips to license its patents on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms. The Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court, stating that the court did not abuse its discretion in holding that Thales was not entitled to preliminary injunction. The Federal Circuit determined that Thales provided evidence of speculative harm where the law requires evidence of likely irreparable harm. For more on the opinion, see our opinion summary, coming out later today.

New Case

One new patent case attracted an amicus brief.

Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Incyte Corporation

In this case, Concert Pharmaceuticals appeals a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that “Petitioner has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenged claims are unpatentable.” In its opening brief, Concert argues that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board “applied the wrong legal standard to both the ‘motivation’ and ‘reasonable expectation’ components of the obviousness inquiry.” Additionally, it argues the Board “erred in disregarding two objective indicia of nonobviousness.” An amicus brief in support of Concert was filed by Bald Girls Do Lunch, “a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for females living with alopecia areata (“AA”), an autoimmune skin disease resulting in partial to complete hair loss on all hair-bearing areas of the body, including, for example, on the face, resulting in loss of eyebrows and eyelashes.” In its brief, Bald Girls Do Lunch emphasize how a “long-felt, unmet need for an AA treatment was satisfied in 2012 by the innovative CTP-543 AA treatment claimed in Appellant’s ’149 Patent.”

Argument Recaps

Since our last report, the Federal Circuit has heard oral arguments in two cases that attracted amicus briefs.

Doyon v. United States

In this patent case, the Federal Circuit considered arguments between Doyon and the government. Doyon is a Vietnam veteran who appeals a decision by the Court of Federal Claims to uphold a judgment by the Board for the Correction of Naval Records denying Doyon’s application to correct his discharge records. The case attracted three amicus briefs in favor of Doyon, all by veterans organizations. Check out our argument recap for more details. 

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 laches,” PMC claims the district court committed legal error and abused its discretion in ruling that PMC engaged in an “egregious misuse” of the patent system. See our argument recap for more details.