Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights:

  • an article discussing how many patent lawyers “interviewed . . . by The Texas Lawbook said that it is a mistake and miscarriage of justice to strip patent cases away from Judge Albright”;
  • a blog post addressing how the “prior art history [of diagnostic patents] is irreconcilable with” a Federal Circuit panel’s conclusion that the patents are ineligible; and
  • another article explaining how U.S. Senator “Tillis [plans] to introduce 101 reform legislation within weeks.”

Mark Curriden published an article for The Texas LawBook discussing how some patent lawyers are displeased with Western District of Texas Chief Judge Orlando Garcia’s “order to ‘equitably distribute’ all future patent cases filed in the Waco Division among the dozen judges in the district,” shifting cases away from Judge Alan Albright—the lone federal judge in the Waco Division. According to Curriden, critics of the order urge that Judge Albright is “efficient in his case management, evenhanded in dispensing justice and widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on patent law.” While “[a] major complaint against Judge Albright is that he refuses to transfer patent cases to other districts where venue may be better,” Curriden noted how “[d]ata research shows that Judge Albright has transferred at least 191 patent cases to other jurisdictions – more than any other federal judge in Texas.” 

Edward Reines authored a blog post for PatentlyO addressing how the Federal Circuit deemed Standford’s diagnostic patents ineligible in CareDx, Inc. v. Natera, Inc. According to Reines, “[t]here is . . . nothing inherent about molecular diagnostics that precludes their patentability and merely labelling a method as ‘molecular diagnostics’ should not be a kiss of death.” Reines noted how “[t]he claimed inventions are better measurement methods that previously eluded the field – not the discovery of the natural correlation itself.” Reines also emphasized that “[t]he Federal Circuit’s opinion failed to properly focus on the ‘claimed advance’ analysis and failed to squarely address that the patents describe numerous prior art failures.”

Angela Morris wrote an article for IAM explaining how “Senator Thom Tillis, the ranking Republican member on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s IP subcommittee, has revealed plans to file legislation designed to clear-up current uncertainties surrounding patent subject matter eligibility in the US within weeks.” Morris noted how Tillis “express[ed] disappointment that the US Supreme Court rejected review of the American Axle case earlier this month.” According to the article, the “soon-to-be filed Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2022 aims to provide clarity, though Tillis accepts that the debate and compromise it will take to pass the act is likely to take multiple Congressional sessions.”