Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights:
- a blog post about a Federal Circuit decision “clarifying the requirements for the disclosure of technology that is ready for patenting at a public event to qualify as being ‘in public use’”;
- an article about a Federal Circuit ruling finding “federal workers are generally not entitled to extra pay for being exposed to COVID-19 through their jobs”; and
- another article about the ramifications of “US Patent and Trademark Office Director Kathi Vidal’s reinstatement of two companies she’d removed from high-profile [inter partes review] patent challenges.”
Eileen McDermott wrote a blog post about a Federal Circuit decision “clarifying the requirements for the disclosure of technology that is ready for patenting at a public event to qualify as being ‘in public use’ for purposes of the pre-America Invents Act (AIA) public use bar under 35 USC 102(b).” McDermott explained that the case, Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc., centers around a patent for “‘[s]ystems for endometrial ablation.’” McDermott reported how the Federal Circuit’s ruling found “‘public use may . . . occur where, as here, the inventor used the device such that at least one member of the public without any secrecy obligations understood the invention.’”
Jonathan Stempel authored an article for Reuters about the Federal Circuit’s recent ruling that “federal workers are generally not entitled to extra pay for being exposed to COVID-19 through their jobs.” Stempel discussed how the case, which involved “188 current and former correctional employees at a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut,” originated when “[t]he employees said they deserved hazardous duty and environmental differential pay because they worked with or in close proximity to people, objects and surfaces infected with COVID-19, and were not wearing sufficient protective gear.” Stempel explained how the Federal Circuit decided that, since “the government’s Office of Personnel Management . . . had no regulations affording extra pay for exposure in most settings to contagious diseases” and because neither Congress nor the Office of Personnel Management had added the correctional employees to a list of exceptions, the workers were not entitled to extra pay.
Riddhi Setty wrote an article for Bloomberg Law about the ramifications of “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Kathi Vidal’s reinstatement of two companies she’d removed from high-profile [inter partes review] patent challenges.” Setty highlighted that the decision “has led to renewed criticism over what some view as Intel Corp.’s third shot at challenging the patents underlying a $2 billion trial loss.” Setty explained that some critics of this decision have “raised concerns about bad-faith actors opening the doors of the [Patent Trial and Appeal Board] to potentially unlimited opportunities to challenge patents.”