Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. With respect to granted cases, on Monday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case addressing patent law’s enablement requirement. With respect to petitions, two new petitions were filed with the Court in a patent case and veterans case; a party waived its right to respond in another patent case; and the Court denied a petition in a government contract case. Here are the details. 

Granted Cases

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi, Aventisub LLC, a case addressing patent law’s enablement requirement. We will publish our argument preview in this case soon.

Petition Cases

New Petitions

In Thaler v. Vidal, the petitioner asked the Court to review the following question: 

  • “Does the Patent Act categorically restrict the statutory term ‘inventor’ to human beings alone?”

In Rudisill v. McDonough, the petitioner asked the Court to review the following question:

  • “Whether a veteran who has served two separate and distinct periods of qualifying service under the Montgomery GI Bill, 38 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq., and under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, 38 U.S.C. § 3301 et seq., is entitled to receive a total of 48 months of education benefits as between both programs, without first exhausting the Montgomery benefit in order to obtain the more generous Post-9/11 benefit.”

Waiver of Right to Respond

Click-To-Call waived its right to respond in Ingenio, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies LP, a patent case address inter partes review estoppel. 

Reply Brief

Novartis filed its reply brief in Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation v. HEC Pharm Co., a patent case raising questions related to appellate procedure and patent law’s written description requirement. In its brief in opposition to the petition, HEC argued “the Federal Circuit procedure at issue here violates no statute, rule, precedent, or uniformly accepted notion of fairness.” According to HEC, moreover, “Novartis’s assertion of a circuit split is frivolous.” It argued “Novartis falsely describes a ‘uniform’ practice of other circuits and, regardless, permissible variations in procedure do not constitute a circuit split.” Finally, HEC contended, the Federal Circuit added no new requirement to the requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, and the court was “clear that it was not ‘creat[ing] a heightened standard.’” 

Now, in response, Novartis contends the issue “about both the finality of appellate decisions and a judge’s power to participate . . . is too important to allow circuit-to-circuit variability.” It argues, moreover, the Federal Circuit reversed “only because of its heightened legal standard, which HEC never even tries to square with 35 U.S.C. § 112(a).” According to Novartis, “HEC prevailed only because the Federal Circuit departed—on both procedure and substance—from statutory text and longstanding principles.”


The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Calapristi v. United States, a government contract case.