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

  • an article about the elevated tension within the Federal Circuit due to the ongoing lawsuit by Judge Newman;
  • an article about how Judge Newman’s lawsuit is entering uncharted territory;
  • an article providing a broad recap of ongoing problems the Federal Circuit and other entities face with patent eligibility and legislation seeking to solve these problems; and
  • an article about the Supreme Court’s rejection of a challenge to a Federal Circuit holding that allegedly creates confusion for generic drugmakers.

Ryan Davis authored an article for Law360 about the ongoing proceeding concerning Judge Newman. In the article, Davis points out that “law professors following the case said the probe by judges into a colleague’s mental fitness was already a rare and uncomfortable situation and that the lawsuit has the potential to further escalate tensions on the Federal Circuit.”

Kelcee Griffis authored an article for Bloomberg Law about how Judge Newman’s proceeding is entering uncharted territory. In the article, Griffis explains how “Judge John R. Adams filed a similar lawsuit in 2017 to fight a psychiatric examination ordered after he was accused of misconduct and being disruptive by four fellow judges in the Northern District of Ohio.” Griffis goes on to note how “the Sixth Circuit Judicial Council ultimately ended its investigation and withdrew the exam request, leading Adams’ lawsuit to be tossed as moot.” Griffis also notes another case filed by “Judge John H. McBryde of the Northern District of Texas” where “the US District Court for the District of Columbia upheld [his] suspension and found it was narrowly tailored enough to avoid unconstitutionally removing McBryde as a judge.”

Kirk Hartung posted to IPWatchdog a broad recap of ongoing problems the Federal Circuit and other entities face with patent eligibility and legislation seeking to solve these problems. Hartung notes how, “for several years, the Federal Circuit judges have begged for clarification regarding abstract ideas and patent eligibility.” Hartung talks about how, “in August 2022, The Patent Eligibility Restoration Act, co-sponsored by Senator Thom Tillis (R – N.C.) and Senator Chris Coons (D – Del.) was proposed to fix the patent eligibility mess.” Hartung notes how the legislation “was endorsed by two retired judges from the Federal Circuit, former Chief Judge Paul Michel, and former Federal Circuit Judge Kathleen O’Malley.” Hartung further explains how “Tillis and Coons are optimistic that their Act will fix the judicially created confusion in patent eligibility law.”

Blake Brittain authored an article for Reuters about how the Supreme Court rejected a challenge by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. to a Federal Circuit ruling in favor of GlaxoSmithKline LLC in a patent dispute that resulted in a judgment for $235 million. Brittain explains how “the case involves ‘skinny labels,’ which allow generic drugmakers to avoid patent lawsuits if a generic drug’s label omits potentially infringing uses of a brand-name drug.” Brittain further talks about how “the Federal Circuit affirmed after a rehearing last year that Teva’s label, combined with its marketing materials, encouraged doctors to prescribe the generic in a way that constituted patent infringement.” Brittain emphasizes how “President Joe Biden’s administration . . . urged the Supreme Court to hear the case, arguing that the Federal Circuit’s decision created ‘significant uncertainty’ for generic drugmakers.”