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, there is no new activity to report since our last update. With respect to petitions, two new petitions were filed in two pro se cases. Additionally, a brief in opposition was filed in a patent case and three amicus briefs were filed in a veterans case. Here are the details.

Granted Cases

There is no new activity to report.


New Petitions

In Brock v. Department of Transportation, a pro se petitioner asked the Court to review the following questions:

  1. “Whether 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(2) is fair in allowing 30-days for judicial review in comparison to 60-day rule within 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(1)(A) and 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(1)(B).”
  2. “Whether guidance to the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations is proper in comparison to language within 5 U.S.C. § 7702(b)(1).”
  3. “Whether the Federal Circuit was consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 1631 in judicial review when claim of discrimination asserted and not abandoned.”

In Golden v. United States, another pro se petitioner filed a petition with the Court.

Brief in Opposition

In Ficep Corporation v. Peddinghaus Corporation, a patent case, Peddinghaus Corporation filed its brief in opposition to the petition. The petition presented the following questions:

  1. “Does a claim directed to patent-eligible subject matter (here, manufacturing) nevertheless become ineligible as ‘abstract’ if the process is improved using automation?”
    • “Should an ‘abstract-idea’ behind a claim to a patent-eligible process be identified and, if so, how and at what level of abstraction?”
  2. “What is the appropriate standard for determining whether a claim is ‘inventive,’ conferring eligibility under Alice Step 2, including whether objective evidence of inventiveness and technological improvement is relevant?”
  3. “Is either what a claim is ‘directed to’ and whether that is abstract, or whether a claim is ‘inventive’ as articulated in Alice step 2, only for a judge to decide as a legal matter or does it include fact issues and, if the latter, are they for a jury?”

In its brief in opposition, Peddinghaus contends “the district court properly applied Alice . . . because [Ficep’s patent claims] are directed to the abstract idea of extracting information from a computer file and transferring it to a conventional manufacturing machine, and otherwise reflect no inventive concept.” In response to Ficep’s questions, Peddinghaus argues “the undisputed factual record directly contradicts this mischaracterization of Petitioner’s patent, and the questions as presented do not otherwise merit this Court’s review.” According to Peddinghaus, “[t]he claims of Petitioner’s information-processing patent do not describe any specific processes for identifying, extracting, and transferring information.” Instead, Peddinghaus asserts, “the claims only recite executing this abstract concept more efficiently by using conventional computer technology” and, as a result, are ineligible under Alice.  

Amicus Briefs

Three amicus briefs were filed in Forsythe v. McDonough, a veterans case asking the Court to review the following questions:

  1. “Whether the Federal Circuit misinterpreted 38 U.S.C. § 5103(a)(1) to allow VA to issue evidentiary notice only before receiving a veteran’s claim, even though the statute requires notice that accounts for evidence ‘not previously provided to the Secretary that is necessary to substantiate the claim.’”
  2. “Whether the Federal Circuit violated the longstanding doctrine of Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260 (1954), by permitting VA to violate its own regulation on the ground that the agency’s noncompliance cannot be ‘prejudicial’ to veterans.”

All of the amicus briefs support the petitioners: