Last month, the court heard oral argument in LaBonte v. United States, a veterans case where LaBonte is challenging a “Court of Federal Claims decision that military correction boards established under 10 U.S.C. § 1552 may not grant disability retirement to service members whose ‘Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty,’ a standard separation document known as a ‘DD-214’ form, contains reference to a court martial.” Two amicus briefs were filed in support of the plaintiff-appellant, LaBonte, one by Military Law Practitioners and another a joint brief by the National Veterans Legal Services Program and Protect Our Defenders. Judges Chen, Schall, and Stoll heard the argument. This is our argument recap.
Last month, the court heard oral argument in Centripetal Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., in which Cisco appeals a finding that it infringed four patents held by Centripetal Networks, resulting in a judgement of over $2.75 billion. An amicus brief was filed by High Tech Inventors Alliance in support of Cisco. Before oral argument, the Federal Circuit issued an order limiting the scope of the oral argument to “the question whether the judgment should be vacated because the district court judge was required to recuse himself from the matter under 28 U.S.C. § 455.” Judges Dyk, Taranto, and Cunningham heard the argument. This is our argument recap.
Earlier this month, the court heard oral argument in Skaar v. McDonough, in which McDonough, the Director of Veterans Affairs, appeals a decision by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims certifying a class action of veterans. Skaar cross-appeals to argue the court misinterpreted equitable tolling and waiver standards to exclude from the certified class veterans who had not timely appealed past agency decisions. Amicus briefs in support of Skaar were filed by the National Veterans Legal Services Program and 15 Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, and Federal Courts Professors. Judges Moore, Newman, and Hughes heard the argument. This is our argument recap.
Last week, the Federal Circuit held an en banc session to hear oral argument in Taylor v. McDonough. In this case, the court is considering whether equitable estoppel may be used against the government with respect to establishing the effective date of awards of veterans’ benefits. This is our argument recap.
Last Wednesday, the court heard oral argument in Zaxcom, Inc. v. Lectrosonics, Inc., an appeal by Zaxcom from an adverse decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an inter partes review proceeding initiated by Lectrosonics. We have been following the case because it attracted two amicus briefs, one from retired Federal Circuit Judge Paul R. Michel and one from U.S. Inventor, Inc. On appeal, Zaxcom argues the PTAB incorrectly construed certain claims, incorrectly found certain claim elements in the prior art, and erred in its analysis of secondary considerations of non-obviousness. Lectrosonics cross-appeals, arguing the Board incorrectly found substitute claims to be patentable. Judges Lourie, Schall, Taranto heard Wednesday’s argument. This is our argument recap.
Earlier this month the Federal Circuit heard oral argument in Milton v. United States, a case arising from the Court of Federal Claims. We have been following this case because it attracted an amicus brief. In this case, 150 plaintiffs are appealing a grant of summary judgment for the United States. These plaintiffs-appellants have asserted takings claims against the federal government based on properties that were flooded as a result of government action when the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs released water during Hurricane Harvey. The amicus brief was filed by 205 other plaintiffs with similar cases that have been stayed by the Court of Federal Claims. Judges Lourie, Chen, and Cunningham heard the argument. This is our argument recap.
A Federal Circuit panel heard oral argument earlier this month in SAS Institute Inc. v. World Programming Ltd., a copyright case originally filed in the Eastern District of Texas. We have been following this case because it attracted ten amicus briefs, six in support of SAS and four in support of WPL. In this case, SAS appeals a decision by the district court dismissing its claim of copyright infringement by WPL. SAS contends the district court incorrectly analyzed the copyrightability of a computer program and improperly excluded relevant witness testimony. Judges Newman, Reyna, and Wallach heard the oral argument. This is our argument recap.
In December, the court heard oral argument in Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc. v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, a case arising from the Department of Veterans Affairs. We have been following this case because it attracted two amicus briefs in support of the petitioner, Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc. MVA challenges a denial of rulemaking by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that would have sought to extend the presumption of herbicide exposure to veterans who served on Guam from January 9, 1962, through December 31, 1980; Johnston Island from January 1, 1972, until September 30, 1977; and American Samoa. Judges Newman, Prost, Cunningham heard last month’s argument. This is our argument recap.
In December, the Federal Circuit heard oral argument in Wolfe v. McDonough. We have been following this veterans case because it attracted three amicus briefs in support of the plaintiff-appellee, Wolfe. On appeal, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs asks the Federal Circuit to reverse the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, which “granted a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by Wolfe on behalf of a class of claimants to invalidate 38 C.F.R. § 17.1005(a)(5) and require [the Department of Veterans Affairs] to readjudicate and grant claims for reimbursement of coinsurance and deductibles.” Judges Dyk, Reyna, and Stoll heard last week’s argument. This is our argument recap.
In December, the Federal Circuit heard oral argument in Cross v. Office of Personnel Management, an appeal from the Merit Systems Protection Board. We have been following this death benefit case because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal, Cross asks the Federal Circuit to reverse a decision of the Merits Systems Protection Board regarding the denial of survivor benefits. In particular, the petitioner is claiming survivor benefits as a surviving former spouse when her deceased former husband failed affirmatively to re-elect her survivor benefits during the few months between their divorce and his death. Judges Moore, Schall, and Stoll heard last Wednesday’s argument. This is our argument recap.