Featured / Opinions / Panel Activity

Guest Post – Patent Eligibility from Mayo to American Axle and Beyond

Paul R. Michel served as a Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1988 to 2010, including a six year tenure as Chief Judge from 2004 to 2010. Here, he reflects on judicial treatment of patent eligibility law—from the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. in 2012 through Friday’s set of opinions in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC.

The law of patent eligibility has been a hopeless mess ever since the Mayo decision upended three decades of stable and predictable law described in Diehr in 1981.  

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Featured / Federal Circuit Announcement

New Federal Circuit Rules Go Into Effect Today

This morning the Federal Circuit issued an announcement reminding the public that its most recent amendments to its Rules go into effect today and apply to all cases filed or pending on or after today. Based on new provisions in the Rules, the Clerk of Court today also issued updated versions of the court’s forms, Electronic Filing ProceduresGuide for Oral Argument, and Guide for Unrepresented Parties. The Clerk also issued two notices, one establishing rates for taxation of costs and another addressing electronic filing for unrepresented parties. Here is the text of this morning’s announcement.

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Featured / Federal Circuit Announcement

Modifications to Access Restrictions for the National Courts Building

On Friday, the Federal Circuit and Court of Federal Claims entered a joint order modifying their prior order of March 16, which limited access to the National Courts Building complex. The Federal Circuit also issued an announcement with additional information related to the order. Here are the details.

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Featured / Federal Circuit Announcement

Federal Circuit Adopts Amendments to Its Rules of Practice

As reported in our news post this morning, following a period of public comment, the Federal Circuit announced that it has adopted amendments to the Federal Circuit Rules of Practice and the Federal Circuit Attorney Discipline Rules. These amendments take effect July 1, 2020, and will apply to all cases filed or pending on or after July 1.

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Featured / Federal Circuit Announcement

Breaking News – Federal Circuit Announces Closure of National Courts Building and Cancellation of Tomorrow’s Telephonic Arguments

The Federal Circuit late this evening announced the closure of the National Courts Building and the cancellation of tomorrow’s previously scheduled telephonic arguments. This announcement comes on the heels of two prior announcements this week that the clerk’s office would close in the afternoon and be inaccessible for paper filings. While the court did not explain the closure, besides the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the National Courts Building sits on Lafayette Square, the site of recent protests over police brutality. Here is the text of this evening’s announcement.

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Featured / Federal Circuit Announcement

Federal Circuit Issues Notice Concerning The Conducting And Scheduling of Oral Argument

Last week, the Federal Circuit issued a Notice Concerning the Conducting and Scheduling of Oral Argument. In it, the court announced that it has suspended all in-person arguments until further notice. In addition, the court announced that cases set for argument after the June 2020 session will be argued telephonically unless otherwise notified by a separate order that oral argument is unnecessary. The court also issued an order on point.

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Featured / Opinions

Breaking News – Federal Circuit Indicates Administrative Patent Judges Unconstitutionally Appointed Beyond Context of Inter Partes Review Proceedings

As we reported earlier today, a Federal Circuit panel this morning issued a precedential order in VirnetX Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. The order is important. It highlights the potential reach of the Federal Circuit’s decision earlier this year in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. Indeed, it suggests that Administrative Patent Judges are unconstitutionally appointed with respect to every aspect of their work: not just inter partes reviews, and not just inter partes reexaminations, but also everything else, including ex parte reexaminations, covered business method review, and ex parte appeals.

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En Banc Activity / Featured

Breaking News – Federal Circuit Grants Petition for Initial Hearing En Banc in Veterans Case

This morning the Federal Circuit granted the National Organization of Veterans Advocates’s petition for initial hearing en banc in National Organization of Veterans Advocates, Inc. v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs. NOVA requested its initial hearing to be conducted by the full court to consider two questions related to veterans law. In short, the court agreed. Here are the details.

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Featured / Supreme Court Activity

Breaking News – Supreme Court Holds Federal Government Liable to Insurance Companies under Affordable Care Act

This morning the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Maine Community Health Options v. United StatesModa Health Plan Inc. v. United States, and Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company v. United States. The Court concluded that the Affordable Care Act established a money-mandating obligation, that Congress did not repeal this obligation, and that, as a result, insurance companies may sue the federal government for damages in the Court of Federal Claims under the Tucker Act. As a result, the Court reversed the Federal Circuit and remanded the cases for further proceedings.

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Featured

Federal Circuit Announces Extensive Proposed Amendments to Its Rules of Practice

The Federal Circuit announced today that it is proposing a large number of stylistic and substantive amendments to the Federal Circuit Rules of Practice. The court has asked for comments from the public on the proposed amendments. If adopted, the amendments will be effective starting July 1, 2020. Here are the details.

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