The Supreme Court will hear one hour of oral argument tomorrow in three cases challenging the Federal Circuit’s holding that various health insurance companies cannot obtain damages under the Tucker Act for subsidies that were identified in the Affordable Care Act but that Congress later declined to appropriate. The three cases are Maine Community Health Options v. United States, Moda Health Plan Inc. v. United States, and Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company v. United States.
Does the patent statute permit patent owners to appeal decisions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board that petitions for inter partes review were not filed late? Or, under the statute, are these decisions simply unreviewable? The Supreme Court will tackle these questions on Monday, when it will hear argument in Thryv, Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies, LP.
The Federal Circuit issued four opinions today. It issued precedential opinions in a patent case and a veterans case, and nonprecedential opinions in another veterans case and a personnel case.
Notably, the patent case is TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd. v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, a case we have been watching because it attracted a significant number of amicus briefs, as discussed previously on this blog. In short, in that case the Federal Circuit agreed with Ericsson that the district court should have held a jury trial on the appropriate “release payment” owed Ericsson for a license to Ericsson’s portfolio of standard-essential patents. By resolving the case in this manner, the court found no need to address the various issues raised in the amicus briefs about the proper calculation of payments for licenses to standard-essential patents.
Here are the introductions to the opinions.
This afternoon the Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., a copyright case most recently decided by the Federal Circuit in 2018. The grant comes on the heels of the case being listed for consideration at four of the Court’s conferences, including the last three in a row.
It was a busy week at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. Three amicus briefs in favor of the respondent were filed in one of the four granted cases, Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP. With respect to petitions, multiple petitions were denied, two new petitions were filed, several party briefs were filed, and nine amicus briefs were filed in one case, Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC. We have the details.
Late Breaking Opinion – Secretary of Commerce’s Appointment of PTAB Judges Violates the Constitution
While the Federal Circuit did not issue any opinions this morning, this afternoon (after the time the court typically issues opinions) it issued an important precedential opinion in a patent case, Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. In this case Arthrex argued that the the Secretary of Commerce’s appointment of Administrative Patent Judges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board violates the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Federal Circuit agreed. The court, however, also noted the limited nature of its holding and the limited remedy its holding required.
I’m excited to announce several new ways for you to stay up to date on Federal Circuit cases and news. We have created a daily digest email as well as a presence on various social media platforms. Read on for the details.
Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. While there is no new activity to report in the merits cases, the Supreme Court did deny two petitions for certiorari. And while no new petitions were filed this week, two reply briefs in support of petitions were filed, and as were several amicus briefs.
Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Peter v. NantKwest, and—to put it lightly—the government had a tough go. Malcolm Stewart of the Office of the Solicitor General faced a barrage of questions finding fault with the government’s position that patent applicants must pay the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s attorneys’ fees when challenging rejections in federal district court. NantKwest’s Morgan Chu, by contrast, faced many questions seeking to clarify the historical record and NantKwest’s position, but few directly challenging NantKwest’s position on the merits.
Last week we provided a preview of the 27 petitions distributed for the Supreme Court’s October 1 conference in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. Here is a report on the order list the Supreme Court issued today as a result of its October 1 conference. In a nutshell, the Court denied or dismissed petitions for certiorari in 21 cases decided by the Federal Circuit, and left six other petitions pending.