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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 States, Moda 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.
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.
Breaking News – Supreme Court Rules Trademark Owners Need Not Prove Willfulness to Disgorge Infringers’ Profits
Today the Supreme Court issued its decision in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., ruling that trademark owners need not prove willfulness to disgorge infringers’ profits. Justice Gorsuch authored the opinion for the Court, which vacated and remanded a contrary decision by the Federal Circuit. Justice Gorsuch’s opinion was joined by every member of the Court except Justice Sotomayor. Here are the details.
This morning the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LLC. The Court held that time-bar decisions made by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board when determining whether to institute inter partes review proceedings are not appealable. Justice Ginsburg authored the majority decision. Justices Gorsuch and Sotomayor dissented.