This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a government contracts case. Here is the introduction to the opinion.
Last Wednesday, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in National Veterans Legal Services Program v. United States, a case we have been tracking because it attracted amicus briefs. In this case, NVLSP argues that that the federal government has been overcharging for electronic access to documents filed in court cases. This case was brought to the Federal Circuit as an interlocutory appeal seeking to clarify the correct interpretation of a federal statute, 28 U.S.C § 1913. In the opinion, the panel (including Judge Lourie, Clevenger, and Hughes) unanimously affirmed a district court’s interpretation of the statute and remanded the case back to the district court for it to resolve the case using the correct interpretation. Here is a summary of the opinion.
Jeffrey A. Lefstin serves as a Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Prior to serving as a professor, he clerked for Federal Circuit Judge Raymond C. Clevenger III. Prof. Lefstin holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California San Francisco and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. He has written extensively and testified before Congress concerning the doctrine of patent eligibility.
Though described by the majority as “narrow,” the American Axle v. Neapco panel opinion sets forth two far-reaching expansions in the law of patent eligibility. First, the panel opinion holds that a patentee’s alleged failure to describe how to implement an invention defined by a claim renders the claim ineligible under § 101—without needing to resort to the factual inquiries associated with the written description or enablement requirements of § 112. Second, the panel opinion holds that a claim may be “directed to” an ineligible law of nature in step one of the Mayo/Alice inquiry, even though neither the claim nor the specification recites it directly.
Authority for the first proposition is said to be the “O’Reilly test” for patent eligibility articulated by the Supreme Court in O’Reilly v. Morse in 1854. That case, however, represented a conventional application of the statutory disclosure requirements now lodged in § 112, as I explain in detail below. As authority for the second proposition, the revised panel opinion invokes Neilson v. Harford, the famous case on James Neilson’s hot-blast patent, decided by the Court of Exchequer in 1841. But, again, in seeking to force the American Axle claims into the mold of the Mayo/Alice test,
On Monday, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. v. 10X Genomics Inc., a case we have been tracking because it attracted an amicus brief. In the opinion, the panel composed of Judges Newman, O’Malley, and Taranto unanimously affirmed a district court’s judgment of liability for infringement of a patent. The panel, however, also reversed the district court’s construction of asserted claims in two other patents and vacated the judgment of infringement of those patents. Finally, the panel also vacated the district court’s grant of a permanent injunction, but only with respect to certain product lines. Here is a summary of the opinion.
This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in Little Tucker Act case; four nonprecedential opinions in a case concerning the jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims, an MSPB case, a veterans case, and a patent case; and a Rule 36 summary affirmance. Here are the introductions to the opinions and the Rule 36 judgment.
Last Friday, the Federal Circuit filed opinions in two related cases that attracted amicus briefs, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. v. Alkem Laboratories Limited. In both cases, Judges Prost and Hughes affirmed the district court’s decision denying Takeda’s request for a preliminary injunction. Judge Newman dissented in both cases. Here is a summary of the opinions.
This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential order sua sponte granting en banc rehearing in a veterans case, as well as four nonprecedential opinions in cases addressing the jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims, patent law, trademark law, and the jurisdiction of the Merit Systems Protection Board. Here is text from today’s order and the introductions of the opinions.
As we previously reported, yesterday the Federal Circuit issued a modified panel opinion in Illumina, Inc. v. Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., a patent case we have been tracking because Ariosa Diagnostics filed a petition for rehearing en banc. In the modified panel opinion, Judges Lourie and Moore maintained their original position, reversing the district court, which had held that the claims at issue were not directed to patent-eligible subject matter. While the modified panel opinion did not change the holding of the court, it did more explicitly lay out the facts of the case that affected the court’s reasoning. Judge Reyna still dissented, but also issued a modified opinion. Here is a summary of the modified opinions.