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.
This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit, with hearings starting today. As it has for some time now, the Federal Circuit is providing access to live audio of each panel scheduled for argument via the Federal Circuit’s YouTube channel. In total, including a case set to be argued next week, the court will convene 15 panels to consider about 61 cases. Of these 61 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 48. Of these argued cases, three attracted amicus briefs: two veterans cases and a benefits case. Here’s what you need to know about these three cases.
Last Friday, the court heard oral argument in Brown v. United States, a tax case. We have been following it because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal, the Browns ask the Federal Circuit to overrule the holding of the Court of Federal Claims that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction because the Browns did not attach a power of attorney to amended income tax returns filed by their agent with the Internal Revenue Service. The United States argues “[t]he Browns’ refund claims admittedly violated the taxpayer signature and verification requirements,” and the United States maintains this means “the Browns’ refund claims were not ‘duly filed’ with the IRS before the Browns sued.” The arguments attracted an amicus brief from the Center of Taxpayer Rights in support of the Browns. Judges Lourie, Dyk, and Stoll heard Friday’s argument. This is our argument recap.
This past week, the court heard oral argument in In re Elster, an appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. We have been following this case because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal, Elster argues a refusal of his trademark registration based on section 2(c) the Lanham Act violates of the Constitution’s First Amendment. Section 2(c) recites that “[n]o trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it . . . [c]onsists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent . . . .” The United States argues that section 2(c) is constitutionally legal and applied correctly in this case. The amicus brief in this case was filed by Matthew Handel, an individual who says he has trademark applications similar to Elster. Judges Dyk, Taranto, and Chen heard the argument. This is our argument recap.
This past Tuesday, the court heard oral argument in Monroe v. United States, an appeal from the United States Court of Federal Claims. We have been following this Equal Access to Justice Act case because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal, the United States asks the Federal Circuit to overrule what it characterizes as an abuse of discretion by the trial court in awarding attorney’s fees and expenses to the plaintiff-appellee. Monroe contends he “prevailed at each procedural stage of the litigation” and, as result, “a fully compensatory fee award was warranted.” The arguments regarding the award of fees and expenses in an EAJA action attracted an amicus brief in support of Monroe. Judges Moore and Chen heard Tuesday’s argument. Judge Clevenger was assigned to this panel, but he was not present for the argument. This is our argument recap.
This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit, with hearings starting today. Arguments are being held in person absent granted motions for leave to appear remotely, and the Federal Circuit is also providing access to live audio of each panel scheduled for argument via the Federal Circuit’s YouTube channel. In total, the court will convene 14 panels to consider about 59 cases. Of these 59 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 52. Of these argued cases, three attracted amicus briefs: an Equal Access to Justice Act case, a trademark case, and a tax case. Here’s what you need to know about these three cases.
Here is this month’s update on activity in cases pending before panels of the Federal Circuit where the cases involve at least one amicus brief. We keep track of these cases in the “Other Cases” section of our blog. Today, with respect to these cases we highlight two dispositions in patent cases appealed from federal district courts and a disposition in a takings case appealed from Court of Federal Claims. Here are the details.
Earlier this week the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Mobility Workx, LLC v. Unified Patents, LLC, a patent case we have been following because it attracted an amicus brief. The case was argued before a panel that included Judges Newman, Schall, and Dyk. Mobility requested a remand to the Patent and Trademark Office in light of the Supreme Court’s holding in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., but it also made numerous constitutional challenges to the structure of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Judge Dyk authored the majority opinion in the case, ultimately remanding the case to the Acting Director of the Patent and Trademark Office to consider whether to grant a rehearing in light of Arthrex, but also concluding that Mobility’s constitutional arguments are without merit. Notably, Judge Newman authored an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. This is our opinion summary.