This week we are previewing two cases being argued next week at the Federal Circuit that attracted amicus briefs. Today we highlight a veterans case, Larson v. McDonough. In this case, Larson asks the Federal Circuit to overrule what he characterizes as the Veterans Court’s prohibition of reviewing Board of Veterans Appeals decisions regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs Schedule of Disabilities. This is our argument preview.
Here is an 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 three recent dispositions in two patent cases and a case appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board, a copyright case attracting two amicus briefs, new briefing (including a second amicus brief) in a patent case, and two recent oral arguments in a patent and a veterans case. Here are the details.
This month the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in New Vision Gaming & Development, Inc. v. SG Gaming, Inc., a patent case we have been following because it attracted an amicus brief. That brief argued that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board “trial system violates due process.” The brief pointed to an alleged “October Effect” where administrative patent judges allegedly “change their judging standards at the end and beginning of each performance evaluation period” and subjective performance evaluations that allegedly cause reasonable people to “question whether the PTAB invalidates patents so frequently because its constituent APJs try to please their budget-minded bosses through revenue-enhancing decision making.” Notably, Judge Moore authored a brief majority opinion vacating and remanding two decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board based only on the Appointments Clause. Judge Newman concurred in part and dissented in part, but also did not address the alleged due process violation. This is our opinion summary.
Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit decided Trimble Inc. v. PerDiemCo LLC, a patent case we have been following because it attracted an amicus brief. The amicus brief argued that Red Wing Shoe Co. v. Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc., “which held that patent licensing demand letters can never suffice to create personal jurisdiction over asserters of those patents, is inconsistent with controlling Supreme Court precedent.” Judge Dyk authored a unanimous panel decision reversing and remanding the district court’s decision not to assert personal jurisdiction over PerDiemCo. In the court’s view, its “more recent cases have concluded that, in the context of patent litigation, communications threatening suit or proposing settlement or patent licenses can be sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction.” This is our opinion summary.
One of the three cases on the Federal Circuit’s hearing schedule last week that attracted an amicus brief was Tao v. Merit Systems Protection Board. Tao presented several arguments challenging the Merit Systems Protection Board’s dismissal of her individual right of action (“IRA”) appeal, which alleged violations of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. After the U.S. Office of Special Counsel filed an amicus brief in support of Tao, the Merit Systems Protection Board filed its own brief agreeing that the underlying judgment should be vacated and the case should be remanded for further adjudication. Unsurprisingly, late last week a panel of the court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded the case.
This past Monday the court heard oral argument in Mobility Workx, LLC v. Unified Patents, LLC, an appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that we have been following because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal, Mobility Workx presents several arguments that inter partes review violates the Constitution. In particular, Mobility Workx argues that inter partes review violates its right to due process and qualifies as a taking under the Fifth Amendment. Judges Newman, Schall, and Dyk heard Monday’s argument. This is our argument recap.
Yesterday, the Federal Circuit heard oral argument in Buffington v. McDonough, a case presenting the question of whether the Secretary of Veterans Affairs exceeded his statutory authority when promulgating a regulation related to the timing of resumption of disability benefits payments following a period of active military service. Judges Lourie, Moore, and O’Malley heard the argument. This is our argument recap.
This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit. The court will continue to hear oral arguments telephonically given the coronavirus pandemic, and again this month the court is providing access to live audio of each panel scheduled for argument via the court’s YouTube channel. In total, the court will convene 15 panels to consider 65 cases. Of these 65 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 47, and three cases attracted amicus briefs: one a veterans case, one a patent case, and one a case challenging the Merit Systems Protection Board. Here’s what you need to know about these three cases.
The third case being considered next week that attracted an amicus brief is Tao v. Merit Systems Protection Board. In this case, Tao presents several arguments challenging the Merit Systems Protection Board’s dismissal of her individual right of action (“IRA”) appeal, which alleged violations of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. Notably, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel filed an amicus brief in support of Tao. Moreover, following the amicus brief, the Merit Systems Protection Board filed its own brief agreeing that the underlying judgment should be vacated and the case should be remanded for further adjudication, and this case is not scheduled for oral argument. Nevertheless, here we summarize the arguments made in the briefs in anticipation of the court’s upcoming decision in this case.
One patent case being argued next week, Mobility Workx, LLC v. Unified Patents, LLC, attracted an amicus brief. In this case, Mobility Workx appeals an adverse decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in an inter partes review proceeding. On appeal, Mobility Workx presents several arguments that inter partes violates the Constitution. This is our argument preview.