Supreme Court Activity

Recent Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. With respect to the Supreme Court’s October 2021 term, the Court granted certiorari in a veterans case. The Court also requested the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States in a patent case. No new petitions were filed, but one amicus brief was submitted in support of a petition in a patent case and a waiver of right to respond was filed in a pro se case. Additionally, the Court denied four petitions: two in patent cases and two in pro se cases. Here are the details.

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Opinions

Opinions & Orders – January 20, 2022

This morning the Federal Circuit issued three precedential opinions. The first comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; the second comes in a takings case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims; and the third comes in a military discharge case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims. The Court also issued five nonprecedential opinions in various cases appealed from the Court of Federal Claims, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

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Panel Activity

Opinion Summary – Brown v. United States

On January 5 the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Brown v. United States, a case we have been following because it attracted an amicus brief. The case was argued before Judges Lourie, Dyk, and Stoll. The Browns appealed a dismissal by the United States Court of Federal Claims of a tax refund suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Judge Lourie authored the opinion in the case, affirming the dismissal. This is our opinion summary.

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Opinions

Opinions & Orders – January 19, 2022

This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a whistleblower retaliation case appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board. The court also issued three nonprecedential opinions. The first comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The second comes in an employment case appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board. And the third comes in a patent case appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Notably, Judge Stoll dissented-in-part from the holding in the patent case. The court also issued a nonprecedential order granting a petition for a writ of mandamus, ordering the Eastern District of Texas to require transfer of a patent case. Finally, the court issued two Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and order and links to the Rule 36 judgments.

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Federal Circuit Announcement

Federal Circuit Announces Revised Building Access Restrictions and Protocols for In-Person Argument

Yesterday the Federal Circuit released a “Notice of Revised Building Access Restrictions and Protocols for In-Person Argument.” In addition to previous protocols released on October 25, 2021, the court has added a new building-wide mask requirement and various other restrictions for the National Courts Building. The court also issued revised protocols for in-person argument that includes mask mandates, attendance limitations, and health certifications that will apply once in-person argument resumes. Here is the text of the announcement.

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News

Recent News on the Federal Circuit

Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights:

  • a blog post detailing the “top 10 patent cases: 1891 to 1951”;
  • an article discussing how “[t]he Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Judge Leonard Stark’s nomination to the Federal Circuit”;
  • another article explaining how “[t]wo of President Biden’s key nominations related to intellectual property law moved closer to confirmation on Thursday”; and
  • yet another article assessing how the Federal Circuit recently explained that “a California district court erred in its claim construction.”
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Opinions

Opinions & Orders – January 18, 2022

This morning the Federal Circuit issued three nonprecedential opinions. The first opinion comes in a patent case appealed from the Patent Trial Appeal Board, while the second and third opinions come in employment cases appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Finally, the court released three Rule 36 judgments and one erratum. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the Rule 36 judgments and erratum.

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Featured / Federal Circuit Announcement

Federal Circuit Announces that All February Hearings Will Be Conducted Virtually

This morning the Federal Circuit released a “Notice of Change to February 2022 Session.” In it, the court announced that it will be conducting all scheduled arguments for the February 2022 session by video conference, with a simultaneous live audio stream of each argument broadcast via the court’s YouTube channel. Here is the text of today’s announcement.

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En Banc Activity / Petitions

Recent En Banc Activity

Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit in patent cases. Since our last update the court denied a petition that raised a question related to the written description requirement. That’s it. Here are the details.

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News

Recent News on the Federal Circuit

Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights:

  • an article detailing how “[t]hree judges of the Federal Circuit wrestled at oral argument with whether a trial court properly prevented publication of a patent application . . .”;
  • another article discussing the Federal Circuit’s affirmation of a “district court’s finding that a patent claim does not fail the written description requirement merely because the specification fails to explicitly state a negative claim limitation”;
  • another article detailing how the Federal Circuit has considered whether “USPTO reexam estoppel orders [are] appealable”; and
  • yet another article stating that the Federal Circuit would hear a case “that threatens the statutory presumption afforded copyright registration.”
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