Featured / Opinions / Panel Activity

Guest Post – Patent Eligibility from Mayo to American Axle and Beyond

Paul R. Michel served as a Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1988 to 2010, including a six year tenure as Chief Judge from 2004 to 2010. Here, he reflects on judicial treatment of patent eligibility law—from the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. in 2012 through Friday’s set of opinions in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC.

The law of patent eligibility has been a hopeless mess ever since the Mayo decision upended three decades of stable and predictable law described in Diehr in 1981.  

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En Banc Activity / Opinions

Opinion Summary – American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC

As we previously reported, earlier today the Federal Circuit issued a modified opinion in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, a case we have been tracking because American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) petitioned for rehearing en banc. In the modified opinion, the court vacated a district court’s judgment that one independent patent claim and its dependent claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101, but affirmed the district court’s judgment of invalidity for lack of eligibility with respect to other claims. In addition to the modified panel opinion, the court issued an order denying a petition for rehearing en banc. The petition failed narrowly—by a vote of 6-6. Judges Dyk and Chen filed opinions concurring in the denial of the petition for rehearing en banc, while Judges Newman, Stoll, and O’Malley filed dissenting opinions. Here is a summary of the opinions, orders, and dissents.

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Opinions

Opinions & Orders – July 31, 2020

This morning the Federal Circuit issued seven precedential opinions and orders in patent cases, along with one related nonprecedential opinion. These include the opinions and orders in the closely watched case of American Axle & Manufacturing v. NEAPCO Holdings LLC, which concerns the application of patent eligibility law. Notably, in that case the court vacated the prior panel opinion, issued a new panel opinion, and denied en banc rehearing by an evenly divided court. Here are the introductions to today’s opinions and text from today’s orders.

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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. Highlights include three new petitions (including, notably, in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc.), a response to the petition and several amicus briefs in support of the petition in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, and the denial of three petitions. 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 recent discussion of march-in rights by Democratic candidates for president, identification of a trend toward use of the enablement requirement rather than the written description requirement to invalidate patent claims in the life-sciences, and analysis of a revised dataset exploring the divergence in treatment of patent eligibility between the United States and the European Patent Office and/or China.

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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. Highlights include two new petitions, a response to a petition, and an amicus brief in support of a petition.

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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. Highlights include three new petitions, two responses, two requests for responses, and five denials of petitions.

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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 covers a story by the New York Times on the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a petition by the University of Wisconsin, a press release by Representative Doug Collins criticizing a decision of the Federal Circuit on patent eligibility, and two comments on the recent oral argument at the Supreme Court in Peter v. NantKwest, Inc.

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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 covers a discussion of the Federal Circuit’s struggle to apply precedent in the context of patent eligibility, a note on a recent petition for certiorari, and an article on a Federal Circuit decision related to the government’s alleged breach of loan agreements to provide housing for low-income tenants.

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Opinions

Today’s Opinions – October 3, 2019

Today the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a patent case, one precedential opinion in an international trade case, one nonprecedential opinion in a patent case, two nonprecedential opinions in veterans cases, and one nonprecedential Rule 36 judgment. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

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