Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit in patent cases. Highlights include two new petitions raising questions related to waiver of the prevailing arguments made in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., non-obviousness, and argument-type prosecution history estoppel, two letters filed by the government in response to arguments related to Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., two amicus briefs in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. itself, and the denial of four petitions. We have the details.
This morning the Federal Circuit issued three precedential opinions in a patent case, an international trade case, and a case affirming the Court of Federal Claims. The court also issued three nonprecedential opinions: two in patent cases and one in another case affirming the Court of Federal Claims. Finally, the court issued five Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and a list of the Rule 36 judgments.
Late on Friday the Federal Circuit issued two precedential orders in patent cases and one nonprecedential order in a patent case. These orders represent the immediate fall out from the Federal Circuit’s opinion late on Thursday in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. that the Secretary of Commerce’s appointment of Administrative Patent Judges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board violates the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. (You can find this blog’s report on that decision here.) On Friday, the Federal Circuit ruled in two cases that the appellants forfeited this same challenge by not raising it in their opening briefs, but instead only in a post-briefing motion or notice of supplemental authority. In the third case, the court canceled this week’s oral argument, vacated the PTAB’s decision, and remanded the case because the appellant did raise the Appointments Clause challenge in its opening brief. Here is the text of the orders.