Opinions

Opinions & Orders – May 21, 2024

This morning the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions, four nonprecedential opinions, and one nonprecedential order. The first precedential opinion comes in an en banc design patent case. In it, the en banc court overruled the long-standing Rosen-Durling test used to assess the nonobviousness of design patents. Notably, Judge Lourie concurred in the judgment, suggesting it was unnecessary to overrule Rosen and Durling. In the second precedential opinion, a panel vacated and remanded a judgment of Central District Court of California in a patent infringement case over a dissent by Judge Mayer. As for the nonprecedential opinions, the first affirms two separate dismissals by the Merit Systems Protection Board in a pro se case, the second affirms a judgment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the third dismisses an appeal in a veterans case for lack of jurisdiction, and the fourth affirms another dismissal by the Merit Systems Protection Board for lack of jurisdiction. The nonprecedential order is a dismissal. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the orders.

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En Banc Activity / Featured / Opinions

Breaking News – Federal Circuit Overrules Its Precedent, Modifies Test for Nonobviousness of Design Patents

Today the Federal Circuit issued an en banc opinion in LKQ Corporation v. GM Global Technology Operations LLC, a design patent case. In the opinion, the en banc court overruled the long-standing Rosen-Durling test used to assess the nonobviousness of design patents. The court decided to apply “the same conditions for patentability that apply to utility patents.” Notably, Judge Lourie concurred in the judgment, suggesting it was unnecessary to overrule Rosen and Durling. Here is the introduction to the majority opinion. We will post an opinion summary later this week.

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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 discussing “what’s at stake in pending Federal Circuit design patent case”;
  • an article highlighting a recent notice by the USPTO published in the Federal Register “providing updated guidance for agency decision-makers on proper determinations of obviousness under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc.”; and
  • an article about how “[t]he Federal Circuit reversed a district court judge’s dismissal of a breach-of-contract lawsuit against MasterCard International Inc. over a licensing agreement the company entered with patent owner AlexSam 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 highlights:

  • an article discussing how the Supreme Court “justices declined to review the Federal Circuit’s holding that the one-year window for filing inter partes review petitions does not apply to companies seeking to join a challenge brought by another company”; and
  • an article presenting “post-argument thoughts” on the Federal Circuit’s recent “en banc oral argument to reconsider the obviousness test for design patents.”
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Argument Recap / En Banc Activity

Argument Recap – LKQ Corporation v. GM Global Technology Corporation

Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit heard oral argument in LKQ Corporation v. GM Global Technology Operations LLC, a design patent case being heard by the court en banc. In this case, the Federal Circuit is reviewing a judgment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and, in the process, determining whether to adopt a more flexible test for analyzing design patent obviousness compared to the existing “Rosen-Durling” test. This is our argument recap.

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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 discussing how “Judge Pauline Newman on Wednesday lost a bid to persuade the federal court system’s governing body to review her suspension from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit”;
  • a similar article about how “Judge Pauline Newman . . . faces a difficult path to getting reinstated without complying with an investigation into her mental fitness”; and
  • an article highlighting how the Federal Circuit “met to consider a design patent appeal en banc for the first time in more than 15 years.”
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En Banc Activity

Recent En Banc Activity

Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit in patent cases. Highlights include the only pending en banc case reaching oral argument, a new petition for rehearing regarding literal infringement, and a denial of a petition raising a question concerning the meaning of an alleged “coined term.” 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 arguing the “full Federal Circuit should reject an ill-conceived request by major players in the repair parts industry” after yesterday’s arguments in a design patent case; and
  • an article discussing how the Federal Circuit agreed “with a lower court’s conclusion that claims in an Eolas Technologies Inc. 1994 web patent weren’t actually valid, handing a win to Google, Amazon and Walmart.”
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Court Week

Court Week – February 2024 – What You Need to Know

This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit. In total, the court will convene 12 panels to consider 57 cases. Of these 57 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 43. The Federal Circuit is providing access to live audio of these arguments via the Federal Circuit’s YouTube channel. This month, two cases scheduled for oral argument attracted amicus briefs. Here’s what you need to know about these two cases.

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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 discussing a “rare Federal Circuit en banc patent case” set for oral argument next week that “threatens” the current test for obviousness with respect to design patents; and
  • an article indicating “the Federal Circuit could make the [International Trade Commission] a more appealing forum.”
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