Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit in patent cases. The court received a new response to a petition raising questions related to claim construction and the doctrine of equivalents, and the court denied two petitions raising questions related to claim construction, eligible subject matter, and deference to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Here are the details.
Recent News on the Federal Circuit
- Full Fed. Circ. Won’t Review Motion Sensor Patent Fight – The full Federal Circuit chose not to disturb a panel’s decision to uphold part of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that struck down several claims of a motion sensor patent.
- Good News/Bad News: Patent Owners and Petitioners Both Make Gains in CAFC Uniloc Decision – Experts analyze the effects of the Federal Circuit’s recent Uniloc 2017 v. Facebook Inc. decision that raised numerous estoppel issues.
Here’s the latest.
Online Symposium: Prof. Osenga’s Top 2020 Federal Circuit Patent Decisions
Guest Post by Kristen Osenga
In any given year, the Federal Circuit covers a wide spectrum of issues in patent law, and 2020 was no different. Of course, a lot about 2020 was different — including seeing the Court hold (and now livestream) telephonic arguments — but most of the patent cases decided were similar in type to other years . . . a little patent-eligible subject matter, a little jurisdiction and venue, a case about infringement of standard essential patents, and a bit of deciding what the Patent Trial and Appeal Board can and cannot do. There were no real blockbuster cases in 2020 (other than maybe the Arthrex denial of rehearing, more on that later). This could be due to the pandemic, or maybe it is a sign that patent law is settling in for a bit. Of course, that does not mean the law has settled in the right place, but that is a different issue for a different day.
For today, a few cases are worth highlighting from the Federal Circuit’s 2020 patent opinions. To be clear, this is not an exhaustive review, but rather simply a short selection noting some of the more important patent cases decided last year.
Update on Important Panel Activity
Here is this month’s 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 two dispositions, one new case with an amicus brief, one case with new briefing, one case update, three recent oral arguments, and two upcoming oral arguments. Here are the details.
Opinions & Orders – March 10, 2021
This morning, the Federal Circuit released a precedential opinion in a government contracts case concerning disaster-assistance funds distributions from FEMA. The court also released six nonprecedential opinions in patent cases. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Recent En Banc Activity
Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. New petitions were filed in two patent cases raising questions related to claim construction and the doctrine of equivalents. The court also denied seven petitions in patent cases raising questions related to Rule 36 judgments, injunctive relief, claim construction, awards of attorneys’ fees, eligible subject matter, deference to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, standing, inter partes review, and enablement. Here are the details.
Opinions & Orders – March 2, 2021
This morning, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a patent case, reversing a district court’s judgment on indefiniteness. Additionally, the Federal Circuit issued two Rule 36 judgments. The introduction to the opinion and links to the Rule 36 judgments can be found here.
Recent News on the Federal Circuit
- Challenging Therapeutics IP After Fed. Circ. Drink Can Ruling – Issued on the last day of 2020, the Federal Circuit’s opinion in Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp. v. Crown Packaging Technology Inc., raises important considerations for patent challengers alleging the indefiniteness of measurement claim terms that describe pharmacologic or physicochemical properties of an invention.
- Apple Transfer Win Survives Bid for Full Federal Circuit Review – The Federal Circuit denied a petition for an en banc review of an earlier decision that enabled Apple to transfer its case to the Northern District of California.
- Federal Circuit Says PTAB Failed to Provide Proper Notice to IPR Respondent of Anticipation Theory – A recent Federal Circuit decision held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred in finding a claim anticipated by prior art even though the petition for inter partes review had only asserted obviousness as to the claim.
Here’s the latest.
Opinions & Orders – February 1, 2021
This morning, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a patent case, finding that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred by invalidating a claim for anticipation when the relevant petition asserted only obviousness. The court also issued a nonprecedential opinion in another patent case affirming PTAB findings of obviousness. Finally, the court issued two Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the Rule 36 judgments.
Opinions & Orders – January 27, 2021
This morning, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in an international trade case and a nonprecedential opinion in a patent case. Here are the introductions to the opinions.