Opinions & Orders – February 9, 2024

This morning, the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions, four nonprecedential opinions, and two Rule 36 summary affirmances. One of the precedential opinions addresses an appeal from a final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a post-grant review, which held certain claims unpatentable as obvious or lacking written description. The other precedential opinion addresses an appeal from a judgment of the Court of Federal Claims and addresses an assertion by the government of a right to practice a patent and have a patent practiced on its behalf under a provision of a Bayh-Dole Act. Two of the nonprecedential opinions address jurisdiction, one affirms the rejection of proposed patent claims for being directed to patent-ineligible subject matter, and one affirms the dismissal of a complaint due to the claims being timebarred. Late yesterday, the Federal Circuit also released five nonprecedential orders dismissing appeals. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the dismissals and summary affirmances.

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Recent Scholarship Related to the Federal Circuit

This month we highlight three recent papers addressing the Federal Circuit and the areas of law under its jurisdiction. One paper promotes the idea of allowing agencies, such as Veterans Affairs, to aggregate individual claims, such as through class action lawsuits. Another paper focuses on the impact of the Supreme Court’s affirmance of the Federal Circuit’s conclusion that the statutory ban on registration of immoral marks is unconstitutional. And the third paper proposes that appellate courts defer to jury determinations of fair use of copyrights—a standard of review the Federal Circuit notably did not use in its consideration of the dispute between Google and Oracle now pending at the Supreme Court.

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