Federal Circuit - The FindLaw Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

April 2013 Archives

Whistleblowing Air Marshal Robert MacLean's Case Gets New Life

Robert MacLean became a Federal Air Marshal in 2001. In 2003, the Marshals received word of a potential hijacking plot. Unsurprisingly enough, because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fails at everything, they botched the response. Because of a budget shortfall, they cancelled all missions on certain flights.

Terror/hijacking alert? Meh.

MacLean discussed his concerns through the proper channels, but nothing was done. So he did what he thought was best: leak the story to the press.

Magnetic Appeal: Collateral Estoppel Bars Aspex Claim

If you watched “A Different World,” the 80s/90s “Cosby Show” spinoff that followed Denise Huxtable to Hillman College, you’ll remember Dwayne Wayne’s flip-up sunglass/eyeglass combo. (You may also remember future “My Cousin Vinny” star and Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei’s season on the show. Or maybe not.)

But — until they make an ironic comeback — flip-up sunglasses are relics of the past. These days, multitasking glasses use magnets, a patent-protected technological advancement. Which brings us to a Federal Circuit collateral estoppel dispute between Aspex Eyewear and Zenni Optical over magnetic clip-on eyewear.

Rails to Trails Challenge Subject to Accrual Suspension Rule

A group of landowners in southern Arizona have been arguing for years that a Rails to Trails plan for a right of way on their property constituted a taking. So far, that litigation has enjoyed two tours through the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

This week, the appellate court ruled in its second opinion in the matter that the landowners can keep pushing their takings claims under the accrual suspension rule, despite the government’s claims that the action is time-barred.

CLE Credit: Intellectual Property and Law Conferences

If you’re hunting for continuing legal education credits — or you just want to learn more about intellectual property law — there are several IP-centric opportunities that you should check out this month: The ABA Intellectual Property Conference, the Robotics and Law Conference, and Patents, Innovation and Freedom to Use Ideas.