Last week the Supreme Court heard arguments in a duo of cases regarding attorney fees in patent cases, and the meaning of the Patent Act's Section 285 language that allows a "court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party." The arguments were concluded before the two-hours allotted for argument, and the most exciting news from the Supreme Court was unrelated to attorney fees, notes SCOTUSblog.
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It's been a big week at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, with a decision in Motorola's patent war with Apple and a computer virus spreading via bogus court emails.
Ready for the roundup? It's Friday, so we'll make it quick:
The Federal Circuit is in the unique position of hearing very specialized and specific types of cases. If you're an IP attorney, or work with veterans, then it's important to keep a close eye on the cases coming out of this circuit, and 2013 was a pretty interesting year for the Federal Circuit.
Federal Circuit in the News
The infamous government bailout of 2008 still haunts us as the issue of whether Ben Bernanke could be deposed, while still in his position, was raised in a lawsuit from Maurice Greenberg, owner of Starr International, Co., a 12% stake holder in AIG. The last word by the Federal Circuit was that Bernanke may not be deposed while he is Chairman, but considering he steps down in less than a month, we're guessing this is not the last we'll hear on this issue.
The Federal Circuit also made history in September when Judge Hughes was confirmed as the first openly gay judge to sit on a Court of Appeals.
Unlike many of President Barack Obama's nominees for the federal bench, this one did not face delays or opposition. The White House announced today that 46-year-old Todd Hughes was confirmed unanimously by the Senate, filling a long-standing vacancy on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Hughes' confirmation marks the first time an openly-gay judge has served on a Federal Court of Appeals. Interestingly enough, the president's former nominee for the seat, Edward DuMont, whose confirmation was stalled for years before he withdrew, is also openly gay.
Earlier this month, Raymond Chen was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Nominated by the Obama administration in February, Chen, in a unanimous 97-0 confirmation, is also the first Asian American to serve on the Federal Circuit in more than 25 years.
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Chen graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.S. in electrical engineering. He then went on to attend New York University School of Law.
After finishing law school, Chen worked as an intellectual property litigator for a firm in Southern California. He then served as a Technical Assistant for the Federal Circuit. Afterwards, he joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO"), where he was promoted to Solicitor in 2008.
The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has held that it can hear an appeal on patent infringement liability before the trial on damages has occurred.
The court ruled it could hear Pylon Manufacturing's liability appeal of an infringement decision in favor of Robert Bosch LLC over patents related to windshield wipers. The ruling could lead to more bifurcated patent trials, reports Reuters.
Patent troll haters’ eyes are rolling at the Federal Circuit after, according to some critics, the court missed a golden opportunity to finally rein in abstract patents, reports SiliconAngle.
One such notable critic, Timothy B. Lee, rolled his eyes completely into the back of his head in a Washington Post article he wrote titled, “One the worst patents ever just got upheld in court.”
Yeah, he was referring to the Federal Circuit…
Lee takes issue with the Federal Circuit protecting patents on concepts for future inventions. Most troubling, he thinks it will exacerbate our already out-of-control patent trolling problem.
Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list. Today’s offering: The Federal Circuit’s latest addition, Richard Taranto.
The Senate is slowly filling the vacancies (and pending vacancies) on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week, senators confirmed Richard Taranto as the appellate court’s newest judge. On Friday, Judge Taranto was sworn in. (Beware the Ides of March no more, eh Judge?)
David Smith thinks his lost legal career is worth $5 million.
Too bad the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals thinks that he can't bring his federal claims.
The Federal Circuit has twice ruled that human genes can be patented. Now, it's the Supreme Court's turn to decide.
Last week, the Court granted certiorari in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.