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Apple v. Samsung Returns to District Court

When it comes to a phone and its components, what is the "article of manufacture?"

In the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case, the U.S. Supreme Court said last year that it could be a product or a component of the product. The decision upended Apple's $399 million judgment against Samsung based on the phone's entire design.

The Supreme Court did not define "the article of manufacture" for calculating damages in the case, however. The justices sent that determination back to the court of appeals.

On remand, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week rejected arguments from both Apple and Samsung on the question. Instead, the appeals panel sent the issue back to the trial judge.

"While Apple requests continued panel review, Samsung requests that we remand to the district court for a new trial on damages," the court said. " Instead, we remand this case to the district court for further proceedings, which may or may not include a new damages trial."

Court Cuts Back at PTO on Scalpel Invention

A federal appeals court has breathed life into a doctor's patent claim for a scalpel that helps surgeons repair torn knee ligaments and other injuries.

The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said the Patent and Trademark Office wrongfully denied the doctor's patent by shifting the burden on him to continue his claim. The trademark examiner and board said that a prior invention could perform the same function, but the appeals court said the doctor had done enough to show his scalpel design worked differently.

"For that reason, the examiner failed to make the necessary prima facie showing to shift the burden of going forward to applicant," the court said.

Erroneous Salmonella Warning Not 'a Taking' Federal Cir. Affirms

Under the Takings Clause, the government is not allowed to take individual property for the benefit of the public without just compensation. What constitutes "a taking" has been the subject of debate since the very beginning ...

The Federal Circuit just affirmed a lower District court's decision that a salmonella warning does not amount to a government "taking." The lawyers who represented the growers in this case were really reaching on this one. It's a fine example of creative advocacy.

Year in Review 2014: The 10 Most Popular Federal Cir. Blog Posts

This circuit. This glorious Federal Circuit, with its unique, specialized jurisdiction over a few niche areas of law. Typically, this circuit's run-of-the-mill patent decisions are a bit dry.

But 2014 was different. This past year brought a whole lot of Supreme Court intervention, a scandal that led to a resignation and reprimand, and a new chief judge. In other words: juicy blog material.

Here's what you found most interesting, judging by traffic numbers:

Replacing Rader: Kara Farnandez Stoll Is New Fed. Cir. Nominee

Last week, an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit bench-slapped the other party in the e-mail scandal that led to Chief Judge Randall Rader's retirement. This week, the same court is preparing for a possible new colleague, as there is a nominee to fill Rader's now-vacant seat.

Enter Kara Farnandez Stoll, a partner in the largest firm that practices intellectual property exclusively: Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP (or Finnegan for short). President Barack Obama announced Stoll's nomination Wednesday, and she'll face a post-midterm Republican-controlled Senate during her confirmation process now that the elections are over.

On May 30, 2014, Sharon Prost succeed Randall Rader as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit, and earlier this month Judge Alan Lourie told us the "State of the Court" at the Federal Circuit Bar Association's 16th Annual Bench & Bar Conference.

Amidst all of this change and review for the court, last week Judge Randall Rader had his last day on the Federal Circuit bench and sent an open letter to his colleagues. Just a week later, criticisms of the Federal Circuit and its exclusive jurisdiction of patents are growing ever louder.

Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit Bar Association held its 16th Annual Bench & Bar Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. The theme was "Sharpening Case Management: The Challenges at Home and Abroad," and the conference had meetings about topics including IP protection trends, agency action trends, ethics and civility, damages litigation, customs enforcement and cybersecurity, to name a few.

One of the highlights of the conference, was the delivery of the "State of the Court" by Circuit Judge Alan D. Lourie.

Last month former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader resigned from his post to squash any appearance of impropriety following the news that he had written a complimentary letter to an attorney that appeared before his court.

Following his departure, Judge Sharon Prost has taken the helm as new Federal Circuit Chief Judge -- let's learn a little more about her.

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Chief Judge Randall R. Rader, of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, has announced today that he is resigning his post as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit. In a speech he gave at a Federal Circuit Bar Association program this morning, Judge Rader stated:

May 30, 2012 was my first day as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit. May 30, 2014 will be my last. In a week, I will step aside as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit, opening the position for the new Chief Judge Sharon Prost.

Why the sudden resignation?

Attention attorneys practicing in the Federal Circuit: mark your calendars. There are two events coming up in May and June, and registration is now open for both of them.

The Federal Circuit has announced that it will be hosting the 2014 Federal Practice Summit, and the Federal Circuit Bar Association has announced the 16th Annual Bench & Bar Conference.

Read on to learn more about both events, and to find out how to register.