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


Apple's Forum Transfer Request Denied in Patent Case

A federal appeals court rejected Apple's request to transfer a patent case out of Texas.

Apple argued that the plaintiff had "no meaningful connection" to the district court in Texas. But the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals disagreed, leaving Apple in a jurisdiction that has not been kind.

In a separate Texas case, a district court recently ordered Apple to pay half a billion dollars for patent infringement. It looks like nobody is getting out of patent cases there without a fight.

Federal Circuit Briefs Are Finally Available to Public Immediately

With apologies to Kermit the Frog, it's not easy going green.

Just ask the clerk's office at the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court announced a new paperless filing procedure in August, only to revise it in October.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which took some credit for the upgrade, also took some blame for the change-up. In any case, it's all good because now briefs will be available online immediately.

Apple may not be known for playing nice when it comes to using the tech they want, but it is surely known for fighting knock-out, drag-out, scorched-earth variety litigation, and isn't in the least bit afraid to take matters decided against them up on appeal when it loses.

Thanks to that latter willingness to appeal, however, Apple has won a sizable bit of relief. A judge panel unanimously decided, as a matter of law, that the jury in the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's big patent case could not have, as a matter of law, ruled for the university. Notably, the panel reversed the nearly $500 million in damages awarded back in 2015.

We may not quite be living in the world of Gattaca, but it seems like only a matter of time before researchers figure out what they're actually doing with CRISPR.

The recent decision in the University of California v. Broad Institute patent war over a CRISPR-cas9 gene editing method could have wide reaching implications. A panel of justices at the federal circuit court of appeals upheld the PTAB's ruling the Broad Institute's patent for using the CRISPR-cas9 method on plant and animal cells. UC Berkeley had challenged Broad's patent on the basis that it had filed its patent application for using that method in bacteria, prior to Broad.

Federal Circuit Changes Filing Procedures, and That's a Good Thing

Briefing just got a little easier in the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

No, it's not any easier to research and write briefs in the complex cases handled by the Federal Circuit. It is still the clearing house for patents, trademarks, and other specialty claims across the country.

But practitioners can now access briefs as soon as they are filed with the court. That helps, especially because the court used to hold onto them for days and nobody could get access.

Court Strikes Down Tribe's Sovereign Shield Against Patent Review

A federal appeals court struck down a Native American tribe's claim of sovereign immunity against inter partes patent challenges.

In Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said the United States Patent and Trademark Office acts for the United States as a "superior sovereign." It has the power to review its own grants of patents, the appeals court said.

If Allergan has anything to do with it, however, the battle over inter partes review is far from over.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals lost its recent appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit related to its narcolepsy drug Xyrem, which had several of its "subsets" of Xyrem patents invalidated by PTAB.

The drug, which utilizes an illicit drug more commonly known as GHB, or the date rape drug, is, under the Controlled Substances Act, a Schedule III drug. The drug was only approved by the FDA under "restricted distribution regulations." Interestingly, along with patents for the drug, Jazz also sought patent protection for their method of monitoring and controlling the distribution of sensitive drugs, like Xyrem. Unfortunately, both the patent board and federal appellate court found the patents a little too obvious.

Does Coke Have 'Zero' Chance in Trademark Lawsuit?

There's a word for what the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals said in Royal Crown Company v. The Coca-Cola Company. It's "zero."

Of course, the decision is much more complicated but still came down to the same word. Basically, the appeals court zeroed out a trademark decision regarding the term.

The Federal Circuit said the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board erred in framing the genericness of the term and sent the case back for further consideration. For Coca-Cola, it's back to zero.

Pfizer Loses Patent Appeal, But Wins FDA Approval

At a multi-national monster like Pfizer, good news and bad news happens daily.

Last week, the good news came from government approval of its anemia treatment. The bad news came from a court invalidating one of its patents.

In Anacor Pharmaceuticals v. Iancu, a federal appeals court said a process for using tavaborole was too obvious for patent protection. That's a treatment for "toenail fungus," if you wanted to know.

Dr. Dre Loses Trademark Case Against Dr. Drai

Dr. Dre, the rap star, sued to block a trademark by Dr. Drai, a gynecologist.

Dr. Draion Bruch, who goes by Dr. Drai, said he uses his short name for business purposes. Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, said the trademark would confuse people.

The Patent and Trademark Office was not confused, however, and ruled against the music man in Young v. Burch. But what is mind-blowing, how come the highest paid doctor is a rapper?