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

March 2012 Archives

What Does it Take To Be An Appellate Lawyer in the Fed Circuit?

What does it take to be an appellate lawyer? Better yet, what are the attributes of a strong appellate lawyer?

Here’s a quick list of some top traits for appellate lawyers:

Myriad's Medical Patent Case Sent Back After Prometheus Decision

The Mayo v. Prometheus case from last week is already generating the effect that many legal analysts predicted it would. On March 20, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a decision from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, citing in its decision that companies cannot patent their observations on a natural phenomenon.

In light of that ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court is sending another case back to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The high court is asking the Federal Circuit to review a case that challenged two patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc.

Likelihood of Confusion? Bridgestone v. Federal Corp.

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in dismissing Appellants’ opposition to registration of a trademark. The TTAB held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the opposed mark and the marks of Appellant. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

Likelihood of confusion is a concept very familiar to trademark attorneys. It is the cornerstone of a trademark application and the essential idea that a mark cannot be registered as a trademark if it risks being confused with another mark. Here, in Bridgestone v. Federal Corp., the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit examines the opposition of a company on the very basis of likelihood of confusion.

Mayo, Prometheus Medical Patent Case Overturned by SCOTUS

Companies cannot patent their observations on a natural phenomenon. That's what the U.S. Supreme Court said on Tuesday, in a decision that overturned a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

The Supreme Court Justices voted unanimously in the case, rejecting two patents on a blood-monitoring method used to determine the optimal dosage for a drug.

Federal Employee Must Have Continuous Service to Bring Suit

Employee or not an employee? That is the question under 5 U.S.C. sec. 7511.

Susan G. Roy brought suit before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a case stemming from the termination of her appointment as an Immigration Judge by the Department of Justice.

The Court of Appeals dismissed her appeal for lack of jurisdiction, on the grounds that Roy was not an “employee” under 5 U.S.C. sec.7511(a)(1)(C)(ii).

Fee-Shifting and the Prevailing Party Rule: Federal Circuit Explains

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request for attorneys fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act to Thomas O. Ward, a former mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service.

In 2008, Ward was involved in an argument with a supervisor. He was cited by the USPS for improper conduct and was issued a Notice of Proposed Removal. This notice was based solely on that one incident. Ward was subsequently removed from his position. He appealed the removal to the Merit Systems Protection Board and appeared before an administrative judge.

Pro-Se Complaint Gets Tossed by Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

No matter how smart you think you are, leave the drafting of appellate complaints to a lawyer. Don’t file pro-se in appeals court.

‘Nuff said.

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a complaint by the United States Court of Federal Claims on March 9.

Court Invalidates 'Abstract' American Master Lease Patent

While many questioned if the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals was turning soft on subject matter jurisdiction when it ruled in July that genes can be patented, you can rest easy knowing that they still take the Bilski machine-or-transformation test seriously.

Last week, the Federal Circuit invalidated a patent in Fort Properties v. American Master Lease after determining that the investment tool that was the subject of the patent didn't satisfy the machine-or-transformation test.

Split Decision in GE-Mitsubishi Patent Infringement Lawsuit

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a split decision in the ongoing GE-Mitsubishi litigation this week.

The appellate court affirmed an earlier finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that Mitsubishi Heavy didn’t infringe upon a GE patent for technology used in variable-speed wind turbines, but it reversed and remanded an ITC ruling on another GE turbine technology patent. GE will now argue again to the ITC that Mitsubishi Heavy infringed on the remanded patent, reports The Wall Street Journal.