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

November 2012 Archives

Federal Circuit Law Governs Patent Injunctions

A district court in Vermont is typically bound by Second Circuit precedent. When that same court is deciding a patent issue, however, it must defer to the Federal Circuit's standards of proof.

Confusion regarding the proper standard is an reasonable mistake, but one that can result in a remand.

Changing of the Guard: David Kappos Leaving USPTO in January

As the end of President Obama's first term comes to a close, there are going to be a number of leadership changes.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already announced that she will be leaving the State Department and trying to catch up on her sleep. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner has said that he will not return for the second term. Attorney General Eric Holder isn't sure what his future holds.

And over at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Director David Kappos is ready to hand the reigns to a worthy successor.

Purchaser Can Bring a Walker Process Claim Against Patent Owner

In Walker Process Equipment, Inc. v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corp., the Supreme Court held that antitrust liability may attach when a party uses a patent to obtain or preserve a monopoly if the patent was procured through intentional fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

The question in this interlocutory appeal was whether a direct purchaser of patent-protected goods can bring a Walker Process antitrust action against the owner of a patent, even if the purchaser faces no threat of an action for patent infringement and has no other basis to seek a declaratory judgment holding the patent invalid or unenforceable.

VA Doesn't Have to Pay $350,000 in Benefits to Veteran's Estate

Two months before his death in 2005, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs awarded 100 percent disability benefits to Lee Richardson, a veteran. The benefits award was retroactive to March 10, 1986, and included approximately $350,000 in accrued benefits.

Richardson never received payment from the VA. Sharon Youngman, Richardson's fiduciary and curator, attempted to collect his benefits for distribution to his cousins, his only survivors.

Last week, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals denied Youngman's request, concluding that Richardson's claim to the benefits was extinguished upon his death.

Will Your Post-PIP Dismissal Survive Judicial Review?

Dismissing a federal employee is no simple task.

This week, an unpublished Federal Circuit Court of Appeals opinion demonstrates how one federal agency took the necessary steps for its termination decision to withstand judicial review.

Federal Circuit Vetoes Voting Machine Patent Appeal

In keeping with the election fever which swept the nation this week, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals released an election-themed decision on Tuesday, and it seems that the Internet led to the plaintiff-appellant's loss.

In a unanimous opinion, the appellate court held that Premier Election Systems and Diebold had not infringed on 93 of Voter Verified's automated self-verification patents.

SCOTUS Schedule Stacked with IP Cases

The Supreme Court is digging intellectual property this term.

The Nine have already have four IP cases on the calendar for the year, according to Patently-O. One of those cases came from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Big deal," you say. "Four cases? That's only 5 percent of the approximately 70 cases the court will hear this year." True, but it's a significant number considering that only 51 petitions have been granted so far in the 2012 term, and the Court is still expected to grant more IP cases.