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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.

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.

Federal Circuit Rules Changes? Speak Now!

The Federal Circuit recently released a proposed set of amendments to the Federal Circuit Rules of Practice and Procedure that are expected to be a major overhaul of the current rules. The rules are about 60 pages long and the edits themselves compose about six pages worth of red-lining and changes.

For those who have any interest in giving their input, you have till January fourth to comment on the proposed amendments.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation ("WARF") holds U.S. Patent No. 7,019,913 ("'913"), which discloses "a purified preparation of primate embryonic stem cells."

Consumer Watchdog, a "nonprofit organization dedicated to providing an effective voice for taxpayers and consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics," sought inter partes reexamination of Patent '913 in 2006. When it the group was unsuccessful in the reexamination, it appealed to the Federal Circuit.

Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.

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.

Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.

The Federal Circuit recently had the chance to hear an appeal involving antitrust issues. When we saw that, our ears perked up, as we can only take so much patent and veterans' appeals (sorry). How exactly did the Federal Circuit have jurisdiction to hear the appeal anyway?

The initial claims involved an allegation of patent infringement. Though the parties stipulated to the dismissal of the patent infringement claim, because the district court entered final judgment and dismissed the claim with prejudice, the Federal Circuit retained jurisdiction.

Now, let's get to the heart of the matter.

The third time is the charm. After being distributed for three judicial conferences, the Supreme Court granted Teva Pharmaceutical's petition for writ of certiorari on Monday.

The Stakes Are High

The Teva case is a patent dispute surrounding the multiple-sclerosis drug Copaxone. Teva Pharmaceuticals holds the patents for Copaxone, and a decision in its favor would keep the patents alive until September 2015. Generic manufacturers want to release their generic drug in May -- which technically they could, under the Federal Circuit's decision. Annual U.S. sales of Copaxone make up more than half of Teva's profit, and reach over $3 billion annually, so there is much at stake for both Teva, and generic manufacturers, reports Blooomberg.

Fed Circuit Roundup: Venue Gets Murkier, Crowdsourcing Prior Art?

Some days, it just seems like we should burn down our entire patent system and redesign it from the ground up. Today is one of those days.

How complicated is venue in a patent case? Take a look at Apple. They're in Cupertino, California, right? Except, they have a one-person subsidiary in Luxembourg, which itself has a six-person subsidiary that does nothing but patent work, and is located in the patent plaintiff-friendly Eastern District of Texas.

Where do they sue? Probably Texas, since it's so patent-friendly. Of course, that's probably why they located a new subsidiary there. And when a defendant has to travel to Texas to be sued, well, it's probably too bad. And two recent decisions by the Federal Circuit won't help, as the panel took an already murky procedural question and made it worse.

Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments: SCOTUS Oral Arguments Almost Here

With oral arguments slated for April, anticipation continues to build in the U.S. Supreme Court case Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments Inc.

Stemming from the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the legal standard of invalidity for indefiniteness.

Drama in the Fed: Tension Over Procedural Rule, Vet. Disability

Circuit Court procedures often are so complex that they seem arbitrary. A senior judge can hear a case, but he can't vote on en banc rehearing. He can dissent from a panel rehearing denial, but not an en banc rehearing denial. He can sit on the en banc panel but can't vote or dissent on granting the rehearing.

If that sounds confusing, welcome to the party. Senior Judge Plager was equally confused, and irritated, and expressed as much in a footnote to his dissent, calling the original decision and judge-created rule for determining disability levels for veterans a "miscarriage of justice."

The controversial rule, by the way, clarifies which disability rating applies to veterans, arguably conflicts with applicable regulations, and should lead to more unfavorable rulings for veterans seeking disability benefits.