Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights a comment on upcoming oral arguments over whether PTAB judges are inferior or superior officers, news about South Carolina’s opening brief in their fight with the U.S. government over fines for storage of plutonium in the state, and a note on the U.S. Army urging the Federal Circuit to uphold a contracting board’s decision sparing the Army from paying $48 million for military escort delays.
Late Breaking Opinion – Secretary of Commerce’s Appointment of PTAB Judges Violates the Constitution
While the Federal Circuit did not issue any opinions this morning, this afternoon (after the time the court typically issues opinions) it issued an important precedential opinion in a patent case, Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. In this case Arthrex argued that the the Secretary of Commerce’s appointment of Administrative Patent Judges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board violates the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Federal Circuit agreed. The court, however, also noted the limited nature of its holding and the limited remedy its holding required.
Here is a report on recent news and commentary related to the Federal Circuit and its cases. Today’s report highlights a discussion of an oral argument addressing the constitutionality of the appointment of the judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an article on the Federal Circuit’s rejection of a challenge by Google to a patent related to encoding audio signals, and a note on a recent petition for en banc rehearing.
An important case being argued next week is Network-1 Technologies, Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Company. This case involves an appeal and a cross appeal. While the appeal presents run-of-the-mill claim construction disputes, the cross-appeal presents the question of whether the district court erred in concluding that HP was estopped from presenting an obviousness challenge because HP could have but did not raise that challenge during a prior inter partes review. This is an important question, because its resolution requires interpretation of 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2), which bars any assertion “that the claim is invalid on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that inter partes review.”