Archive for April, 2015

Federal Circuit Ranks Lowest Among Circuit Courts in Regard to Judicial Complaints

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The U.S. Judiciary keeps track of complaints filed against federal judges.  During the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2014, six judicial complaints were filed against judges under the administration of the Federal Circuit — the lowest number of complaints for any of the federal judicial circuits.  [Chart].

Quote of the day

Monday, April 27th, 2015

The Court has accordingly modified the standard by which lower courts examine allegedly ambiguous claims; we may now steer by the bright star of “reasonable certainty,” rather than the unreliable compass of “insoluble ambiguity.”

Judge Wallach writing for the Federal Circuit in Biosig Instruments, Inc. v. Nautilus, Inc., ___ F. 3d ___ (Fed. Cir. 2015) and contrasting the Supreme Court’s new standard with the Federal Circuit’s old standard for indefiniteness.


Appeals from the PTO to the Federal Circuit Up Significantly

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015


The PTO statistics page shows the dramatic uptick in appeals to the Federal Circuit from the USPTO in recent years.  In the last couple of years, the number of appeals from the PTO has more than doubled. There were 103 pending appeals from the PTO in February of 2013 compared to 231 in February of 2015. (Click on the chart for a higher resolution view)

The USPTO Solicitor’s Office has also grown. It now numbers 34 attorneys.

Oral argument of the week: Shinnecock Indian Nation v. U.S.

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

I find the concept of “judicial takings” and patent law to be pretty interesting.  I posted about this previously [here].  The Federal Circuit recently decided Shinnecock Indian Nation v. U.S. which is tangentially related to judicial takings, although not in the realm of patent law. During the oral argument, the Supreme Court’s plurality opinion from Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 560 U.S. ___ (2010) is discussed — although that opinion is ultimately not mentioned in the Shinnecock decision.

You can listen to the oral argument [here].

The opinion is available [here].

Judge Gilstrap Sitting by Designation

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas is sitting by designation with the Federal Circuit this month.  This marks two months in a row that the Federal Circuit has hosted visiting judges.

Thought for the day

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Whether you are a patent prosecutor trying to overcome a tough rejection or a patent litigator trying to argue that a problem was readily solved, I think you’ll relate to the quote:

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”


Patently-O Turns Eleven

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Happy Birthday to Patently-O!  I think it turned eleven today.  That was a quick eleven years.

Oral Argument Recording of Commil v. Cisco

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in two patent cases this past Tuesday.

You can listen to the oral argument in Commil v. Cisco: [here].

You can listen to the oral argument in Kimble v. Marvel [here].