Administrative Agency Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Clues and Cases from Alexander Acosta’s NLRB Tenure

Seyfarth Synopsis: A review and analysis of select NLRB cases decided by President Trump’s new appointee as Secretary of Labor and former NLRB Member Alexander Acosta. ...more

DJI Drone Manufacturer Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Firmware Update

Last week, a class action law suit was filed against leader in the drone industry, DJI Technology, Inc. (DJI), for an allegedly harmful firmware update that occurred in December 2015 that rendered certain commercial drones in...more

Wisconsin Legislature Proposes Employer-Friendly Changes to State Employment Laws Related to Offers of Settlement and Remedies

A bill recently proposed in Wisconsin could seriously change litigation strategy and settlement considerations for many employment claims filed with state agencies. Assembly Bill 64 would amend the Wisconsin Fair Employment...more

Federal Circuit Case Highlights the Importance of a Well Designed Provisional Patent Application Strategy

Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC v. Ricoh Americas Corporation, et al., No. 2016-1243 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 13, 2017). This case highlights the importance of a...more

GAO Upholds Waiver(s) of OCI Allegations

On January 30, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its decision denying Concurrent Technologies Corp.’s (CTC) protest of the U.S. Navy’s award of a support contract for the Navy Manufacturing Technology...more

Executive Orders Expected this Week Regarding Clean Air and Water Act Rules

In addition to a January 20th Presidential Memorandum freezing all, not yet enacted, rules and sending them back to the agencies and Office of Management and Budget for reconsideration, and the utilization of the...more

Proof by Proxy in FCA Suits? District Court Says It Depends

Admissibility of statistical sampling to prove liability in FCA suit is fact dependent. In a February 14, 2017 decision, the Fourth Circuit declined to rule on the question of whether statistical sampling can be used to...more

SEC Reportedly Centralizing Authority to Issue Formal Investigation Orders

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the acting Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission has centralized authority to issue formal orders of investigation – a critical authority that triggers the...more

PTAB Terminates Interference Proceeding Between University of California and Broad Institute Regarding CRISPR Gene Editing Claims

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) terminated a patent interference proceeding between the University of California (UC) and the Broad Institute (Broad), a joint venture of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute...more

Federal Circuit Knocks Out Patents After CBM Challenge

Apple successfully invalidated three patents for failure to recite patent eligible subject matter. Apple, Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc., 2015-1792, 2015-1793 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The patents relate to synchronous communication systems...more

Supreme Court Decides Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools

On February 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497, holding that a plaintiff need not exhaust administrative procedures under the Individuals with Disabilities...more

MSHA decides that the White House’s Regulatory Freeze Does Not Apply to its New Rule

MSHA decided to move forward with its controversial Examination of Workplaces in Metal and Nonmetal Mines Rule without regard to a White House Memorandum requesting federal agencies to delay rules for sixty days. (see our...more

Someone Forgot to Tell the PTAB That There is No IPR Estoppel

In Great West Casualty Co. v. Intellectual Ventures II LLC, [IPR2016-01534] (February 15, 2017), the PTAB declined to institute an IPR because petitioners were estopped by their prior challenge to U.S. Patent No. 7,516,177....more

Fourth Circuit Takes a Pass on Statistical Sampling, Finds DOJ's Settlement Veto Authority Unreviewable

After granting the relators’ petition for an interlocutory review of the district court’s rejection of the use of statistical sampling to establish FCA liability, the Fourth Circuit ultimately declined to reach that issue in...more

New York Industrial Board of Appeals Rescinds Payroll Debit Card and Direct Deposit Regulations

Seyfarth Synopsis: Regulations that would have restricted New York employers’ ability to pay employees via payroll debit cards have been struck down by an administrative review tribunal within the State Department of Labor....more

Sportbrain Sues Smartwatch Manufacturers, PTAB institutes IPR against Patent-in-Suit

Sportbrain Holdings LLC (“Sportbrain”) is a company that was previously engaged in the business of selling fitness trackers. Sportbrain recently sued eight smartwatch manufacturers for alleged infringement of its U.S. Patent...more

ERISA: Winning Tactic on Summary Judgment to Prove Claimant Received the Policy: Get Key Evidence into the Administrative Record

You know that to apply an exclusion in a policy, the claims administrator must show that the claimant received the policy. But what happens when the claimant submits a declaration disputing your proof that she received...more

Best in Law: How You Can Combat Chinese Counterfeits

Counterfeit products can create significant problems for businesses. Chinese counterfeiting costs foreign businesses billions of dollars a year in lost profits, according to an ABC News report last year. Counterfeiting...more

DOJ Issues New Guidance on Corporate Compliance Programs

The DOJ Fraud Section’s “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” puts chief compliance officers on notice about how the adequacy of their companies’ compliance programs is evaluated by prosecutors....more

PTAB Ruling on CRISPR: No Interference

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) ruled in favor of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in a closely watched patent fight with UC Berkeley over the breakthrough CRISPR...more

DC Circuit Grants CFPB’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc in PHH Case

On February 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit entered an order granting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) petition for rehearing en banc in the PHH Corporation, et al., v. Consumer Financial...more

D.C. Circuit Grants Rehearing in PHH Case

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, the D.C. Circuit granted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) petition for rehearing en banc in PHH Corporation v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Order marks the latest...more

The National Labor Relations Board 2016 Year in Review – Whitepaper

Introduction - In comparison to recent history, 2016 was a tame year for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “the Board”). While continuing to issue decisions that left employers scratching their heads, the...more

Recent Sixth Circuit Ruling Impacts Prayer at Public Meetings

If you are a Jackson County resident, your next local Board of Commissioners' meetings might look a little different than what you are used to. On February 15, 2017, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that county...more

IPR Estoppel Provisions May Not Be That Scary After All

IPR petitioners wary of the statutory estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2) may have reason to be cautiously optimistic. Judge Sue Robinson of the Federal District Court of Delaware recently held that Toshiba is not estopped...more

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