Administrative Agency Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Covered Business Method Patent: You Keep Using Those Words … We do not Think They Mean What You Think They Means

In Secure Access, LLC v. PNC BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, [2016-1353] (February 21, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated the Board’s decision in CBM2014-00100 on the ground that U.S. Patent No. 7,631,191 on a “system and method...more

EPA Proposes Rules to Implement TSCA Reform

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law on June 22, 2016. We previously summarized that bill's key changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA"). This Commentary highlights...more

USPTO Standards of Review for Inter Partes Review Proceedings

The Administrative Procedures Act (APA) applies to Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is using the APA to check the PTAB’s tendency to invalidate claims....more

3D Cinema Systems: ITC Declines to Apply Issue Preclusion Based on PTAB’s IPR Decision

In 3D Cinema Systems (Inv. 939), the Commission issued an opinion that explained why it did not give deference to a decision of invalidity by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in an inter partes review (IPR)....more

Ethics Chief Gets Permanent Appointment; Case Overview Shows Agency's Vital Role

A week ago today, on Feb. 17, the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission announced the appointment of David A. Wilson as its executive director, where he’s responsible for administering and enforcing the state’s conflict of...more

DC Court of Appeals Orders Rehearing of PHH v. CFPB

On February 16, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit granted Respondent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) petition for rehearing en banc of PHH Corp. v. CFPB, No. 15-1177 (D.C. Cir.). In...more

ITC Flourishes in 2016 As District Courts and PTAB Wither

As we have previously reported here, 2016 was a banner year for Section 337 proceedings at the ITC. Sixty new Section 337 related complaints were filed at the ITC—a 50% increase over the previous year. 2016’s tally exceeds...more

Plaintiffs in Another Case Challenging CFPB's Constitutionality Move to Intervene in PHH Case

The plaintiffs in State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, et al. v. Lew have filed a "Motion To Intervene In Any En Banc Proceeding That May Be Granted" in the PHH case. The motion follows the D.C. federal district court's...more

Final Written Decision Relies on Unexpected Results To Uphold Pozen’s Ulcer Reducing Vimovo® Claims Over Kyle Bass’s IPR Challenge

The PTAB issued a Final Written Decision upholding Pozen’s ulcer reducing Vimovo® claims based on unexpected results in Coalition For Affordable Drugs VII LLC v. Pozen Inc., IPR2015-01718, Paper 40 (P.T.A.B., Feb. 21, 2017)....more

PTAB Invokes 35 U.S.C. § 112(6) To Construe Patent Claim Term During IPR Proceeding

In a recent decision (IPR2016-01372) to institute an Inter Partes Review (IPR), The United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) invoked pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 112 paragraph 6 (now 35 U.S.C. § 112(f)) to interpret the...more

USPTO Errs in Failing to Carry Burden to Support Rejection

Failure of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to respond to patentee arguments in more than a conclusory manner constitutes reversible error. Where one party has the burden to establish a particular fact, the Federal...more

Proposed Regulations Issued for New York State Paid Family Leave Law

The New York Workers Compensation Board has issued a proposed rule for implementation of the statewide Paid Family Leave Law (“PFLL”), which goes into effect on January 1, 2018....more

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

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