Administrative Agency Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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GAO Loses Jurisdiction Over Task Order Protests Valued at More Than $10 Million

Government contractors hoping to challenge a civilian agency’s award of a task or delivery order may be out of luck, at least temporarily. Prior to September 30, 2016, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) had...more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 7, Issue 12

NYC ALJ Holds That Consulting Firm May Source Receipts Based on Location of Independent Contractors - The nature of the services performed by a corporation, and how that corporation should source its receipts from those...more

MarkIt to Market® - November 2016

The November 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes practical tips for registering certification marks, a look at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's latest revisions to the Rules of Practice-its most...more

Busting the Myth of the Unlimited RCEs

In June, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a performance audit of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “Patent Office Should Define Quality, Reassess Incentives, and Improve Clarity.” The report was...more

The Difficulty in Implementing an Idea Does Not Mean the Idea is Not Abstract

In Apple, Inc., v. Ameranth, Inc., [2015-1703, 2015-1704] (November 29, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the PTAB’s subject matter eligibility determination of claims of U.S. Patent Nos....more

As Agency Enforcement Efforts Mount, CFTC Prohibits Private Lawsuits Against RTOs/ISOs for Market Manipulation

Incidents of alleged fraud and market manipulation in the energy markets increasingly have received the attention of federal agency enforcement efforts, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the...more

Federal Judge Blocks Changes to Overtime Rules For Now

On November 22, 2016, a federal district court judge in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the federal Department of Labor from implementing its final rule in respect of overtime compensation (the...more

DOL Oversteps Overtime Regulations

Just one month after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas shut down a Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule, the District Court has enjoined the implementation of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final...more

All Play and No Work: TN Body Clarifies When Recreational Activities Are Covered Under Worker’s Comp Law

Since the early 1930s, the Tennessee Supreme Court has consistently ruled that an employee’s injury during voluntary recreational activity is not compensable as a work-related accident. However, Tennessee Code Annotated §...more

Potential Paths to Deregulation in 2017

Following the beginning of the 115th Congress (January 3) and President-elect Trump’s inauguration (January 20), the legislative and executive branches will have at their disposal a number of legal methods for following...more

PAC FOIA Opinions Address “Unduly Burdensome” factor, Personal Privacy Exemption and Public Records

In three separate opinions rendered in November, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) of the Illinois Attorney General provided guidance regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on the definition of “unduly burdensome,”...more

Federal Court Rules that FEC Cybersecurity Study is Exempt from FOIA Disclosure

Last week, a D.C. federal judge ruled that an investigative reporter was not entitled to a 2014 cybersecurity study performed by an outside vendor detailing vulnerabilities in the Federal Election Commission’s information...more

No Love for ♥ DC

In a case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”), the Board cancelled and abandoned the trademark registration and trademark application for the I "Heart" DC marks owned by an individual, Jonathan A. Chien...more

Federal Circuit Broadly Affirms PTAB’s Determinations on Analogous Art, Motivation to Combine References and Obviousness of Claims

The level of deference the Federal Circuit gives to the Board’s IPR decisions has been surprising to many practitioners, considering the Court’s reputation for reversing district court decisions. The trend of deference to...more

Federal Circuit Firmly Rejects PTAB Criteria For Covered Business Method Review - Brooks Kushman Post-Grant

In a recent panel decision that deviates from the Federal Circuit’s current tendency to defer to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s interpretation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the court vacated a final written...more

Litigation Alert: The FCC Enforcement Bureau Advises That Text Message Senders Must Comply With the Telephone Consumer Protection...

On November 18, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau issued an Advisory declaring that autodialed text messages, also known as robotexts, must comply with the requirements set forth in the...more

Proposed “Patent Agent Privilege” Promises Protection For Patent Practitioners And Clients

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) recently proposed a patent-agent privilege that would bring needed consistency to the discovery phase of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) proceedings....more

A Patent Does Not Become a CBM Patent Because its Practice Could Involve a Potential Sale of a Product or Service

In Unwired Planet, LLC, v. Google, Inc., [2015-1812] (November 21, 2016) the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB’s final written decision in Covered Business Method Patent Review No. 2014-00006, that found the...more

Will the D.C. Circuit Overturn Fax Opt-Out Requirement?

Though not as common as they once were, fax advertisements continue to be used in several industries, particularly healthcare, where providers and manufacturers rely on faxes to comply with regulatory obligations. Earlier...more

Texas Federal Court Blocks New Salary Restrictions for Exempt Employees

On November 22, 2016, a federal court in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor from enforcing new regulations that would have drastically reduced the number of white...more

US Federal Regulatory Agencies Request Comment on Proposed Private Flood Insurance Rule

The US Federal Reserve Board, the Farm Credit Administration, the FDIC, the National Credit Union Administration and the OCC issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking to implement provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood...more

FAA Sends Proposed Rule for Drone Flights over People to the White House OIRA

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a new rule for performance-based standards and means-of-compliance for operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones’) over people who are not...more

District Court Orders Additional Claim Construction Briefing After Plaintiff Appeared to Argue a Different Position in Other...

After the district court conducted a claim construction hearing (but before it issued an order), the district court stayed the litigation between Finjan and Symantec pending a decision by the PTAB regarding whether to...more

Wow! OSHA Releases Massive Rule Updating General Industry Standards on Walking-Working Surfaces

Seyfarth Synopsis: Despite Congressional direction to the contrary, OSHA just adopted a significant 500+ page final rule on industry, and only provided employers sixty days to comply! Despite a Congressional “request”...more

Federal Circuit Reins in PTAB’s Use of CBM Reviews

In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 2015-1812 (Fed. Cir. November 21, 2016), the Federal Circuit rejected the PTAB’s broad application of CBM reviews to claims that are merely “incidental” or “complementary” to...more

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