Justia U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Patents
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung E.V. (“Fraunhofer”) initiated a patent infringements lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio Inc. (“Sirius XM”) in district court. After filing suit, Fraunhofer subpoenaed Sirius XM’s former Chief Marketing Officer, Appellant, for a deposition. When Appellant failed to appear for her deposition, the parties filed motions to address the situation. The district court denied Appellant’s motion to quash the subpoena, ordered her to sit for her deposition, found her in contempt for defying the subpoena, and expressed an intent to award sanctions. Appellant sat for her deposition, and then, before any judgment had been issued on sanctions, she appealed the orders against her. Before the DC Circuit, Appellant argued that the district court abused its discretion in compelling her deposition, finding her in contempt, and expressing an intent to award sanctions.   The DC Circuit dismissed the appeal for want of jurisdiction. The court reasoned that Appellant’s challenge to the district court’s order compelling her deposition is moot because her deposition testimony has been given. Appellant’s challenges to the district court’s contempt finding and intent to award sanctions raise matters relating to a discovery proceeding ancillary to a patent suit which are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. View "Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewand v. Sirius XM Radio Inc." on Justia Law

Seed Company Limited, a Japanese company, is led by Shigeru Tamai. Tamai invented a dispenser of correctional tape enabling users to correct printed documents by rolling white tape over errors. Seed and Tamai applied for patents but the application was denied because of legal counsel’s noncompliance with Patent Office regulations when filing a motion related to the application. As a result of the error, another inventor obtained the patent for the same invention. Seed and Tamai filed a legal malpractice suit against counsel. The district court subsequently granted summary judgment for defendants. The court concluded that the statute of limitations had elapsed with respect to the malpractice claims against one group of defendants - those who ceased working on behalf of Seed and Tamai when the law firm engaged in the representation split into two firms. With regard to the remaining defendants - those who continued to represent Seed and Tamai after the breakup of the firm - the court found that the statute of limitations poses no bar to the malpractice action. On the merits of the claims against those defendants, the court concluded that there is a genuine dispute of material fact about whether the alleged error is one of professional judgment, and whether defendants exercised reasonable care in making the judgment. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded as to this issue. View "Seed Co. Ltd. v. Westerman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Legal Ethics, Patents