Waiting on the Supreme Court, and Waiting, and Waiting . .

According to the U.S. Supreme Court’s calendar, the Justices won’t likely be issuing any new opinions until May 17 at the earliest.  Many of us who follow the Court, file briefs with it, etc. are getting a bit antsy.  Considering just the handful of cases mentioned below, millions, maybe even billions, of dollars in business profits and investments (and the jobs they create) are hanging in the balance of what the Court decides.  The future of an entire regulatory agency is up in the air, as is, possibly, the future of a number of professional sports leagues.  So here’s our list of still-pending cases we are keeping an eye on, and the number of days since they have been orally argued, with links to SCOTUS Wiki and WLF briefs or papers if you want to learn more about them.

What do you think about these long wait times?  Do they reflect Chief Justice Roberts’ pursuit of clear and firm majorities, or will these cases end up with a mishmash of concurring-in-part, dissenting-in-part rulings?  Also, we hope you come back to The Legal Pulse once they are decided for experts’ thoughts and insights.

1. Bilski v. Kappos,  patentability of non-physical inventions: Nov. 9, 176 days  (paper)

2. Stop the Beach Renourishment Inc. v. Florida DEP, judicial takings of private property: Dec. 2, 153 days (paper)

3. Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB, SOX, public accounting oversight, and separation of powers: Dec. 7, 148 days (brief)

4. Black v. U.S.; Weyhrauch v. U.S., federal honest services fraud statute: Dec. 8, 147 days (paper)

5. American Needle, Inc. v. NFL, professional associations as “single entities” under Sherman Act: Jan. 13, 111 days  (paper)

Brief video commentary on “written description” patent requirement case

In late March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its en banc ruling in Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Eli Lilly and Co. The issue in question – whether the patent statute requires patent applications to include a “written description” and what the scope of that requirement is – may seem esoteric even in the complex world of patent law.  But the Federal Circuit’s en banc review attracted a slew of amicus brief, including one from Washington Legal Foundation.

WLF asked Howard W. Levine, head of the biotechnology/pharmaecutical group at the law firm Finnegan, Henderson,  Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP and a counsel to victorious Eli Lilly in Ariad, to explain the decision and its significance in 600 words or less.  He effectively conveyed these very concise thoughts in a short video now available as part of WLF’s LegallyBrief video series (www.legallybrief.com).  To view Mr. Levine’s video click here.   The transcript of his commentary is below. Continue reading