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Jurisdictional Issue In Government Employee's Suit and IP Matter

By FindLaw Staff on June 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Morris v. Office of Compliance, No. 09-6001, concerned an appeal by an officer of the United States Capitol Police under the Congressional Accountability Act arising from his termination, challenging the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance's decision denying exceptions to an arbitrator's decision rejecting the officer's request for arbitration.  In dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, the court held that the statutes defining the right to judicial review of Board decisions make clear that only the Board's General Counsel and the respondent to an unfair labor practice complaint are authorized to obtain review in federal courts of an adverse Board decision.    

Pequignot v. Solo Cup Co., No. 09-1547, concerned a licensed patent attorney's qui tam action under 35 U.S.C. section 292 alleging that defendant had falsely marked its products with expired patent numbers for the purpose of deceiving the public.  

In affirming in part, the court held that the grant of summary judgment of no liability in favor of defendant was proper as false marking, combined with knowledge of the falsity, merely creates a rebuttable presumption of intent to deceive the public, and here, defendant provided credible evidence that its purpose was not to deceive the public with either the expired patent markings or the "may be covered" language, and plaintiff raised no genuine issue of material fact showing otherwise.  However, the court vacated in part district court's determination on the meaning of the word "offense," in holding that defendant could have committed at most three offenses was in error as Forest Group, 590 F.3d 1295 holds that every false marked product constitutes an "offense" under section 292.  

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