Case: Fleming v. Coward, No. 2013-1091 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 12, 2013) (non-precedential). On appeal from D.D.C. Before Rader, Lourie, and Prost (per curiam)

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff sued U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officials seeking damages for rejecting his patent application. The district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiff had not exhausted his administrative remedies. CAFC affirmed.

  • Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Although a plaintiff may bring a civil action against the USPTO for denial of a patent application, the plaintiff may only do so after having exhausted the remedies available within the USPTO. Here, plaintiff had not procured a decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or a final agency action, which are prerequisites to requesting judicial review under the pertinent statutes.