Summary: CAFC rules on issues of reexamination and sanctions.

Case: Hemphill v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 2013-1503 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 14, 2014) (non-precedential). On appeal from D.D.C. Before Newman, Dyk, and Moore (per curiam).

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appealed the district court’s denial of its motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b), and grant of sanctions under Rule 11(b). CAFC affirmed.

  • Reissue/Reexamination: The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s complaint for infringement of a patent that expired in 2002 as being barred by the six-year limitation period of Section 286. Contrary to Plaintiff’s arguments, the issuance of a reexamination certificate by the USPTO does not alter the term of a patent, and a district court’s allegedly erroneous claim construction in a litigation filed prior to the expiration date is not a basis for relief under Rule 60(b).
  • Sanctions: The district court entered a sanctions order under Rule 11(b), which barred Plaintiff from filing future patent infringement actions against Defendant without first obtaining leave of the Court. Plaintiff-Appellant failed to provide any argument as to why this order was erroneous, and the Federal Circuit affirmed the award of sanctions in light of Plaintiff-Appellant’s multiple unmeritorious filings against Defendant and others.