August 21, 2020 - Oral Argument Recap

August Oral Argument Recap

We are two weeks out from arguments in the Federal Circuit’s August sitting, so it is time for our monthly oral argument recap. As it has done for the past several years, the Court heard arguments on only three days in August, with a total of six panels.

The Court canceled oral argument in 11 of the 24 cases (about 46%) originally scheduled for argument in August. That’s a somewhat lower cancellation rate than in July (55%), but a greater proportion of cancelled arguments than in June (35%). Another notable statistic: in August, the Court cancelled oral argument in about half its cases from both the PTAB and district courts. That marks a departure from the trend in previous months of telephonic hearings, in which the Court cancelled argument more often in PTAB appeals than in district-court appeals (as we pointed out here). Also of note, 5 of the Court’s 13 August arguments (about 38%) were in non-patent cases. That’s roughly in line with the 41% non-patent arguments figure from July but slightly higher than the 31% figure from June. Of course, the smaller sample size in August makes it a bit more difficult to attribute significance to these differences.

Here are some additional statistics from the Court’s August sitting:

Total cases: 13 arguments (and 11 counseled cases submitted on the briefs)

Oldest case: Google LLC v. Blackberry Ltd., No. 19-1568 (docketed Feb. 21, 2019; 529 days from docketing to argument)

Quickest case: Simpson Strong-Tie Company v. United States, No. 19-2403 (docketed Sept. 17, 2019; 322 days from docketing to argument)

PTAB cases: 5 arguments (and 6 cases submitted on the briefs)

District court cases: 3 arguments (and 3 cases submitted on the briefs)

Rule 36 affirmances: 3 (all in argued cases from the PTAB)

Number of argument days by judge:

  • Prost: 2
  • Newman: 0
  • Mayer: 0
  • Plager: 0
  • Lourie: 2
  • Clevenger: 0
  • Schall: 0
  • Bryson: 1
  • Linn: 0
  • Dyk: 0
  • Moore: 2
  • O’Malley: 3
  • Reyna: 2
  • Wallach: 1
  • Taranto: 1
  • Chen: 2
  • Hughes: 0
  • Stoll: 2

Samuel B. Goldstein co-authored this article as an associate in our Appellate + Supreme Court practice before departing the firm for a judicial clerkship.