Petitions of the week
on Feb 8, 2019 at 12:45 pm
This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, the scrutiny applicable to a government policy of pretrial detainment for misdemeanor and traffic-offense arrestees based solely on their inability to pay a predetermined bail amount, the requirements for a patent to satisfy Section 101 of the Patent Act, the expenses encompassed in the phrase “[a]ll the expenses of the proceedings” in 35 U.S.C. § 145, and whether the use of an acoustic device can constitute constitutionally excessive force.
The petitions of the week are:
Issue: Whether the phrase “[a]ll the expenses of the proceedings” in 35 U.S.C. § 145 encompasses the personnel expenses the United States Patent and Trademark Office incurs when its employees, including attorneys, defend the agency in Section 145 litigation.
Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in finding a potential constitutional violation for excessive force and denying the officers qualified immunity, particularly given that no case had addressed whether and when sound constitutes force, much less held that the use of an acoustic device crosses the line into constitutionally excessive force under circumstances resembling those here or, indeed, under any circumstances at all.
Issues: (1) Whether heightened scrutiny under the 14th Amendment applies to a government policy that keeps misdemeanor and traffic-offense arrestees in jail pretrial solely because they are poor; and (2) whether the government can keep misdemeanor and traffic-offense arrestees in jail for up to 48 hours after arrest solely because they are poor when it has offered no reason for doing so.
Issue: Whether patents that claim a method of medically treating a patient automatically satisfy Section 101 of the Patent Act, even if they apply a natural law using only routine and conventional steps.