DEA Agent's Suit Under Whistleblower Protection Act, Plus IP & Tax Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on September 08, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Kahn v. Dep't of Justice, 09-3125, concerned a challenge to the Merit Systems Protection Board's final decision that plaintiff did not make protected disclosures under the WPA, in a DEA agent's suit under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA).  In affirming, the court held that the administrative judge did not err in finding that plaintiff's communications with an agent were not protected disclosures because they were made as part of normal duties through normal channels.  The court concluded that plaintiff's report was not a disclosure because he did not reveal something that was hidden and not known to the DEA.  Lastly, because plaintiff's communications were not protected under the WPA, the question of whether the government could have shown by clear and convincing evidence that it would have transferred plaintiff on the absence of his communications need not be addressed.

Henry E. & Nancy Horton Bartels Trust for the Benefit of Cornell Univ. v. US, 09-5122, concerned a challenge to the Court of Federal Claims' denial of a claim, in a university trusts' tax refund suit. In affirming, the court held that the securities purchased on margin by otherwise tax-exempt organizations are debt-financed property, and thus, income from an unrelated trade or business, which is subject to the UBIT.

Green Edge Enter., LLC v. Rubber Mulch Etc., LLC., 09-1455, involved a suit for infringement of a patent related to a synthetic mulch that is colored with a water based acrylic colorant to imitate natural mulch.  In reversing, the court held that the district court erred by invalidating a patent, and by dismissing defendant's trademark claims.  The court also reversed as the district court abused its discretion by precluding all damages evidence for the Lanham Act counterclaims.  However, the court affirmed the district court's holding with respect to counterclaims of noninfringement and invalidity of the mark as there was no case or controversy.

Geoddel v. Sugano, 09-1156, concerned a challenge to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences' decision that appellee is entitled to the benefit of the filing date of its initial Japanese application in awarding appellee priority as to the counts of both interferences, in two related patent interference priority contests, related to human fibroblasts interferon used in combating pathogens and tumors. In reversing, the court remanded the matter in concluding that the Board's decision that the Japanese Application constitutes constructive reduction to practice of the subject matter of these interferences is not in accordance with law, for the Japanese Application does not meet the criteria of section 112, first paragraph, as to this subject matter.

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