Paul Morinville, et al., v. USPTO, Case 1:19-cv-01779-CKK in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
On behalf of class members to be identified by the USPTO, patent applicants sued the USPTO under the Privacy Act over the Office's implementation of the secret Sensitive Applications Warning System ("SAWS"). The Plaintiffs allege that the USPTO violated the Privacy Act by not including SAWS flags or SAWS reports in the class members' patent application files, despite the fact that those patent application files are a System of Records under the Privacy Act. Uninformed of the designation of their applications under the SAWS, class members were unable to challenge the designation. Plaintiffs allege that the collection and maintenance of such SAWS records was not expressly authorized by statute nor by the applicant about whom the record is maintained, as required by the Privacy Act. Plaintiffs contend that because the SAWS flags and reports describe the content of their patent applications without their consent, the USPTO violated the Privacy Act by maintaining prohibited records describing how patent applicants exercise rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Plaintiffs seek statutory damages on behalf of all class members under the Privacy Act.
June 18, 2019: Class Action Complaint [Doc 1].
September 26, 2019: USPTO's Motion to Dismiss (MTD) [Doc 9].
October 17, 2019: Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint [Doc 10].
November 15, 2019: USPTO’s MTD the Amended Complaint [Doc 12].
January 10, 2020: Plaintiffs’ Opposition to the MTD [Doc 14].
February 7, 2020: USPTO’s Reply to the Opposition to the MTD [Doc 15].
February 26, 2020: Court Denial in Part of the USPTO's MTD [Doc 17].
March 27, 2020: USPTO’s Answer to the Amended Complaint [Doc 18].