Monday, September 11, 2006

Leo Stoller Files Response to CAFC Order Re Jurisdiction Over Sanctions Appeal

Leo Stoller has filed his Response (here) to the CAFC's July 26th Order concerning the issue of the court's jurisdiction over Stoller's appeal from the July 14th PTO Sanctions Order. (See prior TTABlog postings here and here). Stoller asserts that the CAFC has jurisdiction over the appeal under the "collateral order" doctrine.

Leo Stoller

In his background discussion, Stoller notes that the PTO's Sanctions Order does not bar him or his companies from instituting proceedings before the TTAB, but he claims that the Order "will put Stoller and his website out of business." He asserts that, without the benefit of extension requests, he will be unable to conduct and manage all of his litigation. As a result, "rights claimed by various Stoller entities in a long list of marks will be deemed lost or abandoned due to inability to defend those rights before the Board."

As to the issue of jurisdiction, Stoller argues that the "collateral order" doctrine allows appellate review of an otherwise interlocutory ruling under certain circumstances. [That doctrine represents an exception to the normal rule that only final judgments are appealable; generally, it allows review of an issue that is separate and independent from the remainder of the case and is too important to be denied review pending disposition of the entire case]. Stoller maintains that the Board's Sanctions Order is "comprehensive and all-encompassing," and is "an extreme and unjustified reaction by the Board to Stoller's admittedly numerous extension requests." Consequently, he urges the CAFC to accept jurisdiction under the "collateral order" doctrine.

TTABlog questions: Why should the "collateral order" doctrine apply to the PTO Sanctions Order, which in and of itself was a final ruling? With regard to the two dozen or so oppositions that were dismissed as a result of the vacation of the extension requests granted to Stoller, aren't those dismissals final rulings ripe for review by the CAFC? However, aren't those dismissals and the issuance of the Sanctions Order so intimately related that they should all be considered at the same time in a single appeal? Or should the appeals from the opposition dismissals be stayed pending the appeal of the Sanctions Order? That, however, begs the real question: what judicial body should hear the appeal of the Sanctions Order?

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2006.


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