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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd- Frank Act) reformed federal financial regulation in response to the Great Recession. The Dodd-Frank Act includes incentives and protections for whistleblowers who report violations of federal securities laws. In Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit considered whether the anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act protect a whistleblower who does not report violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The court held that the statute is sufficiently ambiguous so as to warrant deference under Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. National Resource Defense Council, Inc. to SEC regulations, which extend protection to internal whistleblowers who merely report violations within their organization. The court’s decision split from the Fifth Circuit—the only other circuit court of appeals that has addressed this issue and deemed that the statute unambiguously required whistleblowers to report to the SEC.
Infringement of patent claims is a statutory tort. The United States Code governs direct infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a), which encompasses infringement of both apparatus and method claims. Infringement of a method claim requires its use by the performance of each step of the claimed method. In Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit addressed the issue of liability for divided infringement of method claims. Specifically, the court addressed whether a defendant, in an arms-length relationship with a third party, can be liable for direct infringement when it performs some steps of a method claim and the third party performs the remainder of the steps. The court held the defendant liable for direct infringement because the third party’s actions are attributable to the defendant, but the court also maintained that only single entities can be liable for direct infringement.