Los Angeles, CA. Nixon Peabody client Alaska Airlines won a precedential opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a second mid-case appeal by Modern Font Applications LLC (MFA) in a patent lawsuit regarding non-standard fonts in mobile apps. The opinion was issued on December 29, 2022.
At issue were district court discovery orders upholding Alaska Airlines’ confidentiality designations for its source code and rejecting MFA’s effort to gain access for its in-house counsel by modifying the District of Utah’s model protective order. MFA argued that the case met an exception to the rule that cases cannot be appealed until final judgment because of “one of its key strategists and analysts being effectively removed from large portions of this case.”
Federal Circuit Judge Tiffany Cunningham wrote: “Such discovery orders are generally unreviewable under the third requirement of the collateral order doctrine because they can be adequately reviewed after a final judgment. Accordingly, we dismiss MFA’s interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine.”
“We are pleased that our client’s valuable source code remains appropriately protected,” said Shawn Hansen, a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property practice who represented Alaska Airlines. “As a precedential opinion, this case will have broader implications for in-house counsel involved in patent enforcement and licensing.”