Today the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a patent case, two nonprecedential opinions in patent cases, and a precedential opinion in a case in which a federal employee sought back pay for an unlawful discharge. Here are the introductions to the opinions. 

Guangdong Alison Hi-Tech Co. v. ITC (Precedential)

Guangdong Alison Hi-Tech Co. is a foreign manufacturer of aerogel insulation products currently subject to a limited exclusion order entered by the U.S. International Trade Commission following an unfair competition investigation. The exclusion order is based in part on the Commission’s final determination that Alison’s products infringe U.S. Patent No. 7,078,359, owned by domestic manufacturer Aspen Aerogels, Inc. Alison appeals the Commission’s final determination that certain claims of the ’359 patent are not indefinite based on their use of the term “lofty . . . batting.” Alison also challenges the Commission’s final determination that certain claims of the ’359 patent are not invalid on anticipation and obviousness grounds.

Because the written description of the ’359 patent informs the meaning of “lofty . . . batting” with reasonable certainty, we affirm the Commission on the indefiniteness ground. And because we conclude that the Commission’s factual findings are supported by substantial evidence, we also affirm the Commission on the anticipation ground without reaching the subsidiary obviousness ground.

INO Therapeutics LLC v. Praxair Distribution Inc. (Nonprecedential)

INO Therapeutics LLC, Mallinckrodt Hospital Products Inc., and Mallinckrodt Hospital Products IP Ltd. (collectively, “Mallinckrodt”) sued Praxair Distribution Inc. and Praxair Inc. (collectively, “Praxair”) for patent infringement. Mallinckrodt asserted five patents related to methods of administering inhaled nitric oxide, including U.S. Patent Nos. 8,282,966 (“the ’966 patent”), 8,293,284 (“the ’284 patent”), 8,795,741 (“the ’741 patent”), 8,431,163 (“the ’163 patent”), and 8,846,112 (“the ’112 patent”) (collectively, “heart failure patents” or “HF patents”). Mallinckrodt also asserted five patents related to devices and methods for administering gas, including U.S. Patent Nos. 8,573,209 (“the ’209 patent”), 8,776,794 (“the ’794 patent”), 8,776,795 (“the ’795 patent”), 9,265,911 (“the ’911 patent”), and 9,295,802 (“the ’802 patent”) (collectively, “delivery system infrared patents” or “DSIR patents”). After a bench trial, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware held all claims of the HF patents ineligible and all claims of the DSIR patents not infringed. For the reasons below, we affirm-in-part, vacate-in-part, and remand. 

Innovative Memory Systems v. Micron Technology, LLC (Nonprecedential)

Innovative Memory Systems, Inc. (“IMS”) appeals from the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) in an inter partes review filed by Micron Technology, Inc. (“Micron”). The Board concluded that the challenged claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,901,498 (“the ’498 patent”) were unpatentable in view of the prior art of record. For the reasons below, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, vacate-in-part, and remand.

Sharpe v. United States (Precedential)

John E. Sharpe is an officer in the U.S. Navy. In a decision dated February 8, 2016, the Board for Correction of Naval Records (“BCNR” or “Board”) found Mr. Sharpe’s 2009 separation from the service to have been unlawful. Accordingly, the Board recommended that Mr. Sharpe be returned to active duty, and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy approved the Board’s recommendation. Before us now is Mr. Sharpe’s appeal of the November 8, 2017 decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims that sustained the Navy’s decision to deny Mr. Sharpe, upon his return to active duty, certain categories of back pay associated with his military record. See Sharpe v. United States, 134 Fed. Cl. 805 (2017). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.