This morning the Federal Circuit issued three precedential opinions in patent cases, one precedential opinion in a trade case, one nonprecedential opinion in a patent case, one nonprecedential opinion in a veterans case, and one nonprecedential opinion in a Tucker Act case. Here are the introductions.

Genentech, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc. (Precedential)

Genentech, Inc. appeals from the final written decision of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Office) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the Board) holding claims 1–3 and 5–11 of U.S. Patent 7,807,799 (the ’799 patent) unpatentable as anticipated or obvious. See Genentech, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., No. IPR2016-01837, 2018 WL 1187484 (P.T.A.B. Mar. 6, 2018) (the ’837 Decision). The Patent Office intervened in this appeal to defend the constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings as applied to patents issued before the enactment of the America Invents Act (AIA), Pub. L. No. 112-29, 125 Stat. 284 (2011). For the following reasons, we affirm.

NEWMAN, Circuit Judge, dissenting.

I respectfully dissent, for the court finds the claims of U.S. Patent 7,807,799 (“the ’799 patent”) invalid for anticipation or obviousness, although no prior art shows the claimed method, or suggests that it should be attempted or that it might be successful. The court presents a hindsight determination that this apparently simple solution to a difficult problem is anticipated and obvious, although it was not known or obvious to the scientists who were attempting to solve the problem of leaching contamination, and the experts for both sides agreed that the solution presented in the ’799 patent was new to them.

Molon Motor and Coil Corp. v. Nidec Motor Corp. (Precedential)

Molon Motor and Coil Corporation (“Molon”) appeals from the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in favor of Nidec Motor Corporation (“Nidec”) on Molon’s claim for infringement of U.S. Patent 6,465,915 (“the ’915 patent”). The district court granted summary judgment that Molon is barred from enforcing the ’915 patent against Nidec pursuant to a covenant not to sue that Molon granted in 2006 (“the 2006 Covenant”). Molon argues that the 2006 Covenant was extinguished by a clause in a Settlement, License and Release Agreement that the parties entered into in 2007 (“the 2007 Settlement”). The clause at issue in the 2007 Settlement states that all prior covenants “concerning the subject matter hereof” are “merged” and “of no further force or effect.” Because we agree with the district court that the two agreements concern different subject matter and therefore do not merge, we affirm.

REYNA, Circuit Judge, dissenting.

Resolution of this case should have been straightforward. In the 2006 Covenant, Molon granted Merkle-Korff a bare license to practice the ’915 patent in any market. In the 2007 Settlement, Molon granted Merkle-Korff an exclusive license to practice the ’915 patent in the Kinetek Exclusive Market only. Both licenses relate to the same subject matter—the right to practice the ’915 patent. Thus, the 2007 Settlement’s merger clause, which wiped away all prior covenants with the same subject matter, wiped away the 2006 Covenant. The majority’s holding—that Merkle-Korff’s successor, Nidec, can practice the ’915 patent outside of the Kinetek Exclusive Market, despite the 2007 Settlement’s clear prohibition of such practice—rewrites the terms of the 2007 Settlement and gives Nidec a windfall. Rewriting the key terms of an otherwise clear agreement is not the role of this court. For these reasons and those discussed below, I respectfully dissent.

Personal Audio, LLC v. CBS Corp. (Precedential)

Personal Audio, LLC brought this case against CBS Corporation, alleging that CBS infringed a Personal Audio patent. A jury found for Personal Audio on infringement and invalidity as to three claims of the patent. When the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued a final written decision determining that those claims are unpatentable, the district court, with the parties’ consent, stayed entry of its judgment in this case until completion of direct review of the Board’s decision in our court. We eventually affirmed the Board’s final written decision. The district court then asked Personal Audio and CBS how they wished to proceed, and they agreed that, under governing precedent, CBS was entitled to entry of final judgment in its favor. The district court entered such a judgment.

Personal Audio appeals. To the extent that Personal Audio challenges the Board’s final written decision, the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider the challenges, and we have no jurisdiction to review them on appeal from the district court’s judgment. The exclusive avenue for review was a direct appeal from the final written decision. To the extent that Personal Audio challenges the district court’s determination of the consequences of the affirmed final written decision for the proper disposition of this case, Personal Audio conceded that governing precedent required judgment for CBS. We therefore affirm the district court’s judgment.

Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co. v. United States (Precedential)

These appeals involve the United States Department of Commerce’s investigation, under 19 U.S.C. §§ 1673−1673h, of dumping into the United States of mul- tilayered wood flooring from the People’s Republic of China (the “subject merchandise” or “merchandise”). 

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When Commerce’s ruling was challenged before the Court of International Trade (Trade Court), that court affirmed in part and reversed in part. It affirmed inclusion of appellants in the order, but it held that Commerce had not justified inclusion of the voluntary-review firms in the order. Changzhou Hawd Flooring Co. v. United States, 324 F. Supp. 3d 1317, 1321 (Ct. Int’l Trade 2018) (Changzhou CIT 2018). Appellants challenge the first of those holdings, while a domestic industry coalition (cross-appellant) chal- lenges the second of those holdings (which cross-appellees defend). We affirm the judgment of the Trade Court.

In re ThermoLife International LLC (Nonprecedential)

ThermoLife International LLC appeals a decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) from two merged ex parte reexamination proceedings of U.S. Patent No. 7,777,074 (“the ’074 patent”). The Board found that claim 6, which was added during reexamination, is anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b). For the reasons below, we affirm.

Knowles v. DVA (Nonprecedential)

Pro se appellant Tonya Knowles appeals from a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (Board) denying Ms. Knowles’s request for corrective action under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). We affirm.

Landreth v. United States (Nonprecedential)

Thomas Landreth appeals from the decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims (“the Claims Court”) dismissing his complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Landreth v. United States, No. 1:18-cv-00476, 144 Fed. Cl. 52, 54–55 (July 24, 2019) (“Decision”). Because the Claims Court did not err in its dismissal of Landreth’s complaint, we affirm.