This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a patent case, one precedential opinion in an ITC case, one nonprecedential opinion in a Merit Systems Protection Board case, one nonprecedential opinion in a government contract case, one nonprecedential opinion in a veterans case, and three Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and a list of the Rule 36 judgments.

Apple Inc. v. Andrea Electronics Corp. (Precedential)

The patent at issue in this appeal, U.S. Patent No. 6,363,345 (“the ’345 patent”), relates to certain aspects of digital audio processing. On September 19, 2016, Andrea Electronics Corp. (“Andrea or Appellee”), assignee of the ’345 patent, sued Apple, Inc. (“Apple or Appellant”) for infringement of the ’345 patent in the Eastern District of New York. J.A. 1151–70. On January 9, 2017, Appellant Apple filed two inter partes review (“IPR”) petitions—the ’626 IPR and ’627 IPR—with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, challenging the validity of claims 1–25 and 38–47 of the patent.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) instituted review of both petitions and consolidated the proceedings. In its ’626 IPR Final Written Decision, the Board concluded that, in light of the prior art cited by Apple, all challenged claims except claims 4–11 and 39–47 of the ’345 patent are unpatentable. In the course of reaching that conclusion, the Board declined to consider certain arguments in Apple’s ’626 IPR reply brief applicable to claims 6–9 on the ground that Apple was raising new arguments in its reply brief that were not entitled to consideration at that late stage in the proceedings.

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With respect to the ’626 IPR, for the reasons we shall explain, we conclude that the Board erred in refusing to consider Apple’s reply arguments. Accordingly, we vacate the Board’s decision in the ’626 IPR, and remand for reconsideration of Apple’s reply brief arguments addressing the indicated prior art reference.

With respect to the ’627 IPR, we find that the Board’s decision with regard to the validity of the patent claims in its ’627 IPR Final Written Decision was correctly reached. We therefore affirm the Board with respect to the ’627 IPR.

Hitachi Metals, Ltd. v. United States (Precedential)

In 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a final affirmative determination that a U.S. domestic industry was materially injured by virtue of imported steel goods sold at less than fair value. Hitachi appealed to the United States Court of International Trade, challenging the Commission’s “domestic like product” determination. The Court of International Trade affirmed the Commission’s domestic like product determination. Hitachi appeals that judgment. Because we conclude that the Commission’s “domestic like product” determination is supported by substantial evidence and otherwise not contrary to law, we affirm.

Lehr v. Merit Systems Protection Board (Nonprecedential)

Tracy Lehr petitions for review of a Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) decision dismissing her Individual Right of Action (“IRA”) appeal for lack of jurisdiction. See Lehr v. Dep’t of Veteran Affairs, No. CH-1221-19-0002-W-1, 2018 WL 6682330 (M.S.P.B. Dec. 13, 2018) (“Decision”). We affirm.

Ibrahim v. United States (Nonprecedential)

Mr. Jameel Ibrahim appeals from a decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims (the “Claims Court”), dismissing his complaint against the United States for an alleged breach of an implied-in-law contract. Ibrahim v. United States, No. 1:19-cv-00760-CFL, 2019 WL 3384849 (Fed. Cl. July 26, 2019) (“Decision”). Because the Claims Court correctly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Tucker Act, we affirm.

Abell v. Wilkie (Nonprecedential)

William G. Abell appeals the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims’ decision affirming the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ severance of Mr. Abell’s award of service connection for back and right hip disabilities. Mr. Abell’s arguments on appeal challenge only the Board’s factual determinations and application of law to the facts. Because we do not have jurisdiction to review such challenges, we dismiss. 38 U.S.C. § 7292(d) (2012); see Prinkey v. Shinseki, 735 F.3d 1375, 1382–83 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

Rule 36 Judgments