This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential order in In re Google LLC granting a writ of mandamus ordering the case be dismissed or transferred. The Federal Circuit also issued three precedential opinions in patent cases, one precedential opinion in a Merit Systems Protection Board case, and two nonprecedential opinions in related patent cases. Here is the text of the order and the introductions to the opinions.
In re Google LLC (Precedential Order)
Google LLC (“Google”) petitions for a writ of mandamus ordering the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss the case for lack of venue. See Super Interconnect Techs. LLC v. Google LLC, No. 2:18- CV-00463-JRG, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132005 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 7, 2019). We hold that mandamus is warranted and order that the case either be dismissed or transferred.
WALLACH, Circuit Judge, joining and concurring.
I join with the majority’s order, but I write separately to raise questions about Google’s business model. During oral argument, Google did not answer, when asked, the question of what its main source of business is in the Eastern District of Texas. Google simply explained that it does not “actively do anything. In other words, there’s no evidence of any employee or agent . . . being present in the district.” Oral Arg. at 51:55–52:15, http:// oralarguments.cafc.uscourts.gov/default.aspx?fl=2019- 126.mp3.
When asked again, “what do you do in the Eastern District?,” Google responded that “what Google does in the District will depend on what the subject of that verb is,” and “when you look at the service statute the subject of that verb has to be ‘employees’ or ‘agents’ in the District.” Id. at 52:30–52:53. Finally, Google was asked “when you gather information, from customers, which is part of your business, you agree. How does that get passed back to Google? It goes through the server?” Id. at 58:59–59:10. Google’s counsel responded stating: “I am not aware. There’s nothing in the record that I’m aware of on that point, your Honor.” Id. at 59:11–59:14.
Given the absence from the record of information sufficient to understand Google’s business model, the question remains for the District Courts to determine whether Google’s end users become agents of Google in furtherance of its business by virtue of voluntarily or involuntarily sharing information generated on Google’s servers. If, for example, by entering searches and selecting results a Google consumer is continuously providing data which Google monetizes as the core aspect of its business model, it may be that under the analysis in which I today join, Google is indeed doing business at the computer of each of its users/customers. Because this is a question I believe should be entertained by District Courts, I concur.
Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC v. Casper Sleep Inc. (Precedential)
Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC and Dreamwell, Ltd. (together, “Serta Simmons”) own U.S. Patent Nos. 7,036,173 (“the ’173 patent”), 7,424,763 (“the ’763 patent”), and 8,918,935 (“the ’935 patent”). Serta Simmons sued Casper Sleep Inc. (“Casper”) for infringement of certain claims of those patents. The parties executed a settlement agreement and advised the district court of the settlement. The district court nevertheless granted Casper’s summary judgment motions of non-infringement. It later denied Serta Simmons’s motions to vacate the summary judgment order and to enforce the settlement agreement.
We vacate the district court’s judgment and remand with instructions to enforce the settlement agreement. We affirm the district court’s denial of Casper’s motion for fees and costs pertaining to proceedings before the parties entered into the settlement agreement.
Acoustic Technology, Inc. v. Itron Networked Solutions, Inc. (Precedential)
On September 8, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instituted inter partes review based on a petition filed by Silver Spring Networks, Inc. Nine days after institution, Silver Spring agreed to merge with Itron, Inc., an entity undisputedly time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b). Silver Spring and Itron completed the merger during the IPR proceeding. The Board later issued a final written decision and found the challenged claim unpatentable. On appeal, Acoustic asks that we vacate the Board’s final written decision on grounds that the inter partes review was time-barred due to Silver Spring’s and Itron’s merger-related activities. Acoustic also challenges the Board’s unpatentability findings. Because we find that Acoustic waived its time-bar argument and that substantial evidence supports the Board’s unpatentability findings, we affirm.
Acoustic Technology, Inc. v. Itron Networked Solutions, Inc. (Precedential)
On September 8, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instituted inter partes review based on two petitions filed by Silver Spring Networks, Inc. Nine days after institution, Silver Spring agreed to merge with Itron, Inc., an entity undisputedly time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b). Silver Spring and Itron completed the merger during the proceedings. The Board later issued a final written decision and found the challenged claims unpatentable. On appeal, Acoustic asks that we vacate the Board’s final written decision on grounds that the inter partes review was time-barred due to Silver Spring’s and Itron’s merger-related ac- tivities. Acoustic also challenges the Board’s obviousness findings. Because we find that Acoustic waived its time-bar and obviousness arguments, we affirm.
Potter v. Department of Veterans Affairs (Precedential)
Tiffany Potter petitions for review of a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB” or “Board”) denying corrective action in her claim filed under the Whistleblower Protection Act. For the reasons explained below, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand.
Arunachalam v. Presidio Bank (Nonprecedential)
Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam, proceeding pro se, appeals two decisions from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The first relates to a patent infringement suit filed by Dr. Arunachalam against Presidio Bank. The second relates to a declaratory judgment action filed by SAP America, Inc. Both decisions concluded that Dr. Arunachalam was collaterally estopped from asserting the patents in question because many of the patent claims already had been invalidated in prior cases, and the remaining claims all suffered from the same defect that led to the invalidity of the previously litigated claims. See Pi-Net Int’l Inc. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., 42 F. Supp. 3d 579 (D. Del. 2014); SAP Am. Inc. v. Arunachalam, No. IPR2013- 00194 (PTAB Sept. 18, 2014); SAP Am. Inc. v. Arunacha- lam, IPR2013-00195 (PTAB Sept. 18, 2014); SAP Am. Inc. v. Arunachalam, No. CBM2013-00013 (PTAB Sept. 18, 2014); and SAP Am. Inc. v. Arunachalam, No. CBM2014- 00018 (PTAB Mar. 6, 2015). Because the decisions apply collateral estoppel for the same reasons, we address both cases together. For the reasons explained below, we affirm.
Arunachalam v. Apple, Inc. (Nonprecedential)
Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam, proceeding pro se, appeals multiple decisions from Judge Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, including his dismissal of a patent infringement claim, dismissal of civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), dismissal of a claim of treason, and various other rulings. Dr. Arunachalam also challenges the decisions of other courts or other cases such as the denial of her writ for mandamus by the Ninth Circuit. For the reasons explained below, we affirm.