This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a patent case, one nonprecedential opinion in a patent case, and six Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and a list of Rule 36 judgments.

Hafco Foundry & Mach. Co. v. GMS Mine Repair & Maint., Inc. (Precedential)

Hafco Foundry and Machine Company, Inc. (“Hafco”) is the owner of United States Design Patent No. D681,684 (“the ’684 patent”), issued on May 7, 2013 for a “Rock Dust Blower.” This device is used to distribute rock dust in areas such as coal mines, where rock dust is applied to the mine’s interior surfaces, to control the explosive hazards of coal dust. Hafco developed and manufactured this device, and in April 2014 contracted with Pioneer Conveyer LLC, an affiliate of GMS Mine Repair and Maintenance, Inc. (together “GMS”), whereby GMS would serve as distributor of Hafco’s rock dust blower for sale to mining customers. In May 2015 Hafco terminated this arrangement, stating that performance was poor. GMS then produced a rock dust blower for sale to mining customers.

Hafco sued GMS for infringement of the ’684 patent. Trial was to a jury. GMS filed a pre-trial motion for patent invalidity, and the district court found that GMS had not presented any evidence that might establish invalidity. The jury then found GMS liable for willful infringement, and awarded damages of $123,650. The district court entered judgment on the verdict.

Both parties filed post-trial motions. On Hafco’s motion the court entered a permanent injunction against infringement. On GMS’ motion the district court remitted the damages award to zero, as not in accordance with the law of patent damages. The court offered a new trial on damages, and stayed the new trial pending this appeal.

GMS raises two issues on appeal: whether it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the issue of infringement; and, in the alternative, whether it is entitled to a new trial on the issue of infringement due to errors of law in the jury instruction. Hafco did not cross appeal on any issue relating to damages.

We affirm the judgment of infringement and the district court’s denial of GMS’ request for a new trial, the only two issues raised by GMS on appeal. We remand to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion, including any proceedings necessary for a final judgment on damages.

NEWMAN, Circuit Judge, concurring in part, dissenting in part.

I concur in the court’s decision. I write separately because I would resolve the matter of damages, for when the facts are not disputed the jury’s application of incorrect law is subject to correction by the court, particularly when such correction implements the jury’s intent. I would accept Hafco’s proposed remittitur to $110,000, on undisputed application of the correct law.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc v. Mylan Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nonprecedential)

Appellants Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmgH & Co. KG (collectively, Boehringer) sued Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Mylan Inc., Mylan Laboratories, Ltd., Aurobindo Pharma Limited and Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc. (collectively, Appellees) for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,853,156, 9,173,859 and 8,673,927, which relate to the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus with DPP-IV inhibitors such as linagliptin. Appellees moved for partial judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) alleging that claims 10-17, 24 and 25 of the ’156 patent are directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The district court granted Appellees’ motion, holding the claims patent ineligible under the two-step framework of Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International. 573 U.S. 208, 217 (2014).

A bench trial ensued on the ’859 and ’927 patents. The district court held that claims 1, 14, 15, 20, and 21 of the ’859 patent and claims 7, 9, 15, 17, 19, 25, and 26 of the ’927 patent are invalid for obviousness-type double patenting in light of the claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,178,541, and invalid as obvious in view of U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2004/0097510. Boehringer appealed. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1).

For the reasons discussed below, we reverse the district court’s judgment that claims 10–17, 24 and 25 of the ’156 patent are directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and remand for further proceedings. We affirm the district court’s judgment that the asserted claims of the ’859 and ’927 patents are invalid for obviousness and obviousness-type double patenting.

Rule 36 Judgments