This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a veterans case, one precedential opinion in a government contracts case, and two nonprecedential opinions in patent cases. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Sayers v. Department of Veterans Affairs (Precedential)
In 2017, Congress enacted the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which gave the Department of Veterans Affairs a new, streamlined authority for disciplining employees for misconduct or poor performance, and placed certain limitations on the review of those actions by the Merit Systems Protection Board. Later in 2017, the Department applied 38 U.S.C. § 714,1 which codifies the Act, to remove Dr. Jeffrey Sayers from his position as a chief pharmacist. Dr. Sayers appealed to the Board and an administrative judge affirmed his removal.2 He subsequently appealed to this Court.
Our primary issue on appeal is whether § 714 can apply retroactively to conduct that took place before its enactment. To decide that issue, we must also decide the proper interpretation of the statutory limitation on the Board’s review authority in § 714(d)(2)(B) and (d)(3)(C). We ultimately hold that §714, properly construed, has impermissible retroactive effect, and that Congress did not authorize the statute’s retroactive application. Because we conclude that § 714 cannot be applied retroactively—and Dr. Sayers’s conduct underlying his removal took place before its enactment—we vacate his removal and remand to the Board for further proceedings.
WellPoint Military Care Corp. v. United States (Precedential)
This case involves a contract awarded by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to Optum Public Sector Solutions (“OPSS”) for developing and managing the VA’s program to provide veterans access to community-based healthcare in Region 3 of the VA’s Community Care Network. WellPoint Military Care Corporation (“WellPoint”), an unsuccessful bidder, brought a bid protest action in the Court of Federal Claims (“Claims Court”) challenging the award. The Claims Court found that the VA conducted a reasonable best value determination, denied WellPoint’s request for injunctive relief, and dismissed WellPoint’s bid protest challenge. We affirm.
Deep Green Wireless, LLC v. OOMA, Inc. (Nonprecedential)
Deep Green appeals from the final written decision of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the Board) in the above-captioned inter partes review (IPR) proceeding holding claims 35, 37– 39, 43, 44, 46–48, 52, 53, and 55–57 of U.S. Patent No. RE42,714 (the ’714 patent) as obvious over U.S. Patent No. 6,600,734 (Gernert) and U.S. Patent No. 6,452,923 (AT&T) based on the Board’s claim construction of “incoming voice signals.” Because we agree with the Board’s construction of “incoming voice signals” under the broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI) standard, we affirm.
MOORE, Circuit Judge, dissenting.
The majority does not contend that the Board’s construction of “incoming voice signals” is correct, and it is not. Instead, the majority holds that the Board’s construction is not wrong enough to be unreasonable. I respectfully dissent.
EnerPol, LLC v. Schlumberger Technology Corp. (Nonprecedential)
These appeals arise from an action for patent infringement. EnerPol, LLC accused Schlumberger Technology Corporation of infringing certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,949,491 directed to hydraulic fracturing methods. Following claim construction proceedings, the district court entered a stipulated judgment of noninfringement in favor of Schlumberger. EnerPol challenges the district court’s construction of two disputed claim terms on which the judgment is based. Schlumberger cross-appeals, requesting dismissal of EnerPol’s appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction. We conclude that we have jurisdiction over EnerPol’s appeal. Because we discern no reversible error in the district court’s claim constructions, we affirm the judgment of noninfringement.