This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions in patent cases. The Federal Circuit also issued four nonprecedential opinions in patent cases, one nonprecedential opinion in a Merit Systems Protection Board case, one nonprecedential opinion in a death benefits case, one nonprecedential opinion in a veterans case, one nonprecedential order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus, and one Rule 36 judgment. Here are the introductions to the opinions, the text of the order, and the Rule 36 judgment.

Bozeman Financial LLC v. Federal Reserve Bank (Precedential)

Bozeman Financial LLC appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s covered business method (CBM) review decisions holding all of the claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,754,640 and 8,768,840 ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.1 On appeal, Bozeman challenges the Board’s authority to decide the petitions because it argues the Banks are not “persons” under the America Invents Act (AIA). It further challenges the Board’s eligibility decisions. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(4)(A).

For the reasons set forth below, we hold that the Banks are “persons” who may petition for post-issuance review under the AIA. We further hold that claims 21–24 of the ’640 patent and 1–20 of the ’840 patent are ineligible under § 101. Accordingly, the Board’s decisions are affirmed.

Golden v. United States (Precedential)

Larry Golden (“Golden”) appeals an order of the United States Court of Federal Claims (“Claims Court”) dismissing his claims against the United States (“government”) pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Rules of the Claims Court (“RCFC”). The Claims Court held that Golden’s complaint alleges a duplicative claim over which the court lacked jurisdiction, and his complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Golden v. United States, No. 19-cv-00104 (Fed. Cl. May 14, 2019), ECF No. 12 (“Claims Court Op.”). For the reasons explained below, we affirm.

Jerry Harvey Audio Holding, LLC v. 1964 Ears, LLC (Nonprecedential)

In two inter partes reviews, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board denied Jerry Harvey Audio Holding’s motions to amend U.S. Patent Nos. 8,925,674 and 9,197,960 to include proposed substitute claims 22–41 and 19–26, respectively, holding that these claims would have been obvious. See 1964 Ears, LLC v. Jerry Harvey Audio Holding, LLC, No. IPR2017-01091, 2019 WL 1486751, at *26 (P.T.A.B. Apr. 2, 2019) (“Board Decision”); 1964 Ears, LLC v. Jerry Harvey Audio Holding, LLC, No. IPR2017-01092, 2019 WL 1486754, at *30 (P.T.A.B. Apr. 2, 2019).1 Jerry Harvey appeals these decisions, arguing that the Board misconstrued the claims and that the Board’s alternative obviousness findings, which apply Jerry Harvey’s proposed claim construction, are not supported by substantial evidence. Because the Board’s alternative obviousness findings are supported by substantial evidence, we affirm the Board’s decision.

Rembrandt Diagnostics, LP v. Alere, Inc. (Nonprecedential)

These appeals arise from an action for patent infringement. Rembrandt Diagnostics, LP sued Alere, Inc., Alere Toxicology Services, Inc., Innovacon, Inc., and Instant Technologies, Inc. (collectively, “Alere”), alleging that Alere’s products infringe claims 3–6 and 10 of Rembrandt’s U.S. Patent No. 6,548,019, directed to devices for collecting and assaying biological fluid samples. Prior to trial, Rembrandt stipulated to a judgment of noninfringement of claims 3–6 in light of the district court’s construction of a disputed claim limitation. During the trial, the district court construed another disputed claim limitation, and the jury rendered a verdict of noninfringement and no invalidity as to claim 10. Rembrandt now challenges the district court’s constructions of the two disputed claim limitations. Alere cross-appeals, requesting that this court order a new trial on validity of claim 10 if it remands for a new trial on infringement of that claim. Because we conclude that the intrinsic evidence supports Rembrandt’s proposed constructions, we vacate the district court’s judgments and remand for further proceedings as to claims 3–6 and a new trial on both infringement and validity for claim 10.

Whitserve LLC v. Donuts Inc. (Nonprecedential)

WhitServe LLC owns U.S. Patent Nos. 5,895,468 and 6,182,078, both of which describe and claim systems and methods by which providers of professional services, using the Internet, send reminders to clients and obtain responses from them. We addressed these patents in WhitServe LLC v. Computer Packages, Inc., 694 F.3d 10 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (WhitServe I), where we resolved questions of infringement and anticipation, among other issues. This case involves an issue not previously presented: the eligibility of the ’468 and ’078 patent claims under 35 U.S.C. §101. The district court held all claims ineligible.WhitServe LLC v. Donuts Inc., 390 F. Supp. 3d 571, 574– 75 (D. Del. 2019). We affirm.

In re Morsa (Nonprecedential)

Appellant Steve Morsa appeals the decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”), which affirmed the patent examiner’s findings that all pending claims (“the Proposed Claims”) of Mr. Morsa’s U.S. Patent Application No. 13/694,192 (“the ’192 application”) (S.A. 54–128)1 were unpatentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.2 See Ex Parte Morsa, No. 2018-004483, 2018 WL 6573274, at *4 (P.T.A.B. Nov. 20, 2018) (Decision on Appeal) [S.A. 1–8]see also S.A. 11–20 (Decision on Request for Rehearing).

Mr. Morsa appeals. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(4)(A). We affirm.

Mikaia v. Commerce (Nonprecedential)

Dr. Anzor Mikaia petitions for review of a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board denying corrective action for his claim of whistleblower retaliation. Because the Board properly identified the protected activities and because substantial evidence supports its factual findings that no retaliation occurred, we affirm the Board’s decision.

Watkins v. Department of Justice (Nonprecedential)

Patricia Watkins (“Watkins”) appeals the final determination of the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (“BJA”) denying her claim seeking a death benefit pursuant to the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Act of 1976 (“PSOBA”), Pub. L. No. 94-430, 90 Stat. 1346 (codified as amended at 34 U.S.C. §§ 10281–88). We affirm.

Jernigan v. Wilkie (Nonprecedential)

Betzaida P. Jernigan appeals from a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”) dismissing her appeal of a January 29, 2018 decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (“Board”) for lack of jurisdiction. Jernigan v. Wilkie, No. 18-2918, 2019 WL 273140 (Vet. App. Jan. 22, 2019). Because the Veterans Court correctly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over Jernigan’s appeal, we affirm.

In re Banks (Nonprecedential Order)

The parties in this longstanding litigation are currently engaged in alternative dispute resolution before the trial court. Plaintiffs John H. Banks et al. (collectively, “Banks”) now petition for a writ of mandamus asking this court “to order that its footnote 4 [in Banks v. United States, 721 Fed. App’x 928 (Fed. Cir. 2017),] be considered mandatory” and to direct the United States to indicate whether it agrees or disagrees with what appear to be Banks’ calculations regarding real estate lost by erosion.

To prevail on a mandamus petition, a party must show: (1) it has a clear legal right to relief; (2) there are no adequate alternative legal channels through which it may obtain that relief; and (3) the grant of mandamus is appropriate under the circumstances. See Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of Columbia, 542 U.S. 367, 380–81 (2004); Kerr v. U.S. Dist. Court for the N. Dist. of Cal., 426 U.S. 394, 403 (1976). Banks has not shown in the papers submitted that it has satisfied that standard at this time.

The petition for writ of mandamus is denied.

Rule 36 Judgments