This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a takings case and one nonprecedential opinion in a patent case. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

Alford v. United States (Precedential)

The plaintiffs, appellees in this court, own properties surrounding Eagle Lake in Mississippi. In 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) raised the water level of Eagle Lake to prevent a nearby levee from breaching. The plaintiffs’ properties were damaged as a result of the water level increase, but the damages sustained were less than the damages to the plaintiffs’ properties that would have resulted from a levee breach. The plaintiffs sued the government in the United States Court of Federal Claims (“Claims Court”). The Claims Court found that the government was liable and awarded the plaintiffs $168,000 in compensatory damages. The government appeals. We reverse the Claims Court’s judgment because the relative benefits doctrine bars liability.

Dropbox, Inc. v. Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (Nonprecedential)

Dropbox, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, Orcinus Holdings, LLC, appeal the district court’s decision holding three of their patents ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. We agree with the district court that the patents claim abstract ideas, and that the claims provide no inventive concept transforming the abstract idea into patentable subject matter. We therefore affirm the district court’s decision.