This morning, the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a trade case, one precedential opinion in a patent case, and one nonprecedential opinion in an appeal from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Posco v. United States (Precedential)
This appeal comes to us from the U.S. Court of International Trade. The Trade Court affirmed the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final affirmative determination in the countervailing duty investigation on certain cold-rolled steel flat products from the Republic of Korea. Plaintiff-Appellant Nucor Corporation challenges Commerce’s final determination, raising two issues: first, whether Commerce’s reliance on a preferential-rate standard to determine whether a conferred benefit is a countervailable subsidy is contrary to law and, second, whether Commerce’s determination that the Government of Korea did not confer a benefit to Korean producers of cold-rolled steel flat products for less than adequate remuneration is contrary to law and unsupported by substantial evidence. We conclude that Commerce’s final determination is contrary to law and unsupported by substantial evidence. We vacate and remand.
St. Jude Medical, LLC v. Snyders Heart Valve LLC (Precedential)
Snyders Heart Valve LLC owns U.S. Patent No. 6,540,782, which describes and claims an artificial heart valve and a system for inserting the valve. In October 2017, St. Jude Medical, LLC filed two petitions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, under 35 U.S.C. §§ 311–19, seeking inter partes reviews of claims 1, 2, 4–8, 10–13, 17–19, 21, 22, and 25–30 of the ’782 patent (the challenged claims) by the Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The Board, as delegee of the Director of the Office, 37 C.F.R. §§ 42.4, 42.108, instituted two reviews, each addressing all the challenged claims. In IPR2018-00105 (IPR-105), the Board ultimately ruled that St. Jude had failed to establish unpatentability of any of the challenged claims. Specifically, the Board rejected St. Jude’s contention that all the challenged claims were anticipated by the Leonhardt patent and would have been obvious over Leonhardt plus either the Anderson patent or the Johnson and Imachi patents. St. Jude Medical, LLC v. Snyders Heart Valve LLC, IPR2018-00105, 2019 WL 1975348 (P.T.A.B. May 2, 2019) (IPR-105 Decision).
In IPR2018-00106 (IPR-106), the Board found claims 1, 2, 6, and 8 anticipated by the Bessler patent, but it rejected St. Jude’s contentions as to all other claims. Specifically, it ruled that St. Jude had not proved, as to all but claims 1, 2, 6, and 8, anticipation by Bessler or obviousness over Bessler combined with either Anderson or Johnson and Imachi. St. Jude Medical, LLC v. Snyders Heart Valve LLC, IPR2018-00106, 2019 WL 1975349 (P.T.A.B. May 2, 2019) (IPR-106 Decision).
St. Jude appeals on a subset of the challenges it presented to the Board. For IPR-105, it argues that the Board erroneously rejected the contention that Leonhardt anticipated claims 1, 2, 4–8, and 28, the alleged error being the Board’s application of the construction of the claim term “band.” For IPR-106, St. Jude argues that the Board erroneously rejected the contention that Bessler anticipated claim 28, the alleged error being the Board’s finding a failure of proof that Bessler meets claim 28’s “manipulator” limitation. St. Jude also argues, for IPR-106, that the Board erred in rejecting St. Jude’s challenge to most of the claims at issue (all but claims 17, 27, and 30) for obviousness over Bessler plus Johnson and Imachi. Snyders crossappeals in IPR-106, arguing that the Board committed several errors in finding claims 1, 2, 6, and 8 anticipated by Bessler.
We affirm the Board’s decision in IPR-105. We reverse the Board’s finding in IPR-106 that Bessler anticipated claims 1, 2, 6, and 8. We need not reach St. Jude’s anticipation argument as to claim 28, and we affirm the Board’s obviousness rejection in IPR-106.
Foster v. Department of the Army (Nonprecedential)
Petitioner, Thomas Foster, seeks review of a final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) denying Mr. Foster’s petition for enforcement (“PFE”) of a prior MSPB order requiring the Department of the Army (“Army”) to reinstate Mr. Foster and pay him appropriate backpay and benefits. See Foster v. Dep’t of the Army, No. SF-0752-18-0039-C-1, 2020 WL 231243 (M.S.P.B. Jan. 7, 2020) (P.A. 1–19) (Final Decision). We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(9). We affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, and remand.