This morning the Federal Circuit issued two opinions, one precedential and one nonprecedential. In the precedential opinion, the court affirmed a judgment of the Court of International Trade over a dissent by Judge Reyna. In the nonprecedential opinion, the court affirmed a judgment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidating patent claims as obvious in an ex parte reexamination proceeding. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Star Pipe Products (Star Pipe) appeals from a judgment of the Court of International Trade (Trade Court) upholding the Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) interpretation of an antidumping order on steel threaded rod (STR) from the People’s Republic of China. The Trade Court held that the STR components included in certain Joint Restraint Kits imported by Star Pipe were subject to the order. The Trade Court further denied as moot Star Pipe’s challenge to a liquidation instruction issued from Commerce to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) following Commerce’s interpretation of the order. We affirm.
Reyna, Circuit Judge, concurring-in-part and dissenting-in-part.
I cannot join my colleagues in the majority opinion, which I find both erroneous and unfortunate. The error lies in a clear misapprehension of this court’s precedent. And, unfortunately, this precedential opinion casts further confusion on an area of trade law that we in past decisions have bemoaned to lack clarity and predictability. But instead of putting the proverbial cart back on a straight path, we have driven it further into the bog.
I disagree with the majority’s conclusion that Commerce could properly find Star Pipe’s joint restraint kits to be subject to the steel threaded rods anti-dumping duty order without considering the characteristics of the kit as a whole. Because both the order and its history were silent as to whether the order was intended to encompass the components of mixed media products, Commerce was required under its own regulations to consider the factors set forth in 19 C.F.R. § 351.225(k)(2) in determining whether the kit’s steel threaded rod components should be considered individual “subject merchandise” “products” in the context of the kit as a whole. Our decision in Mid Continent Nail did not absolve Commerce of that obligation. Thus, with respect to the majority opinion on Commerce’s scope ruling, I dissent.
David Tsai (Tsai) appeals two reexamination decisions of the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board). The first decision found claims 1, 2, 4–7, 14–17, and 20 of U.S. Patent No. 7,240,816 (the ’816 patent) unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 103, and the second decision found claims 1–20 of the ’816 patent also unpatentable under § 103. We affirm the second reexamination decision and thus need not reach the merits of the first reexamination decision.