This morning, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a government contracts case, a nonprecedential opinion in a veterans case, and a nonprecedential opinion in a patent case. The Federal Circuit also denied two petitions for writs of mandamus in two nonprecedential orders. Finally, the court granted a petition for a writ of mandamus in another nonprecedential order. The writ of mandamus vacates an order by the Western District of Texas to hold a patent case in its Waco Division rather than its Austin Division. Here are the introductions to the opinions and text from the orders.

BGT Holdings LLC v. United States (Precedential)

BGT Holdings LLC appeals from a decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims (“the Claims Court”) dismissing its claims arising from the U.S. Navy’s withholding of certain government-furnished equipment under a fixed-price contract. The dismissal followed the court’s ruling that BGT had contractually waived its claims of constructive change through ratification, official change through waiver, and breach for failure to award an equitable adjustment. The court also held that BGT insufficiently alleged a breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. We affirm the dismissal of the breach of good faith and fair dealing claim but vacate the court’s dismissal of the remaining claims.

Costello v. Wilkie (Nonprecedential)

Appellant, Eugene Costello, appeals a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”) affirming a decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals that denied Mr. Costello’s request to revise a December 1965 rating decision. Costello v. Wilkie, No. 18-3462, 2019 WL 2261275, at *4 (Vet. App. May 28, 2019); see J.A. 16 (Judgment); see also J.A. 27 (1965 Rating Decision), 86–104 (Board Decision). Mr. Costello failed to present to the Veterans Court the sole issue he now raises on appeal— namely, “[t]he correct interpretation of the phrase ‘recognized as symptomatic of brain trauma’” as used in Diagnostic Code 8045 of 38 C.F.R. § 4.124a (1965). Appellant’s Br. 11. Compare id. at 1, 3–11, with J.A. 105–16 (Mr. Costello’s Brief to the Veterans Court). See In re DBC, 545 F.3d 1373, 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (“It is well-established that a party generally may not challenge an agency decision on a basis that was not presented to the agency.”). Accordingly, Mr. Costello’s appeal is DISMISSED.

KEYnetik, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Inc. (Nonprecedential)

Appellant KEYnetik, Inc. (“KEYnetik”) appeals a final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) finding claims 22 and 23 of U.S. Patent No. 7,966,146 B2 (“the ’146 patent”) unpatentable as obvious. Samsung Elecs. Co., Ltd. v. KEYnetik, Inc., No. IPR2018- 00985, 2019 Pat. App. LEXIS 13623 (P.T.A.B. Nov. 5, 2019) (“Board Decision”). KEYnetik argues that the Board committed two errors in construing the claimed “sleep command” limitation, and that the Board’s obviousness analysis was premised on its erroneous construction. While we find no error in the Board’s conclusion regarding the scope of the claimed “sleep command,” we agree with KEYnetik that the Board erred with respect to the claim limitation requiring that the “sleep command” be sent “after the command is executed.” We therefore affirm-in-part and reverse-in-part the Board’s claim construction. Because the Board’s obviousness determination stemmed from its erroneous construction, we vacate the Board’s final written decision and remand for further proceedings.

In re Micron Technology, Inc. (Nonprecedential Order)

Godo Kaisha IP Bridge I (“IP Bridge”) has sued Micron Technology, Inc. et al. (collectively, “Micron”) for patent infringement. IP Bridge has been represented from the outset by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (“Quinn”). Micron moved to disqualify Quinn from further representation, arguing that Quinn had previously represented Micron in a substantially related matter. On July 31, 2020, the district court denied the motion, but it has not issued written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Micron now petitions for a writ of mandamus seeking to disqualify Quinn or, alternatively, to direct the district court to issue a written decision on the motion.

Issuance of a writ of mandamus is a “drastic” remedy, “reserved for really extraordinary causes.” Ex parte Fahey, 332 U.S. 258, 259–60 (1947). A party seeking a writ bears the heavy burden of demonstrating that it has no “adequate alternative” means to obtain the desired relief, Mallard v. U.S. Dist. Court for the S. Dist. of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 309 (1989), and that the right to issuance of the writ is “clear and indisputable,” Will v. Calvert Fire Ins., 437 U.S. 655, 666 (1978) (internal quotation marks omitted). Even when those two requirements are met, the court must still be satisfied that the issuance of the writ is appropriate under the circumstances. Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of Columbia, 542 U.S. 367, 381 (2004).

We cannot say that Micron has shown a clear and indisputable right to disqualification on the record presented. Nor can we say that Micron has shown that it lacks an adequate alternative remedy by way of a post-judgment appeal or that it will be irreparably harmed if immediate review were not permitted. See Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Risjord, 449 U.S. 368, 377 (1981) (“An order refusing to disqualify counsel plainly falls within the large class of orders that are indeed reviewable on appeal after final judgment.”); see also In re Solex Robotics, Inc., 56 F. App’x 490 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (denying mandamus). Thus, without prejudicing its right to raise the issue after final judgment—at which point we presume we will have more detailed findings from the district court in support of its ruling—we deny Micron’s petition for mandamus relief.



The petition for a writ of mandamus is denied

In re Regan (Nonprecedential Order)

Lucas Daniel Regan, I, files a submission received December 8, 2020 stating that the “one and only supreme law of [his] religion has which is as follows . . . DO WHAT YOU WANT,” Pet. at 4, and appears to argue that operation of the Supremacy Clause and the First Amendment prohibit laws that impinge on his religious exercise. We regard the submission as seeking mandamus relief.

We must first address our jurisdiction to consider Rev. Regan’s submission. See PIN/NIP, Inc. v. Platte Chem. Co., 304 F.3d 1235, 1241 (Fed. Cir. 2002). This is a court of limited subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1295. Rev. Regan does not identify any decision from which he appeals or petitions for review, much less a decision within the confines of section 1295.

The All Writs Act provides that the federal courts “may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). As that statute makes clear, however, the Act is not itself a grant of jurisdiction. See Clinton v. Goldsmith, 526 U.S. 529, 534–35 (1999). It confines issuing such relief only in cases that would fall within this court’s limited jurisdiction if a proper appeal had been perfected. Because Rev. Regan identifies no such case, we must also deny any mandamus relief.



The petition is dismissed.

In re Intel Corp. (Nonprecedential Order)

VLSI Technology LLC filed the underlying patent infringement suit against Intel Corporation in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division. In October 2019, the assigned district court judge granted Intel’s motion to transfer venue of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) to the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas, where the same judge continued to preside over the case. However, on November 20, 2020, the district court ordered, over Intel’s objection, that if the Austin courthouse does not lift its COVID-19 in-person trial restrictions with enough time to hold a January 2021 trial, then trial would be held in Waco. Intel now petitions this court for a writ of mandamus directing the district court to vacate that order and to stay that order pending consideration of the petition.

The district court relied exclusively on two bases to retransfer the trial back to Waco: first, authority under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 77(b), and second, inherent authority for docket management. Neither authority authorizes the order at issue, and so we grant Intel’s mandamus petition for the reasons discussed below.