This morning, the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential opinion in a vaccine case affirming the denial for a petition of compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The court also issued a nonprecedential opinion in a patent case appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Morgan v. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Nonprecedential)
Appellant Pitey Morgan filed a petition for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-10–300aa-34 (“Vaccine Act”), claiming that an influenza vaccination resulted in serious neurological injury. The chief special master in the Vaccine Program’s Office of Special Masters denied his claim for compensation, and the Court of Federal Claims sustained that decision. We affirm.
Transtex Inc. v. Laydon Composites Ltd. (Nonprecedential)
Transtex, Inc., formerly known as Transtex Composite Inc. (“Transtex”), is the owner of U.S. Patent No. 8,449,017 (“the ’017 patent”). The ’017 patent is directed to a “trailer skirt” for a road trailer. A trailer skirt is one type of fairing used to reduce aerodynamic drag on a trailer when it is being hauled. It thereby improves fuel efficiency. ’017 patent, col. 1, ll. 31–33. The ’017 patent has 20 claims. Claims 1, 11, and 17 are independent claims.
WABCO Holdings, Inc. and Laydon Composites, Ltd. (collectively, “WABCO”) petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”), for inter partes review of the ’017 patent. After instituting and conducting inter partes proceedings, on January 20, 2020, the Board rendered its decision. WABCO Holdings Inc. v. Transtex Composites Inc., No. IPR2018-01319, Paper 25, at 1 (Jan. 10, 2020) (“Final Written Decision”). In its decision, the Board held that WABCO had proved by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 1, 5–11, and 15–19 of the ’017 patent were unpatentable as obvious over the combination of U.S. Patent No. 7,578,541 to Layfield et al. (“Layfield”) and U.S. Patent No. 5,280,990 to Rinard (“Rinard”). Id. at 64–65. The Board also held, however, that WABCO had failed to prove that claims 2–4, 12–14, and 20 of the patent were unpatentable as obvious over the same combination. Id.
Transtex now appeals the Board’s holding that claims 1, 5–11, and 15–19 of the ’017 patent were unpatentable. For its part, WABCO cross-appeals the Board’s decision that claims 2–4 and 12–14 of the ’017 patent were not shown to be unpatentable. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(4)(A). For the reasons stated below, we affirm the Board’s decision in all respects.