This morning, the Federal Circuit released a nonprecedential opinion affirming a judgment by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an inter partes review proceeding. The court also released a nonprecedential order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus in a patent infringement case in which the parties disputed whether settlement agreements were discoverable or privileged. Finally, the court released a Rule 36 summary affirmance. Here are introductions to the opinions and a link to the summary affirmance.

Micron Technology, Inc. v. North Star Innovations, Inc. (Nonprecedential)

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) issued a final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding regarding the patentability, vel non, of claims 1– 12, 14–16, and 20–23 of U.S. Patent No. 5,943,274 (’274 patent), owned by North Star Innovations, Inc. (North Star). Micron Technology, Inc. (Micron), the petitioner in the proceeding, appeals the Board’s findings that dependent claims 2 and 10 are not unpatentable as anticipated. North Star cross-appeals, contending that the Board erred in finding independent claims 1 and 21 unpatentable as anticipated. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the Board’s decision as to the challenged grounds in both the appeal and cross-appeal.

In re Modern Font Applications LLC (Nonprecedential Order)

Modern Font Applications LLC (MFA)’s petition challenges the United States District Court for the District of Utah’s March 2, 2021 order requiring MFA to turn over certain documents in discovery. We deny the petition.

MFA brought this suit against Alaska Airlines alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 9,886,421. Alaska requested discovery of settlement agreements between MFA and other parties relating to the patent. MFA rejected turning over the agreements, claiming they were protected under the common interest privilege. Alaska moved to compel production of all settlement agreements as relevant to determining a reasonable royalty. The district court judge, agreeing with the magistrate’s order, ruled that the documents were not privileged. MFA now petitions for a writ of mandamus challenging the ruling.

Rule 36 Judgment