This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions: one affirming a district court in a patent case and one affirming the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in a veterans case. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Speedtrack, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. (Precedential)
SpeedTrack, Inc. (“SpeedTrack”) appeals the United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s final judgment of noninfringement, which hinged on the court’s claim construction. We affirm.
Lynch v. McDonough (Precedential)
Joe A. Lynch appeals the final decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”) affirming the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ (“Board”) denial of his claim for a disability rating greater than 30% for service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). Lynch v. Wilkie, No. 19-3106, 2020 WL 1899169 (Vet. App. Apr. 17, 2020) (“Decision”). In affirming the Board’s denial, the Veterans Court relied on Ortiz v. Principi, 274 F.3d 1361, 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2001), to determine that the “benefit of the doubt rule” under 38 U.S.C. § 5107(b) did not apply to Mr. Lynch’s claim. Mr. Lynch argues that Ortiz requires equipoise of positive and negative evidence (rather than an “approximate balance” of the evidence as set forth in 38 U.S.C. § 5107(b)) to trigger the benefit-of-the-doubt rule, and that Ortiz was therefore wrongly decided. Because we disagree with Mr. Lynch’s reading of Ortiz, and because this panel is bound by Ortiz, we affirm.
Dyk, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
The majority holds that this court’s prior decision in Ortiz v. Principi, 274 F.3d 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2001), did not establish an equipoise-of-the-evidence standard for applicability of the benefit-of-the-doubt rule. Maj. Op. 8. I agree. The majority also holds that under Ortiz, the benefit-of-the-doubt rule does not apply when the preponderance of the evidence is found to be for or against a claimant. Maj. Op. 8. Here I disagree. It seems to me that Ortiz’s preponderance of the evidence standard is inconsistent with the plain text of 38 U.S.C. § 5107(b).