This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a veterans case, a nonprecedential opinion in a patent case addressing alleged contempt of a consent decree, and a precedential order granting three petitions for writs of mandamus in patent cases ordering the Western District of Texas to transfer the cases to the Northern District of California. Here are the introductions to the opinions and order.

Taylor v. McDonough (Precedential)

Appellant, Bruce R. Taylor, appeals a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”). The Veterans Court affirmed the Board of Veterans Claims’ (“Board”) denial of entitlement to an effective date earlier than February 28, 2007, for the award of service-connected disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), concluding that equitable estoppel against the Government was unavailable to Mr. Taylor. Taylor v. Wilkie (Taylor IV), 31 Vet. App. 147, 154–55 (2019); J.A. 20 (Judgment).

Mr. Taylor appeals. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 38 U.S.C. §§ 7292(a), (c). We reverse and remand.

GateArm Technologies, Inc. v. Access Masters, LLC (Nonprecedential)

GateArm Technologies, Inc. (GateArm) owns U.S. Patent Nos. 8,845,125 and 9,157,200, both titled “Vehicle Barrier System with Illuminating Gate Arm and Method.” In 2014, GateArm sued Access Masters LLC, Blacksky Technologies, Inc., and Gatearms.com, LLC (collectively, Access Masters) for infringing the ’125 and ’200 patents. In 2016, the parties settled the dispute, and the district court entered a consent decree based on a signed Settlement Agreement. See Order, GateArm Techs., Inc. v. Access Masters LLC, No. 0:14-cv-62697 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 29, 2016), ECF No. 53 (Consent Decree); J.A. 1634–36. Later that year, after Access Masters introduced a modified product, GateArm moved to reopen the case to obtain a finding that Access Masters was in contempt of the consent decree for marketing and selling the new product and to order such activities to cease. The magistrate judge to whom the matter was assigned recommended that GateArm’s motion for contempt be denied, and the district court adopted the recommendation. See Gatearm Techs., Inc. v. Access Masters, LLC, No. 0:14-cv-62697, 2020 WL 4923637, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 21, 2020) (District Court Order). We affirm.

In re Samsung Electronics Co. (Precedential Order)

In these patent infringement suits, which have been consolidated for purposes of these mandamus petitions, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al. (collectively, “Samsung”) and LG Electronics Inc. et al. (collectively, “LG”) seek writs of mandamus ordering the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to transfer the underlying actions to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. For the following reasons, we grant the writs of mandamus.