This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion reversing the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a patent case over a partial dissent by Judge Dyk. The court also issued a nonprecedential opinion affirming a decision by the United States Court of Federal Claims in a tax case. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

Chemours Company FC, LLC v. Daikin Industries, Ltd. (Precedential)

Chemours Company FC, LLC, appeals the final written decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board from two inter partes reviews brought by Daikan Industries, Ltd., et al. Chemours argues on appeal that the Board erred in its obviousness factual findings and did not provide adequate support for its analysis of objective indicia of nonobviousness. Chemours also argues that the Board issued its decision in violation of the Appointments Clause because the Board’s decision came after this court’s decision in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 941 F.3d 1320, 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2019), but before this court issued its mandate. Chemours argues that the Board’s decision should be vacated and remanded. We decline to vacate and remand this case pursuant to Arthrex. We conclude that the Board’s decision on obviousness is not supported by substantial evidence and that the Board erred in its analysis of objective indicia of nonobviousness. Accordingly, we reverse.

Dyk, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

I agree with Part I of the majority’s opinion and with the majority’s conclusion in Part III that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) erred “in its analysis that gross sales figures, absent market share data, ‘are inadequate to establish commercial success,’” Maj. Op. 13 (quoting J.A. 57), and “by misapplying the ‘blocking patents’ doctrine to the challenged patents themselves,” id. at 14.

I respectfully dissent as to Part II. I think that the majority’s conclusion that U.S. Patent No. 6,541,588 (“Kaulbach”) teaches away from the claimed invention is contrary to our precedent and that the Board properly rejected the teaching away theory.

Union Telecom, LLC v. United States (Nonprecedential)

Union Telecom, LLC, sued the IRS for a refund of taxes on prepaid phonecards. After the testimony portion of a bench trial, a new judge was assigned to the case at the trial court, but the judge denied the plaintiff’s request to recall witnesses under Rule 63. The trial court then denied the plaintiff’s claim for a refund. Union Telecom appeals the denial of its request to recall witnesses. We hold that the trial court erred in its decision but that the error was harmless. Accordingly, we affirm.