This morning the Federal Circuit released three precedential opinions, one in a patent case and two in employment cases. The precedential patent opinion addresses eligibility. The two precedential employment opinions address the interpretation and application of 38 U.S.C. § 714, which governs the removal, demotion, or suspension of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or alleged misconduct. Notably, Judge Newman dissented in one of these employment cases. The court also released a nonprecedential opinion in another patent case, and that opinion addresses claim construction. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

In re PersonalWeb Technologies LLC (Precedential)

PersonalWeb Technologies appeals a decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granting judgment on the pleadings for appellees Google LLC, YouTube, LLC, Facebook Inc., EMC Corporation, and VMware, Inc. That decision held various claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,802,310 (“the ’310 patent”), 6,415,280 (“the ’280 patent”), and 7,949,662 (“the ’662 patent”) ineligible for patenting, and therefore invalid, under 35 U.S.C. § 101. PersonalWeb Techs. LLC v. Google LLC, No. 5:13-CV-01317, 2020 WL 520618, at *14 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 31, 2020). We affirm.

Rodriguez v. Department of Veterans Affairs (Precedential)

In August 2018, petitioner Ariel R. Rodriguez was removed from his position with the Department of Veterans Affairs (“DVA”) pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 714. The Merit Systems Protection Board upheld his removal. We reverse and remand.

Connor v. Department of Veterans Affairs (Precedential)

Petitioner Stephen Connor appeals a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) affirming his removal by the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). We affirm.

NEWMAN, Circuit Judge, concurring in part, dissenting in part.

This appeal concerns application of 38 U.S.C. § 714 to the termination by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA or “Agency”) of the employment of Stephen Connor, who was Chief of Police Services at the Fayetteville, North Carolina Veterans Administration Medical Center. The charge was “Failure to Provide Management Oversight,” for which the agency recited twenty-seven “specifications.” The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or “Board”) held that twenty-six of the twenty-seven specifications were not established.

Rather than affirming the MSPB, as does the panel majority, the case should be remanded for correct application of the substantial evidence standard in light of the Douglas factors. I respectfully dissent from my colleagues’ erroneous interpretation and applications of § 714.

PersonalWeb Technologies LLC v. Google LLC (Nonprecedential)

PersonalWeb Technologies LLC (“PersonalWeb”) appeals from a decision of the District Court for the Northern District of California granting summary judgment of non-infringement in favor of Amazon.com, Inc., Amazon Web Services, Inc., and Twitch Interactive, Inc. (collectively, “Amazon”). See In re PersonalWeb Techs., LLC, No. 18-md- 02834, 2020 WL 6821074 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2020) (“Summary Judgment Decision”). For the reasons described below, we affirm.