This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions. The first comes in a patent case appealed from the Eastern District of Virginia. Notably, Judge Newman dissented in part, disagreeing with the majority’s decision to reverse a jury verdict on the issue of joint ownership of a patent. The second comes in veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The Federal Circuit also issued two nonprecedential opinions in patent cases appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the Eastern District of Texas, respectively. Finally, the Federal Circuit issued two Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the Rule 36 judgments.

BASF Plant Science, LP v. Commonwealth Scientific (Precedential)

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), a research arm of the Australian government, owns six U.S. patents that are at issue before us. The parties treat four patents under the name “Group A”: Nos. 9,926,579; 9,951,357; 9,970,033; and 9,994,880. They treat separately the two other patents at issue, Nos. 9,994,792 and 9,932,541 (once part of “Group B” and “Group D,” respectively). The claims concern the engineering of plants, particularly canola, to produce specified oils not native to the plants. CSIRO has worked with Nuseed Pty Ltd. and Grains Research and Development Corporation to commercialize its inventions.

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We hold as follows. First, we affirm the district court’s determination that venue as to Cargill was proper in the Eastern District of Virginia. Second, regarding the jury’s verdict rejecting the written-description challenge to the asserted Group A patent claims, we affirm as to the claims that are limited to canola plants (the only ones either side meaningfully discusses), but we reverse as to the broader genus claims. Third, we affirm the jury’s verdict that five patents were not co-owned by BASF but reverse the contrary verdict as to the sixth, with the result that infringement of all valid claims of the six patents at issue is now settled. Finally, on the remedy issues, we affirm the district court’s refusal to submit willfulness to the jury and its decision on the evidentiary issue concerning past damages. But we remand for reconsideration of the remedy, while leaving the current remedy in place pending such reconsideration.

NEWMAN, Circuit Judge, dissenting in part.

I respectfully dissent. The district court conducted a thorough trial, with some questions decided by the court and some by the jury, as appropriate to their nature of fact or law. I focus here on my colleagues’ reversal of the jury’s verdict that BASF and CSIRO are joint owners of one of the six patents in this suit.

Martinez-Bodon v. McDonough (Precedential)

Luis Martinez-Bodon appeals the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims affirming a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision that Mr. Martinez-Bodon is not entitled to service connection for a mental condition. Because we agree with the Veterans Court that 38 C.F.R. §§ 4.125(a) and 4.130 require a DSM–5 diagnosis as a precondition to compensate a mental condition, we affirm.

O’Keefe’s, Inc. v. Hirshfeld (Nonprecedential)

In a post-grant review proceeding, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board held unpatentable all claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,926,709 (“the ’709 patent”), owned by appellant O’Keeffe’s, Inc. The Board also denied the patent owner’s motion to amend. O’Keeffe’s appealed, and when the petitioner, Ely Holdings Ltd., withdrew from the appeal, the Director of the Patent and Trademark Office intervened to defend the Board’s decision.

The ’709 patent is directed to a mechanism for supporting and positioning a glass floor unit. The Board held the claims of the patent and the proposed substitute claims unpatentable based on (1) the on-sale bar stemming from an offer to sell a floor system in the United States more than one year before the filing date of the application that matured into the ’709 patent; and (2) obviousness in view of several combinations of prior art references, including U.S. Patent No. 7,694,475 to Rae and two German patents (which are quite similar to one another), referred to as “DE759” and “DE230.”

The Director declined to defend the Board’s decision with respect to the on-sale bar. We likewise do not rely on that rationale as a basis for our decision. With respect to the Board’s reliance on the prior art references, however, we conclude that the Board’s decision was supported by substantial evidence, and we therefore affirm.

Repifi Vendor Logistics, Inc. v. Intellicentrics, Inc. (Nonprecedential)

Repifi Vendor Logistics, Inc. appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’s judgment dismissing Repifi’s complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Because we agree with the district court’s conclusion that the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 10,304,268 are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101, we affirm.

Rule 36 Judgment