This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions. The first comes in a patent case appealed from the Northern District of California. The second comes in an employment case appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board. The Federal Circuit also released two nonprecedential orders concerning the court’s jurisdiction over appeals from the Board of Correction for Army Records and over interlocutory appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Here are the introductions to the opinions and orders.

Apple Inc. v. Zipit Wireless, Inc. (Precedential)

Apple Inc. appeals from a judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissing its complaint for declaratory judgment of noninfringement against Zipit Wireless, Inc. for lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court held that it would be unreasonable to exercise personal jurisdiction over Zipit based on the nature of Zipit’s communications with Apple in the Northern District. Specifically, the district court read our precedent as applying a bright-line rule that patent infringement notice letters and related communications can never form the basis for personal jurisdiction. We agree with Apple that the district court erred in this regard.

Guided by the Supreme Court and our own precedent, we conclude, as the district court likely would have absent its erroneous interpretation of our precedent, that Zipit is subject to specific personal jurisdiction in the Northern District of California for purposes of Apple’s declaratory judgment action. We therefore reverse the judgment dismissing Apple’s declaratory judgment complaint and remand for further proceedings.

Rickel v. Department of the Navy (Precedential)

David A. Rickel appeals a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board finding that the Department of the Navy had proven by clear and convincing evidence that it would have removed Mr. Rickel even absent his protected whistleblowing activity. Because substantial evidence supports the Board’s conclusion that the agency met its clear and convincing burden, we affirm.

Kaplan v. Cani (Nonprecedential Order)

Patrice Cani et al. (collectively, “Cani”) move to dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) responds in support. Lee M. Kaplan et al. (collectively, “Kaplan”) oppose.

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We have exclusive jurisdiction to review decisions of the Board. See 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(4)(A). But our jurisdiction extends only to the Board’s final decisions. See In re Arunachalam, 824 F.3d 987, 988 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (reading § 1295(a)(4) “to incorporate a finality requirement” (quoting Loughlin v. Ling, 684 F.3d 1289, 1292 (Fed. Cir. 2012))). Rulings concerning preliminary motions are generally appealable only upon a final decision of the Board in an interference, not on an interlocutory basis. Nonetheless, Kaplan argues that we have interlocutory jurisdiction over this appeal under the collateral order doctrine. See Cohen v. Beneficial Indus. Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, 546 (1949). We disagree with Kaplan.

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(1) The motion to dismiss is granted.

(2) Each side shall bear its own costs.

Jeanpierre v. United States (Nonprecedential Order)

Responding to the court’s February 17, 2022, order to show cause, the United States urges dismissal of this appeal from a decision of the Board of Correction for Army Records (the “Board”). Lawrence Rashuan JeanPierre submits a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis but has not responded to the order to show cause.

This court’s limited subject matter jurisdiction does not extend to appeals directly from the Board. 28 U.S.C. § 1295. When this court lacks jurisdiction, it may, under 28 U.S.C. § 1631, transfer a case to another court where it could have been brought. While the United States indicates that the United States Court of Federal Claims would have jurisdiction over this matter generally, it urges dismissal on the ground that the applicable statute of limitations would bar any claim before the Court of Federal Claims. We deem it the better course to transfer the case to the Court of Federal Claims to make a determination as to the application of the statute of limitations in the first instance.



Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631, this case and all transmittals are transferred to the United States Court of Federal Claims.