This morning the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions. The first comes in a case appealed from the Merit Systems Protection Board; the second comes in a case appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The Federal Circuit also released a nonprecedential opinion in another patent case appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Notably, in this case Judge Newman dissented without opinion. Finally, the court released an erratum. Here are the introductions to the opinions and a link to the erratum.

Klipp v. Department of Homeland Security (Precedential)

Robert Klipp appeals a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) denying his request for retroactive law enforcement officer (“LEO”) retirement coverage for the period June 7, 2005, until November 22, 2009. In assessing whether Mr. Klipp was entitled to primary LEO credit for that period, the Board did not properly analyze whether fifty percent or more of Mr. Klipp’s actual duties were LEO duties under our decision in Crowley v. United States, 398 F.3d 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2005). That was error, and we vacate and remand to the Board for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Google LLC v. IPA Technologies Inc. (Precedential)

Google LLC (“Google”) appeals three inter partes review (“IPR”) decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) concluding that Google had not shown the challenged claims in U.S. Patent Nos. 6,851,115 (“the ’115 patent”) and 7,069,560 (“the ’560 patent”) to be unpatentable. Because the Board failed to resolve fundamental testimonial conflicts in concluding that the relied-upon reference was not prior art, we vacate the decisions and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Ethicon LLC v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nonprecedential)

This is a patent validity case. Ethicon LLC and Cilag GmbH International (collectively, “Ethicon”) appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s final written decision holding claims 13–15 and 17–18 of U.S. Patent No. 8,602,287 unpatentable as obvious. Ethicon challenges the Board’s fact findings regarding analogous art and motivation to combine prior art references. Because substantial evidence supports the Board’s findings, we affirm.