This morning the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions. The first comes in a patent case appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board; the second comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The Federal Circuit also released a nonprecedential opinion in a trade case appealed from the Court of International Trade. Finally, the Federal Circuit released three nonprecedential orders dismissing appeals. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the dismissals.

Best Medical International, Inc. v. Elekta Inc. (Precedential)

This is an obviousness case where the disputed level of skill in the art impacted the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s unpatentability determination in two inter partes reviews. In its final written decisions addressing various claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,393,096, the Board found that a person having ordinary skill in the art would have had formal computer programming experience. Petitioner Elekta Inc.’s expert had that experience; Patent Owner Best Medical International Inc.’s (BMI) did not. The Board accordingly discounted BMI’s expert testimony and determined Elekta had proven that challenged claims 1, 43, 44, and 46 were unpatentable as obvious.

BMI appeals the Board’s unpatentability determinations. Prior to filing this appeal, BMI finally canceled claim 1 during an ex parte reexamination. Because there is no longer a case or controversy regarding the patentability of claim 1, we dismiss-in-part BMI’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction and therefore do not reach the merits of the Board’s unpatentability determination for claim 1. For claims 43, 44, and 46, substantial evidence supports the Board’s findings regarding the level of skill in the art and each of the remaining Graham factors. We therefore affirm the Board’s unpatentability determination for those claims.

Carter v. McDonough (Precedential)

Thomas S. Carter appeals from a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims affirming a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision denying Mr. Carter service connection for a head injury. Because the Veterans Court did not commit legal error in concluding that Mr. Carter’s injury was the result of his own willful misconduct and is therefore ineligible for service connection, we affirm.

YC Rubber Co. (North America) LLC v. United States (Nonprecedential)

This appeal is from the second administrative review of antidumping duties for certain passenger-vehicle and light-truck tires from the People’s Republic of China. Under review, there were forty-two exporters and producers of the subject products. The Department of Commerce initially selected two respondents as representative; one of these two then withdrew from the review, and Commerce reviewed the remaining respondent and applied the resultant antidumping duty rate to all exporters and producers subject to review. Commerce denied all requests to withdraw from the review after publishing its Preliminary Results.

On appeal by several exporters and producers (collectively, “YC Rubber”), the Court of International Trade (“CIT”) affirmed. This appeal followed.