This morning the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions. The first opinion comes in a patent case appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In this opinion, the Federal Circuit vacates the Board’s affirmance of an examiner’s final rejection of claims. The second opinion comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Affairs. In this opinion, the Federal Circuit affirms the denial of entitlement to service connection for a psychiatric disorder. The Federal Circuit also released six nonprecedential opinions. One denies a petition for a writ of mandamus to transfer a patent case from the Western District of Texas to the Northern District of California; one grants a petition for a writ of mandamus to undo an order by the Eastern District of Texas transferring two cases to the Central District of California; and four dismiss appeals. Here are the introductions to the opinions, text from the orders, and links to the dismissals.
In re Google LLC (Precedential)
Google appeals a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirming an examiner’s final rejection of claims 1, 3–10, 12–19, and 21–27 of U.S. Patent Application No. 14/628,093 pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 103. For the reasons given below, we vacate the Board’s decision and remand for further proceedings.
Mattox v. McDonough (Precedential)
Larry W. Mattox appeals the April 26, 2021 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”). Mattox v. McDonough, 34 Vet. App. 61 (2021). In that decision, the Veterans Court affirmed the April 5, 2019 decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (“Board”) that denied Mr. Mattox entitlement to service connection for an acquired psychiatric disorder, specifically post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). J.A. 72.
In its decision, the Veterans Court addressed two issues that are relevant for this appeal. First, the court held that Mr. Mattox’s appeal to the Board was not subject to the provisions of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, Pub. L. No. 115-55, 131 Stat. 1105 (“AMA”). Mattox, 34 Vet. App. at 66–71. As a result, the court ruled that Mr. Mattox was not prejudiced by the Board’s failure to provide him with a notice of its decision that met the requirements of 38 U.S.C. § 5104(b), as amended by the AMA. Id. at 71. Second, the Veterans Court held that the Board did not err when it concluded that the benefit-of-the-doubt rule, codified at 38 U.S.C. § 5107(b) (2000), did not apply in Mr. Mattox’s case. Mattox, 34 Vet. App. at 74–75. The Board reached that conclusion because, although it recognized that a veteran is entitled to the benefit of the doubt “where the evidence is in approximate balance,” it found that, in Mr. Mattox’s case, “the preponderance of the evidence” was against his claim for service connection. J.A. 81–82.
For the reasons set forth below, we hold that Mr. Mattox’s appeal to the Board was not covered by the AMA. We also hold that the Board did not err in interpreting the benefit-of-the-doubt rule and in not applying it in Mr. Mattox’s case. We therefore affirm the decision of the Veterans Court.
In re Amazon.com, Inc. (Nonprecedential Order)
Amazon.com, Inc., Amazon.com Services LLC, and Amazon Web Services, Inc. (collectively, “Amazon”) petition for a writ of mandamus directing the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to vacate its order denying transfer and to transfer this case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. VoIP-Pal.com, Inc. (“VoIP-Pal”) opposes the petition.
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We cannot say that such a clear abuse of discretion occurred here. The court considered all the relevant factors and made reasonable findings based on the record. In particular, the court found that information known and held by the operating system development team located in Austin Texas is material to the parties’ dispute, Appx27-30, and we cannot say this finding was clearly erroneous. This reasonable finding informed the court’s understanding and weighing of the disputed factors. In particular, it found that potential witnesses could more conveniently attend trial in the Western District of Texas, that Amazon could easily access relevant evidence in that District, and that both Western Texas and Northern California had local interests in the matter. Appx17, 34. Mindful of our limited task on mandamus, we are not prepared to disturb the court’s findings, which provide a plausible basis for its ruling.
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
The petition is denied.
In re Stingray IP Solutions, LLC (Nonprecedential Order)
Stingray IP Solutions, LLC (“Stingray”) petitions for a writ of mandamus seeking to undo the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’ order transferring two cases to the United States District Court for the Central District of California (“CDCA”). TP-Link Technologies Co., Ltd., TP-Link Corporation Limited, and TP-Link International Ltd. (collectively, “TP-Link”) oppose. For the reasons provided below, we grant the petition.
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In light of our conclusion, we vacate the district court’s transfer order. In further proceedings consistent with this order, the district court may find it necessary to assess whether TP-Link can satisfy Rule 4(k)(2)’s negation requirement on the grounds that Stingray “could have brought suit” in the Central District of California, independent of TP-Link’s post-suit consent. See Merial, 681 F.3d at 1294–95. Additionally, or alternatively, the district court may consider whether transfer under § 1404(a) would be appropriate.
IT IS ORDERED THAT: The petition is granted to the extent that the district court’s transfer orders are vacated and the court is instructed to recall any case files from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this order.