This morning, the Federal Circuit released one precedential opinion, one nonprecedential opinion, and four nonprecedential orders. The precedential opinion concerns a “seven-day trip of two transcatheter heart valve systems in and out of San Francisco”—and whether this act of “importation” was exempt from patent infringement under the safe harbor provision of 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1). Judge Lourie dissented from the majority’s interpretation of the relevant statutory language and precedent to exempt infringement in this situation. The nonprecedential opinion addresses an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims affirming the denial of fees. The orders are dismissals. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the orders.  

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. v. Meril Life Sciences PVT. LTD. (Precedential Opinion)

Travel isn’t always pretty.  This case concerns the seven-day trip of two transcatheter heart valve systems in and out of San Francisco to attend a medical conference.  Once in San Francisco, however, the two heart valve systems did not attend the medical conference.  Instead, they sat in a bag:  first, in a hotel closet; then in a storage room—never displayed or offered for sale—before leaving the country to attend the next medical conference in Europe.

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation and Edwards Lifesciences LLC (collectively, “Edwards”) appeal the Northern District of California’s summary judgment in favor of Meril Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. and Meril, Inc. (collectively, “Meril”) that Meril’s act of importation of the two transcatheter heart valve systems fell within the safe harbor provision of 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1).  Because we conclude the undisputed evidence shows Meril’s importation of the two transcatheter heart valve systems was reasonably related to submitting information to the United States Food and Drug Administration, we affirm the district court’s summary judgment of noninfringement.

LOURIE, Circuit Judge, dissenting. I respectfully dissent. 

I do so because the majority perpetuates the failure of this court and others to recognize the meaning of the word “solely” in interpreting § 271(e)(1).  The majority also errs in following the error of AbTox, Inc. v. Exitron Corp., 122 F.3d 1019 (Fed. Cir.), opinion amended on reh’g, 131 F.3d 1009 (Fed. Cir. 1997), and its progeny that the purposes of the infringing act do not matter in evaluating the safe harbor.  

Gumpenberger v. McDonough (Nonprecedential Opinion)

This case is about attorney or agent fees.  Allen Gumpenberger, an agent, seeks fees for his representation of veteran Arturo Valadez.  Specifically, Mr. Gumpenberger seeks fees for past-due benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded Mr. Valadez for his traumatic brain injury (TBI).  The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied Mr. Gumpenberger’s request for fees under 38 U.S.C. § 5904(c)(1) (2012) and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims affirmed.  Gumpenberger v. McDonough, 35 Vet. App. 195 (2022) (Decision).  We agree with the Veterans Court’s interpretation of the fee statute, and thus affirm.