This morning, the Federal Circuit released one precedential opinion, six nonprecedential opinions, three dismissals, and two Rule 36 summary affirmances. The precedential opinion addresses an appeal from a dismissal by the Court of International Trade for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Three of the nonprecedential opinions dismiss appeals from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims—two for lack of jurisdiction and one for lack of a final judgment. Another two of the nonprecedential opinions affirm judgments of the Merit Systems Protection Board. The last nonprecedential opinion addresses an appeal and cross-appeal from a judgment of the International Trade Commission, which found that a collection of imported products infringed certain patents, but also found certain redesigns not to infringe. Here are the introductions to the opinions and links to the dismissals and summary affirmances.

Rimco Inc. v. United States (Precedential Opinion)

Importer Rimco Inc., appeals the United States Court of International Trade’s dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction over an action seeking judicial review of a denied protest. Rimco asserts the Court of International Trade’s exclusive subject-matter jurisdiction to review denial of protests pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1581(a), or alternatively, residual jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1581(i). Because Customs and Border Protection’s assessment of countervailing and antidumping duties is not a protestable decision, and because jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1581(c) would have been available if Rimco had not failed to exhaust the appropriate administrative remedies, we affirm the CIT’s dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 

Solomon v. McDonough (Nonprecedential Opinion)

Aaron J. Solomon, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, proceeding pro se, appeals a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”).  Because we lack jurisdiction over Mr. Solomon’s appeal, we dismiss.

Drawhorn v. Securities and Exchange Commission (Nonprecedential Opinion)

Cedric Drawhorn appeals from a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”), sustaining his removal as a Security Officer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  Because the decision was supported by substantial evidence, we affirm

Ryan v. Department of Defense (Nonprecedential Opinion)

James Thomas Ryan appeals from a final order of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“the Board”) denying his petition for review and affirming the denial of his request for corrective action under the Whistleblower Protection Act, 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(8) (“WPA”).  See Ryan v. Dep’t of Def., No. DC-1221-14-0323-B-1 (M.S.P.B. May 30, 2023) (“Final Order”), R.A. 1–26; Ryan v. Dep’t of Def., No. DC1221-14-0323-B-1 (M.S.P.B. July 12, 2017) (“Initial Decision”), R.A. 27–50.

For the following reasons, we affirm.

Sonos, Inc. v. International Trade Commission (Nonprecedential Opinion)

Sonos, Inc. (“Sonos”) filed a complaint at the International Trade Commission (“Commission”) alleging that Google LLC (“Google”) was violating Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, by importing audio players and controllers that infringed five of Sonos’ patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 10,439,896 (“’896 patent”), 9,195,258 (“’258 patent”), 9,219,959 (“’959 patent”), 10,209,953 (“’953 patent”), and 8,588,949 (“’949 patent”).  The Commission instituted an investigation and ultimately issued a final determination, holding that certain originally-accused products infringed each of the asserted patents.  The final determination also held, however, that certain non-infringing alternatives (“NIAs” or “redesigns”) proposed by Google did not infringe any of the claims of the Sonos patents.  Sonos timely appealed the Commission’s findings of non-infringement by the redesigns, and Google cross-appealed the Commission’s findings of infringement by the originally-accused products.  We affirm.

Brunson v. McDonough (Nonprecedential Opinion)

In August 1969, Pearlie Mae Brunson was legally married under South Carolina law to Wallace G. Brunson, Jr., a veteran with active service in the U.S. Army from June 1969 to June 1971.  Appx17, 22, 75.  After the Brunsons’ legal divorce in July 2014 and Mr. Brunson’s death in March 2016, Appx19, 25, Ms. Brunson filed a claim for VA death benefits, stating that she was entitled to such benefits because she was Mr. Brunson’s surviving spouse, Appx80–81.  The Regional Office denied that claim in August 2016, stating that because the Brunsons had legally divorced in July 2014 and were not married at the time of Mr. Brunson’s death, Ms. Brunson could not, under the applicable statutes and regulations, be recognized as Mr. Brunson’s surviving spouse.  Appx60, 63.  The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) affirmed that decision, Appx7, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Veterans Court) affirmed the Board, Brunson v. McDonough, No. 21-4225, 2023 WL 1771250 (Vet. App. Feb. 6, 2023).

* * *

Because we do not have jurisdiction to review the challenge to the Veterans Court’s decision that Ms. Brunson presents, we must dismiss her appeal.

Cowan v. McDonough (Nonprecedential Opinion)

William D. Cowan appeals a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”), which remanded in part Mr. Cowan’s case to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals for further consideration.  See Cowan v. McDonough, 35 Vet. App. 232, 249 (2022).  We generally decline to review a decision by the Veterans Court that remands a case because such a decision is not a final judgment.


Rule 36 Judgments