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Horvath has been a Secret Service special agent since 2010. To compensate for his availability and overtime hours, Horvath receives a 25% enhancement to his base salary, Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP), 5 U.S.C. 5545a(h)(1). Horvath is additionally entitled to overtime compensation for some––but not all––of the overtime hours he works. For scheduled overtime, employees receiving LEAP are compensated for work in excess of 10 hours on a day during such investigator’s basic 40-hour workweek; or on a day outside such investigator’s basic 40-hour workweek. All other overtime––scheduled or unscheduled––is considered to be compensated by LEAP rather than by additional hourly wages. There is an exception for performing certain duties, including the protective services, for which employees are compensated for all scheduled overtime. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations add: the exception applies only if “[t]he investigator performs on that same day at least 2 consecutive hours of overtime work that are not scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek and are compensated by availability pay,” 5 C.F.R. 550.111(f)(2)(ii). Horvath sued, seeking back pay. Horvath asserted that the OPM regulations improperly required that certain overtime hours be worked consecutively in order to trigger compensation. The Claims Court found that it lacked jurisdiction to consider some claims and that others failed to state a claim. The Federal Circuit reversed in part, finding that the challenged regulations are contrary to the unambiguous meaning of the statute, but otherwise affirmed. View "Horvath v. United States" on Justia Law

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Allergan’s Restasis Patents relate to a treatment for alleviating the symptoms of chronic dry eye. In 2015, Allergan sued, alleging infringement of the Restasis Patents based on Mylan’s filings of Abbreviated New Drug Applications. Mylan, Teva, and Akorn sought inter partes review of the patents. The Patent Board instituted IPR and scheduled a consolidated oral hearing. Before the hearing, Allergan and the Tribe entered into an agreement Mylan alleges was intended to protect the patents from review. A patent assignment transferring the Restasis patents from Allergan to the Tribe was recorded with the Patent Office. The Tribe moved to terminate the IPRs, arguing it is entitled to assert tribal sovereign immunity; Allergan moved to withdraw. The Board denied both motions. The Federal Circuit affirmed. IPR is neither clearly a judicial proceeding instituted by a private party nor clearly an enforcement action brought by the federal government: tribal sovereign immunity may not be asserted in IPR proceedings. View "Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc." on Justia Law

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The patent describes an “attention manager [that] makes use of ‘unused capacity’” of a display device, by displaying content in that unused capacity; it can display content when the display device is turned on but the user is not actively engaged or display content in an area of the display screen not used by already-displayed content with which the user is engaged. In 2014, the Federal Circuit upheld a judgment invalidating various claims on indefiniteness grounds but remanded with respect to four claims; the court construed “attention manager” as “a system that displays images to a user either when the user is not engaged in a primary interaction or in an area of the display screen that is not used by the user’s primary activity.” On remand, the district court found that the claims fail to recite patent-eligible subject matter, 35 U.S.C. 101. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The claims are directed to an abstract idea, presentation of two sets of information, in a nonoverlapping way, on a display screen. The claimed “attention manager,” broadly construed as any “system” for producing that result, is not limited to a means of locating space on the screen and displaying the second set of information in that space. The claim limitations for accessing, scheduling, and then displaying the second information set are conventional functions stated in general terms. The claims lack any arguable technical advance over conventional computer and network technology. View "Interval Licensing, LLC v. AOL, Inc." on Justia Law

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In 1942-1943, the Government contracted with the Oil Companies to purchase aviation gasoline, vital to the war effort, permitting a profit margin “between 6% and 7%.” The manufacture of avgas from crude oil uses a 98% purity sulfuric acid as a catalyst in alkylation, a process that dilutes the sulfuric acid such that it turns it into “spent alkylation acid,” which may be used to catalyze the alkylation process again following purification; produce non-avgas petroleum by-products; or be disposed of. If spent alkylation acid is used to produce other petroleum by-products, it becomes "acidic sludge," a secondary waste with a lesser percentage of acid content that can be used to manufacture fertilizer, burned, or disposed of. Unable to reprocess the increased amount of spent alkylation acid given the prioritization of production, the Companies dumped spent alkylation acid and acid sludge in California: 12 percent of the waste was spent alkylation acid, and 82.5% was acid sludge. In 1991, the Government and California sued the Companies under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601, for costs of cleaning up the disposal site. The Companies countersued. After years of litigation, the Claims Court granted the Companies partial summary judgment to prevent discovery into insurance settlements; denied the Government’s motion for leave to assert counterclaims in fraud; held that the Government was liable for clean-up costs for nonbenzol waste--$99,509,847.32, including accrued interest. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that the Claims Court failed to allocate between recoverable and nonrecoverable costs, wrongfully admitted stipulations to calculate damages, and wrongly refused to allow proof of double recovery by insurance settlements. View "Shell Oil Co. v. United States" on Justia Law

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Blackbird’s 747 patent is directed to energy-efficient lighting apparatuses. One embodiment discloses retrofitting an existing light fixture with a more energy efficient lighting apparatus. The district court entered a judgment of noninfringement of the patent based on its construction of “attachment surface.” The Federal Circuit vacated, holding that the district court erred in construing “attachment surface” to be secured to the ballast cover. By its plain language, claim 12 does not require the attachment surface to be secured to the ballast cover. Claim 12 expressly recites a fastening mechanism for securing the attachment surface to the illumination surface. It does not refer to any other fastening mechanism. It does not require the attachment surface be secured to anything other than the illumination surface. View "Blackbird Tech LLC v. ELB Electronics, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Jazz patents relate to a drug distribution system for tracking prescriptions of a “sensitive drug.” “A sensitive drug is one which can be abused, or has addiction properties or other properties that render the drug sensitive.” One such sensitive drug is Xyrem®. Jazz exclusively markets Xyrem®, which the FDA has approved to treat symptoms associated with narcolepsy. The active ingredient in Xyrem®, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), may also be illicitly used as a “date-rape drug.” Under the Controlled Substances Act any approved drug product containing GHB is classified as a Schedule III depressant, so the FDA approved Xyrem® under “restricted distribution regulations contained in [21 C.F.R. 314.500] (Subpart H) to assure safe use of the product.” On inter partes review, the Patent Board found certain claims invalid as obvious. The Federal Circuit affirmed, upholding a conclusion that implementing prior art, consisting of background materials and the meeting minutes, transcript, and slides on the FDA website, on multiple computers “would have been a predictable use of a known distributed data system according to its established function.” View "Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC" on Justia Law

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Endo holds the approved New Drug Application for Aveed®, a testosterone undecanoate intramuscular injection. Bayer owns the 640 and 395 patents listed in the Orange Book for Aveed®. Custopharm’s predecessor submitted an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to the FDA for approval to produce and market a generic version of Aveed® and made a Paragraph IV certification and gave notice of the certification to Endo and Bayer in October 2014. Endo and Bayer brought an action alleging infringement of the 640 and 395 patents. Custopharm stipulated to infringement; Endo and Bayer limited their asserted claims to claim 2 of the 640 patent and claim 18 of the 395 patent. After a bench trial on invalidity, the district court concluded that Custopharm had not proven that the claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. 103. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Custopharm failed to meet its burden of showing that a skilled artisan would combine a lowered dose with the injection schedule in the manner claimed. View "Endo Pharmaceuticals Solutions, Inc. v. Custopharm Inc." on Justia Law

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Tre Milano challenged the validity of claims 1–5 and 11, and did not challenge the validity of claims 6–10 and 12–15 of the 118 Patent, which covers a device that automates the curling of hair. A strand of hair is fed into a chamber of the device, the hair is wound around a rotating curling member in the chamber, the wound hair is heated to preserve the curl, and the curled hair slides off the curling member and exits the chamber so that the curvature of the curls created by the device can be substantially maintained. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board instituted Inter partes review of all of the claims that were challenged. The Federal Circuit concluded that the Board erred in its finding of anticipation by erroneously construing two claim terms: “the length of hair can pass through the secondary opening” and “free end,” broadening the claims beyond the description in the 118 Patent specification. On the correct claim construction, the claims are not anticipated by prior art, 35 U.S.C. 102(b). View "TF3 Ltd. v. Tre Milano, LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs each entered into agreements to provide services to Voice of America (VOA), a U.S. government-funded broadcast service. The agreements were a series of individual purchase order vendor (POV) contracts that each plaintiff entered into over several years with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees VOA. In 2014, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State issued a report that was critical of the BBG’s use of POV contracts, concluding that the BBG was using such contracts in some cases to obtain personal services. Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint alleging that, along with other individuals who have served as independent contractors for VOA, they should have been retained through personal services contracts or appointed to positions in the civil service. If their contracts had been classified as personal services contracts or they had been appointed to civil service positions, they alleged, they would have enjoyed enhanced compensation and benefits. The Claims Court dismissed and denied their request for leave to file a proposed second amended complaint. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting several contract-based claims, seeking damages for the loss of the additional compensation and benefits to which Plaintiffs contend they were entitled. Plaintiffs have set forth no viable theory of recovery. View "Lee v. United States" on Justia Law

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Raytheon produces infrared imaging equipment, including infrared cameras, which enable people to see in the dark and through obstructions such as smoke. Indigo’s founders included three former Raytheon employees. By 2000, Indigo was manufacturing and selling infrared cameras. In 2007, Raytheon sued, alleging patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation under California and Texas law. The district court granted Indigo summary judgment, finding Raytheon’s trade secrets claims time-barred. The parties settled Raytheon’s patent claims. The Federal Circuit reversed, reasoning that there were factual questions regarding when Raytheon should have become aware of its misappropriation cause of action and vacated the denial of Indigo’s motion for attorney fees under the under the Texas Theft Liability Act (TTLA). On remand, a jury ruled in Indigo’s favor on all 31 alleged trade secrets. Raytheon unsuccessfully moved for judgment as a matter of law, contending that it had conclusively established misappropriation of two trade secrets. Indigo moved for attorney fees under the TTLA arguing Raytheon had withdrawn its TTLA claim to avoid an adverse ruling that California law, rather than Texas law, governed Raytheon’s misappropriation claims. Denying Indigo’s motion, the district court observed that Raytheon’s continued pursuit of its misappropriation claims under California law established that Raytheon’s withdrawal of its TTLA claim was not motivated by a desire to avoid an unfavorable ruling. The Federal Circuit affirmed both the judgment of no liability in favor of Indigo and the denial of attorney fees. View "Raytheon Co. v. Indigo Systems Corp." on Justia Law