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While the interconnectivity of computer networks facilitates access for authorized users, it also increases a network’s susceptibility to attacks from hackers, malware, and other security threats. Some of these security threats can only be detected with information from multiple sources. SRI developed the inventions claimed in patents titled “Network Surveillance” and “Hierarchical Event Monitoring and Analysis.” SRI had performed considerable research and development on network intrusion detection before filing the patents-in-suit. In an infringement suit, the district court denied Cisco’s motion for summary judgment of patent ineligibility, construed the claim term “network traffic data,” granted summary judgment of no anticipation, and denied judgment as a matter of law of no willful infringement. The court awarded enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, and ongoing royalties. The Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of summary judgment of ineligibility, adopted the claim construction, and affirmed summary judgment of no anticipation but vacated and remanded the denial of judgment as a matter of law of no willful infringement, and therefore vacated the enhancement of damages. The court also vacated the award of attorneys’ fees and remanded for recalculation and affirmed the award of ongoing royalties on post-verdict sales of products that were actually found to infringe or are not colorably different. View "SRI International, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Commerce Department issued antidumping and countervailing duty orders covering aluminum extrusions from China under 19 U.S.C. 1671,. In a previous case, the Federal Circuit upheld Commerce's ruling that the orders applied to certain imports of portions of “curtain wall”—the non-structural cladding of certain buildings such as office towers, composed of panels having aluminum frames and glass or other sheathing material, with the panels attached to steel, concrete, or other structural building elements. While that case was pending in the Court of International Trade, Yuanda sought a scope ruling that the orders do not cover curtain wall units when imported under a contract for an entire curtain wall. Commerce rejected that position. The Court of International Trade and the Federal Circuit affirmed, first rejecting an argument that two parties lacked constitutional standing because the challenged decision pertains only to Yuanda’s merchandise. The orders exclude “subassemblies” only if they are “imported as part of the finished goods ‘kit," and “all of the necessary curtain wall units are imported at the same time.” That requirement focuses on the physical contents of the “packaged combination” at a particular time, not on contractual obligations that might link one packaged combination to another, later-entering one. Commerce properly found that the curtain wall units as entered were not ready for installation “as is.” View "Shenyang Yuanda Aluminum Industry Engineering Co., Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law

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Ruel served in the Marine Corps, 1966-1969, including two tours in Vietnam; he was exposed to Agent Orange. He died in 1984. His wife, Teresa, sought benefits. In July 1984, the VA received her Form 21-534, which the VA treats as an application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) a benefit paid to eligible survivors of veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, and for a Death Pension, a benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse of a deceased veteran with wartime service, 38 U.S.C. 5101(b)(1). The claim for pension benefits was denied based on her income; the denial did not mention a DIC claim. In response to Teresa's “Application for Burial Benefits,” the VA authorized payment of $150.00, stating: The evidence does not show that the veteran’s death was due to a service-connected condition. Teresa did not appeal. In 2009, ischemic heart disease was added to the presumptive list of diseases related to herbicide exposure while serving in Vietnam. Teresa submitted a new Form 21-534. Her claim was granted with an effective date of October 2009. Teresa sought an effective date of July 1984 arguing that the VA never adjudicated her 1984 DIC claim, which remained “pending.” The Federal Circuit reversed the Board and Veterans Court; proper notice of an explicit denial of a claim under 38 C.F.R. 3.103 requires an actual statement or otherwise clear indication of the claim being denied. View "Ruel v. Wilkie" on Justia Law

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Natural owns patents relating to dietary supplements containing beta-alanine (an amino acid). Together with histidine, another amino acid, beta-alanine can form dipeptides that are involved in the regulation of intracellular pH during muscle contraction and development of fatigue. Variations in dipeptide concentrations affect the anaerobic work capacity of athletes. One dipeptide, carnosine, contributes to hydronium ion buffering. During certain sustained exercise, hydronium ions and lactate can accumulate and severely reduce intracellular pH; reduced pH interferes with the creatine-phosphorylcreatine system, part of the process by which energy is generated in muscle cells. Natural's patents generally relate to the use of beta-alanine in a dietary supplement to “increas[e] the anaerobic working capacity of muscle and other tissue.” The district court applied the Supreme Court’s 2015 two-part “Alice” test and held all of the asserted claims were directed to patent ineligible subject matter (35 U.S.C. 101_ and lacked an inventive concept. The Federal Circuit reversed. Under Natural’s proposed claim constructions, the Method Claims are not directed to an exception to section 101 under the first step of the Alice test, so judgment on the pleadings was inappropriate. The Product Claims contain a dietary supplement limitation, with the same proposed construction, which does not support the idea that this limitation was well-understood, routine, and conventional. The Manufacturing Claims are not directed to the natural law or product of nature, but are an application of the law and new use of that product. View "Natural Alternatives International, Inc.. v. Creative Compunds, LLC" on Justia Law

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Drug manufacturers filed Abbreviated New Drug Applications with the Food and Drug Administration seeking to market generic versions of Saphris, a drug product sold by Forest Laboratories. Saphris is a sublingually administered, atypical antipsychotic containing asenapine maleate. Forest sued for patent infringement, asserting that the proposed generic products would infringe claims of its patents. The district court held the generic manufacturers had not established certain claims to be invalid and held Forest had not established infringement of certain claims as to two manufacturers. The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the validity determination, and for reconsideration infringement under a corrected claim construction. The district court erred in treating “excitation” as being limited to “excitation disorders.” The court rejected claims concerning sufficient written description, obviousness, and the construction of other claims. View "Forest Laboratories, LLC v. Sigmapharm Laboratories, LLC" on Justia Law

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Jones served in the Marine Corps, 1968-1970. A VA psychiatrist treated him and diagnosed him with PTSD in 2000. Jones formally applied for disability benefits for PTSD in 2011. In 2012, the VA Regional Office awarded him a 100% disability rating, effective April 2011, the date it received his formal application. Jones filed a notice of disagreement arguing that he should receive an earlier effective date that reflects VA medical treatment beginning in 2000. Jones asserted that he “did not file until 11 years later because the doctors did not explain to [him] what PTSD really was.” In 2015, the Board denied the claim, acknowledging the existence of “VA medical records showing treatment for mental health symptoms” in 2000, but finding that the records before it “[did] not indicate an intent to file a claim for benefits and are not considered an ‘informal claim’'.” The Veterans Court affirmed, finding no informal claim under 38 C.F.R. 3.155(a). Jones died in 2016; his wife substituted into the case, arguing that the Veterans Court applied a heightened standard to determine whether the VA was required to assist Jones in obtaining his treatment records, which might contain an earlier, informal claim. The Federal Circuit vacated the denial. The Veterans Court erred in ruling that the duty to assist only “includes obtaining records of treatment at VA facilities that are relevant to the claim.” View "Jones v. Wilkie" on Justia Law

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The U.S. Department of Commerce, on remand, imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties (19 U.S.C. 1671) on the importation of solar cells and modules, laminates, and/or panels, containing solar cells imported or sold for importation from China. In defining the class or kind of merchandise within the scope of the orders, Commerce used a new test, rather than the typically-used “substantial transformation” test, to determine the country of origin. If Commerce had used the substantial transformation test, it would have concluded that the country of cell production confers origin because the process of assembling the solar cells into solar panels does not substantially transform those solar cells. The Court of International Trade and the Federal Circuit upheld that determination as supported by substantial evidence. The Tariff Act does not require Commerce to define the “class or kind of [foreign] merchandise” in any particular manner. It is reasonable to use the country where the merchandise was assembled to define the class or kind of merchandise within the scope of the orders—especially where, as here, the very imports found to cause injury due to unfair pricing and/or subsidies were panels assembled in China containing cells produced in other countries. View "Canadian Solar, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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PersonalWeb’s patent explains that in conventional data processing systems, data items such as files are typically identified by their user-created alphanumeric name and/or pathname or location. Problems arise with traditional naming conventions if, for example, one device transfers a data item to a second device where the data item already exists so that a duplicate is created. The patent addresses that concern and others by creating a substantially unique identifier for each data item in the data processing system, independent of the data item’s user-defined name, location, etc., and dependent on only the content of the data item itself. The identifier for a particular data item is created by applying a cryptographic hash function to the data item. The output of the hash function is the content-based identifier or “True Name,” which is “virtually guaranteed” to be unique to the data item. In inter partes review, the Patent Board found that several claims were unpatentable as obvious in light of two prior art references. The Federal Circuit reversed. The Board relied on a “proposed, theoretical Binary Object Identifier look-up table” that does not necessarily exist in one of the references, so the Board’s reliance on inherency for that element in its obviousness analysis was improper. View "Personal Web Technologies, LLC v. Apple, Inc." on Justia Law

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James served on active duty during the Vietnam War. He sought service-connected disability compensation for “a lumbar spine disability and cervical spine disability, as well as an increased rating claim for pseudofolliculitis barbae.” On January 28, 2016, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied his claims.. On Friday, May 27, James placed his notice of appeal (NOA) in a stamped envelope addressed to the Veterans Court in the mailbox at his residence and put the flag up for collection. James left town and did not return until late on Monday, May 30. James discovered the NOA still in his mailbox and deposited it that night at the post office. The next day, the Veterans Court received and docketed James’s NOA, which bore a postmark of May 31, more than 120 days after the Board mailed its decision. The court ordered James to “show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed.” James argued that the 120-day appeal window should be equitably tolled because an errantly lowered mailbox flag constituted an extraordinary circumstance beyond his control. The Veterans Court dismissed James’s appeal as untimely. The Federal Circuit vacated. The Veterans Court erred in creating a categorical ban by holding that equitable tolling can never apply to an entire category of cases involving a fallen mailbox flag. The extraordinary circumstance element necessarily requires a case-by-case analysis and not a categorical determination. View "James v. Wilkie" on Justia Law

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The U.S. Department of Commerce conducted an administrative review and a new shipper review of the antidumping duty order on freshwater crawfish tail meat from China, then imposed anti-dumping duties under 19 U.S.C. 1673. The U.S. Court of International Trade sustained Commerce’s calculations of weighted average dumping margins for each respondent. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Substantial evidence supports Commerce’s determination that the Oceana Report is the best available information on the record to value the surrogate financial Ratios. That report, prepared by a South African company, “is a significant producer of comparable merchandise.” Commerce noted that the Oceana Report was “contemporaneous with the [period of review]” and “contains the necessary information for [Commerce] to calculate appropriate financial ratios. View "China Kingdom (Beijing) Import & Export Co., Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law