UNWIRED PLANET, LLC v. GOOGLE INC. , No. 15-1812 (Fed. Cir. 2017)

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This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on November 21, 2016.

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NOTE: This order is nonprecedential. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ______________________ UNWIRED PLANET, LLC, Appellant v. GOOGLE INC., Appellee ______________________ 2015-1812 ______________________ Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. CBM201400006. ______________________ ON PETITION FOR REHEARING EN BANC ______________________ Before PROST, Chief Judge, NEWMAN, PLAGER*, LOURIE, DYK, MOORE, O’MALLEY, REYNA, WALLACH, TARANTO, CHEN, HUGHES, and STOLL, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM. HUGHES, Circuit Judge, concurring in the denial of the petition for panel rehearing. ___________________________________ * Circuit Judge Plager participated only in the decision on the petition for panel rehearing. 2 UNWIRED PLANET, LLC v. GOOGLE INC. ORDER Appellee Google Inc. filed a petition for rehearing en banc. A response to the petition was invited by the court and filed by Appellant Unwired Planet, LLC. The petition was first referred as a petition for rehearing to the panel that heard the appeal, and thereafter the petition for rehearing en banc was referred to the circuit judges who are in regular active service. Upon consideration thereof, IT IS ORDERED THAT: (1) The petition for panel rehearing is denied. (2) The petition for rehearing en banc is denied. 2017. The mandate of the court will issue on April 11, FOR THE COURT April 4, 2017 Date /s/ Peter R. Marksteiner Peter R. Marksteiner Clerk of Court United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ______________________ UNWIRED PLANET, LLC, Appellant v. GOOGLE INC., Appellee ______________________ 2015-1812 ______________________ Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. CBM201400006. ______________________ HUGHES, Circuit Judge, concurring in the denial of the petition for panel rehearing. For the reasons expressed in my dissent in Versata Development Group, Inc. v. SAP America, Inc., 793 F.3d 1306, 1336–43 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (Hughes, J., concurring-inpart and dissenting-in-part), I continue to believe that Versata was incorrectly decided. I further believe that Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131 (2016) confirms that our review of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision should be limited to the ultimate merits of the patent validity determination and should not, with narrow exception, extend to any decisions related to institution. Those exceptions may include the rare circumstances where the agency acts unconstitutionally or in complete disregard of the limits on its statutory 2 UNWIRED PLANET, LLC v. GOOGLE INC. authority. See Cuozzo Speed Techs., 136 S. Ct. at 2141; see also Versata, 793 F.3d at 1342 (Hughes, J., concurringin-part and dissenting-in-part) (“Even when a statute clearly demonstrates Congress intended to bar judicial review of agency action generally, courts have recognized an ‘implicit and narrow’ exception for agency action that plainly violates an unambiguous statutory mandate.” (citations omitted)). An exception does not apply in instances where the court disagrees with the agency’s discretionary exercise of its explicit statutory authority. As I pointed out in Versata, if an agency can be said to be acting without statutory authority whenever this court disagrees with the board’s decision on any of the statutes related to institution, then the bar on judicial review is essentially eviscerated and is morphed into a bar on interlocutory review of the institution decision and nothing more. 793 F.3d at 1340 (Hughes, J., concurring-inpart and dissenting-in-part). And that, of course, cannot be what Congress intended because such interlocutory review would have been unavailable even without the addition of 35 U.S.C. § 324(e). That said, I concur in the denial of panel rehearing. In Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp., Case No. 15-1944, the en banc court is set to revisit the scope of an analogous bar on judicial review from inter partes proceedings in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Cuozzo. Our decision there and any subsequent Supreme Court review will likely affect the question of whether Versata is and should remain good law. Thus, rehearing here is unnecessary.