The first, Mayo Medical Laboratories v. Prometheus Laboratories, is a very complex case about whether you can patent a natural process, in this case monitoring the metabolites a drug.
I can’t begin to explain it, but Lyle Denniston can. Click here for his analysis.
In the second case, PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana, the Justices were asked to reference the journals of Lewis and Clark to determine if a river in Montana was once navigable.
The dispute is between a Montana power company that operates several dams on the river and the State of Montana which says it is owed over $50 million in rent and interest.
You can read about it here.