Tsuyoshi Nakamura | June 19, 2013
Douglas Dynamics LLC v. Buyers Products Co.
May 21, 2013
Panel: Rader, Newman, and Mayer. Opinion by Rader. Dissent by Mayer.
Connection between two elements is relatively clear and does not cast heavy doubt. Adding another element allows possible variations in connections among three elements and requires deeper thoughts of a claim drafter. In this case, the CAFC reversed the district court’s narrower claim interpretation of “connected to” in light of its ordinary meaning and the usage in the specification. Judge Mayer dissented from the majority’s claim construction. Contexts of a claim are source for supporting specific claim interpretation. A functional limitation supported a favorable interpretation for patentee and saved a problematic structural limitation from a pitfall.
Andrew Melick | June 12, 2013
Regents of University of Minnesota v. AGA Medical Corp.
June 3, 2013
Panel: Rader, Wallach, Dyk. Opinion by Dyk.
Regents of University of Minnesota (“University”) sued AGA Medical for infringement of U.S. Patents 6,077,281 and 6,077,291 directed to medical devices called septal occluders. A claim at issue recites two disks having central membranes, the two disks being “affixed” to each other at the central membranes “to define a conjoint disk.” The accused product was a molded one-piece device. In the district court, the claim was construed as to require that the disks, before being affixed, exist separately as individual disks that are then attached to each other. Since the accused device was a single molded device and was not constructed from two separate disks, the district court entered summary judgment of non-infringement. The CAFC affirmed this construction and the summary judgment of non-infringement.
Another claim at issue was found to be anticipated. The University attempted to use prosecution disclaimer to narrow the claim and avoid anticipation. However, the court rejected the prosecution disclaimer because the prosecution disclaimer was from a parent application and applied to “materially” different claim language.
Le-Nhung McLeland | June 5, 2013
Ateliers de la Haute-Garonne, and F2C2 Systems SAS v. Broetje Automation USA Inc. and Broetje Automation GMBH
May 21, 2013
Panel: Newman, Prost, and Reyna. Opinion by Newman. Dissent by Prost.
An embodiment with three grooves is disclosed in the specification of the patents-in-suit as a preferred embodiment of an apparatus for dispensing rivets. In his deposition one of the two inventors stated that an odd number of grooves was required to prevent a rivet from rotating on itself in the device as a result of the rivet stem going inside one of the grooves. The district court found that the specification did not “state that an odd number of grooves is better than an even number”, and concluded that the patents “effectively conceal the best mode.” Summary judgment is granted. On appeal the CAFC finds no violation of the best mode requirement. Questions: Is the three-groove embodiment the best mode, or is the belief that an odd number of grooves is required the best mode? Has the best mode been concealed, and does the concealment have to be intentional for the patent to be invalidated?
Bernadette McGann | May 29, 2013
Title: Even Without a Lexicography One Term May Have More Than One Meaning
Author Name: Bernadette K. McGann
Case Name: Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Amino Chemicals Ltd.
Key words: Claim Construction, Intrinsic Evidence, Prosecution History
Decision Date: May 20, 2013
CAFC Panel and opinion author: Newman, Bryson and Reyna. Opinion by Reyna. Dissenting opinion by Bryson
The claim in dispute recites a process of preparing a piperidine derivative compound that included providing a substantially pure regioisomer of a specific formula. The District Court construed the meaning of “substantially pure” in relation to an intermediate compound to mean 98% purity, which is the same meaning as “substantially pure” when in relation to the piperidine derivative end product. The CAFC reversed the “one construction throughout the patent” rule, adopted by the District Court.Next Page »