EPOS Technologies v. Pegasus Technologies

Scott Daniels | September 10, 2014

September 5, 2014

Panel: Hughes and Bryson. Opinion by Hughes.

Discussion:

The Doctrine of Equivalents is applicable in cases where the accused product or process does not literally meet one or more of the limitations of the patent-in-suit.  Essentially, a court asks whether the accused product or process possesses a feature(s) which is the equivalent of the limitation(s) not literally met.


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Jurisdiction for Appeal

William Westerman | September 4, 2014

Arlington Industries, Inc. v. Bridgeport Fittings, Inc.

July 17, 2014

Panel:   Chen, Clevenger and Hughes. Opinion by Hughes.

Summary

Arlington Industries, Inc. is the owner of U. S. Patent No. 6,335,488. The ‘488 patent is directed to a method for connecting electrical cables to a junction box using electrical fittings. Arlington and Bridgeport Fittings, Inc. compete in the same industry.

Arlington sued Bridgeport in 2004 for patent infringement of the ‘488 patent. As a result, the two parties entered a settlement agreement in which Bridgeport agreed to be enjoined from making, using, or selling certain products or their “colorable imitations”.

Bridgeport redesigned its connectors in 2005 to have a frustoconical leading edge. The redesigned connectors were sold by Bridgeport as the following models: 38ASP and 38OSP.

In 2012 Arlington sought a contempt order holding that Bridgeport’s redesigned connectors violated the original agreement and the court’s order. The district court held Bridgeport in contempt in 2013, because it found the redesigned connectors were not more than “colorable imitations” of the original connectors. Furthermore, the district court also found that the redesigned connectors of Bridgeport met claim 1 of the ‘488 patent by clear and convincing evidence.

Bridgeport appealed the contempt order of the district court and the determination that the redesigned connectors were not more than “colorable limitations” of Bridgeport’s original connectors.


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When Legitimate Advocacy Crosses the Line to Inequitable Conduct

Stephen G. Adrian | August 27, 2014

Apotex Inc. and Apotex Corp. v. UCB, Inc., and Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, Inc., andSchwarz Pharma, Inc., Paddock Laboratories, LLLC, andPerrigo Company 

August 15, 2014

Panel: Reyna, Wallach, and Hughes.  Opinion by Reyna.

There is a line separating strong advocacy for your patent application and violating your duty of candor before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This precedential decision illustrates when the line is crossed to result in a finding of inequitable conduct, leading to a patent becoming unenforceable.


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Written Description

Lee Wright | August 20, 2014

ScriptPro, LLC v. Innovation Associates, Inc.

August 6, 2014

Panel: Taranto, Bryson and Hughes. Opinion by Taranto

Summary:

ScriptPro sued Innovation Associates, Inc, alleging infringement of claims 1, 2, 4, and 8 of U.S. Patent No. 6,910,601. Innovation Associates counterclaimed on various grounds, including invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 112.

Shortly after suit filed, Innovation Associates initiated an inter partes reexamination of the ’601 patent at the PTO, and the district court stayed proceedings in this case to await the PTO’s determination.

The PTO completed its reexamination of the ’601 patent.  It confirmed amended claims 1 and 2 (amended in ways not relevant to this appeal).  It confirmed claim 4, formerly a dependent claim, as rewritten to be an independent claim, but not otherwise amended. And it confirmed claim 8 without amendment.  The amendments are not relevant to the issues on appeal.

Proceedings in the infringement suit resumed.

The district court granted summary judgment for Innovation Associates, holding that the asserted claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112.

The district court rested its holding on a single conclusion—that the specification describes a machine containing “sensors,” whereas the claims at issue do not claim a machine having “sensors.”

ScriptPro appealed.

The district court granted summary judgment of invalidity on the ground that the patent’s specification does not describe the subject matter of the asserted claims, which do not require sensors.  This is the only issue on appeal.

The district court agreed with Innovation Associates that the specification indisputably limits the invention to a collating unit that uses sensors to determine whether a particular holding area is full when selecting a holding area for storage of a prescription container.

The district court concluded “no reasonable jury could find that the inventors were in possession of a collating unit that operated without sensors.”

The district court decision is reversed.


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