SadaoKinashi : CAFC Alert

If Alleged Infringer Doesn’t Cross-Appeal Validity of Narrowly Interpreted Claim, He May Not Challenge Validity of Later Broadly Construed Claim

Sadao Kinashi | May 8, 2013

Lazare Kaplan Int’l, Inc. v. Photoscribe Techs., Inc.,

April 19, 2013

Panel: Lourie, Dyk and Reyna.  Opinion by Lourie.  Dissent by Dyk.


Based on narrow claim construction, the district court issued a prior judgment that patent claims were valid but not infringed either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.  Lazare Kaplan (Patentee) appealed the judgment of non-infringement.  But Photoscribe (Alleged Infringer) did not cross-appeal the judgment of validity.  On appeal, CAFC broadly interpreted the claims and vacated the judgments of no infringement.  The issue of infringement was remanded to the district court.

On remand, Photoscribe moved for summary judgment of invalidity based on the CAFC’s broad claim construction, and moved for relief from the district court’s prior judgment of validity under Rule 60(b).  The district court granted both of Photoscribe’s motions.  Lazare Kaplan appealed.  CAFC reversed both district court decisions holding that the district court abused its discretion by granting relief under Rule 60(b).

地裁は、先の判決で、クレームを狭く解釈し、特許クレームは有効だが、侵害はないと判決した。特許権者Lazare Kaplan社は非侵害判決を不服として控訴したが、被疑侵害者Photoscribe社は、特許有効の判決に関して控訴しなかった。控訴審でCAFCはクレームを広く解釈し、非侵害判決を破棄し、地裁に差戻した。


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Article posted to online periodical qualified as “printed publication” under §102(b) where person skilled in the art could have located it

Sadao Kinashi | November 15, 2012

Voter Verified, Inc. v. Election Systems & Software

Decided  November 5, 2012

Panel: Lourie, Reyna, and Wallach.  Opinion By: Lourie


The patent holder alleged that automated voting systems of its competitors infringed U.S. Reissue Patent RE40,449 (“the ‘449 patent”).  The district court found that claim 49 of the ‘449 patent was invalid as obvious under 35 U.S.C.S. § 103 in view of an article in an online periodical before the patent’s critical date.  The district court found that an article in an online periodical qualified as a printed publication under 35 U.S.C.S. § 102(b).  CAFC affirmed holding that the article could have been located by someone skilled in the art before the critical date.


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Seagate Objective-Reckless Standard is Question of Law to be Decided by Judge and Subject to De Novo Review

Sadao Kinashi | June 28, 2012

Bard Peripheral v. W.L.Gore (on rehearing)

June 14, 2012

Panel:  Newman, Gajarsa, and Linn.  Opinion by Gajarsa. Dissent-in-Part by Newman.


Enhanced damages on willful infringement can be awarded under 35 U.S.C. § 284.   For determining willful infringement, In re Seagate established a two-pronged test requiring showing that (1) the infringer acted despite an objectively high likelihood of infringement, and that (2) the infringer knew or should have known the risk.  CAFC established the rule that prong (1) tends not to be met where an infringer relies on a reasonable defense.  According to CAFC, while an assessment of prong (2) may be a question of fact, determination of prong (1) entails an objective assessment of potential defenses based on the risk, and in considering prong (1) of Seagate, the court is in the best position for making the determination of reasonableness.  Thus, CAFC ruled that the objective recklessness is best decided by the judge as a question of law subject to de novo review, even though there are underlying mixed questions of law and fact.

米国特許法284条により、判事は故意侵害に対して損害賠償額を増額することができる。Seagate判決は、故意侵害の立証として、 (1)客観的に侵害可能性が高いにも関らず侵害者が行動したこと、及び(2)侵害者がそのリスクを認識していたこと、を求める二要因基準を確立した。また、侵害者が合理的な抗弁に依存している場合は、要因(1)は通常満足されないことも確立してきている。要因(2) は事実問題であるが、要因(1)の判断は、侵害のリスクに関する、潜在的な抗弁の客観的な評価を含む。したがって、客観的無謀さは、法律と事実の混合した問題に基づくものではあるが、法律問題として、判事が判断するのが最善であり、控訴において全面的に見直されるものである。

For our discussion of the CAFC’s previous holding in this case, please click here.

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