January 30, 2007

I will periodically post case citations from the Federal Circuit along with the date of the opinion/order and a brief list of the legal topics discussed therein (specifically those with additional embedded case law citations). My goal is to post new cases on a weekly basis. This posting covers the remaining patent cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit, including an order deciding petition for writ of mandamus, during the fourth calendar week of 2007. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Hydril Company, LP, et al. v. Grant Prideco LP, et al. (01/25/2007): appeal of Fed R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of complaint for monopolization, infringement, and breach of contract; discussion of a patent relating to raw pipe with specified diameters and fitted connectors (U.S. Patent No. 6,244,631, “High efficiency drill pipe”), failure to allege the have failed to allege the minimum level of enforcement necessary to state a Walker Process claim (antitrust) against defendant; fraud on the Patent Office as potentially violative of § 2 of the Sherman Act, sole remedy of breach of contract action in license agreement precluding patent infringement allegation

Andersen Corp. v. Fiber Composites, LLC (01/26/2007): appeal of claim construction supporting jury decision of infringement, discussion of six patents relating to composite materials made from a combination of polymer and wood fiber and to the use of those composites to produce structural parts, support for initial claim construction found within the patent specification and the prosecution history, claim language “must be read consistently with the totality of the patent’s applicable prosecution history,” doctrine of claim differentiation (the written description and prosecution history “overcome any presumption arising from the doctrine of claim differentiation”)

International Electronic Technology Corp. v. Hughes Aircraft Co., Inc. (order, 01/26/2007): dismissal of appeal for lack of jurisdiction, filing of notice of appeal by non-prevailing party prior to dismissal of outstanding counterclaims by the prevailing party, no actual case or controversy

In re Seagate Technology (order, 01/26/2007, non-precedential) (order deciding petition for writ of mandamus is appropriate for en banc consideration): appeal shall address questions of whether or not “a party's assertion of the advice of counsel defense to willful infringement [should] extend waiver of the attorney-client privilege to communications with that party's trial counsel” (re: In re Echostar), the “effect of any such waiver on work-product immunity,” and [g]iven the impact of the statutory duty of care standard announced in Underwater Devices, Inc. v. Morrison-Knudsen Co. [ ] on the issue of waiver of attorney-client privilege, should [the] court reconsider the decision in Underwater Devices and the duty of care standard itself”

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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