March 06, 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 first three patent cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit during the ninth calendar week of 2007. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Designing Health, Inc., et al. v. Udo Erasmus, et al. (02/26/2007, non-precedential): appeal of final judgment that decision mandated judgment as a matter of law and precluded a new trial (both affirmed), “a court of appeals, after reversing the denial of a party’s motion for JMOL (then styled “judgment n.o.v.”), may itself order dismissal or direct entry of judgment for that party,” discussion of procedure pertaining to JMOL and the arguments raised by the parties regarding JMOL and denial of motion for a new trial; no discussion of infringement anaylsis in this decision

Aquatex Industries, Inc. v. Techniche Solutions (02/27/2007): appeal of grant of summary judgment of non-infringement and preclusion of infringement under doctrine of equivalents by prosecution history estoppel (affirmed because no evidence of equivalents in opposition to summary judgment motion presented by plaintiff), discussion of patent relating to a method for cooling a person through evaporation by using multi-layered, liquid composite clothing materials (U.S. Patent No. 6,371,977 (“Protective multi-layered liquid retaining composite”)), defendant admission that its product reads on all elements of a claim except for one (leading to equivalents determination), error at district court level for incorrectly reading limitations into a patent, no evidence by plaintiff regarding equivalents on a limitation-by-limitation basis, no genuine issue of material fact presented to preclude summary judgment

Franklin Electric Co., Inc. v. Dover Corp. (doing business as OPW Fueling Components) (03/01/2007, non-precedential): appeal of grant of summary judgment of non-infringement (reversed and remanded), discussion of patent relating to protection against environmental contamination due to sump leakage (U.S. Patent No. 5,085,257 (“Sump Cover Containment Assembly”)), review of the phrase “facilitate positioning” determined during claim construction, patent drawings do not define proportions of items not specified within the specification, “[A]n attribute of the preferred embodiment cannot be read into the claim as a limitation,” fact-specific review of claim construction leading to reversal of non-infringement determination

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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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