June 12, 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 final three patent cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided (or orders issued) by the Federal Circuit during the 23rd calendar week of 2007. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Fuji Photo Film Co., LTD v. Benun, et al. (order) (06/08/2007, non-precedential): Fuji moved to dismiss Benun’s appeal and moved for sanctions, of which Benun opposed and Fuji replied; Benun also moved for a stay pending appeal of the execution of contempt sanctions, of which Fuji opposed; during this litigation, Benun was preliminarily enjoined from selling disposable cameras outside of the U.S. for reimportation, and when Fuji learned of over one million reimports, it sought a contempt order and received it, also requiring Benun to provide an accounting; Benun’s accounting was that he was selling cameras at a loss; although district court’s judgment on disgorgement remained pending, the court directed Benun to pay Fuji’s attorney fees of over $117k; Benun seeks review of attorney fee award and contempt determination, but “an award of attorney fees ordered before entry of a final judgment on the merits is not appealable until after final judgment is entered”; “a district court order directing payment of a contempt fine, in part to the injured party and in part to the court, for violation of a preliminary injunction in a patent case ‘was clearly punitive and in vindication of the authority of the court’ and was thus appealable; if the fine is ordered payable only to the party injured by the disobedience, then ‘it is to be regarded as merely an interlocutory order, and to be reviewed only on appeal from the final decree’”; Fuji’s motion to dismiss is granted, the motion for a stay pending appeal is moot, and the motion for sanctions is denied

Stevenson v. Neighborhood House Charter School (order) (06/08/2007, non-precedential): at the district court level, the court directed Stevenson to respond regarding the jurisdiction of the court, of which she responded and requested various relief; Neighborhood then responded to the court’s order and moved to dismiss; transfer to First Circuit not appropriate here; Stevenson appears to have attempted to appeal the district court’s denial of her motion for summary judgment; “[a]n order denying a motion for summary judgment is interlocutory, non-final, and non-appealable”; “[w]henever a civil action . . . or an appeal . . . is noticed for or filed with such a court and that court finds that there is a want of jurisdiction, the court shall, if it is in the interest of justice, transfer such action or appeal to any other court in which the action or appeal could have been brought at the time it was filed or noticed . . . .”; Neighborhood’s motion to dismiss granted, Stevenson’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis is granted, and Stevenson’s motions for various relief are denied

Custom Metalcraft, Inc. v. Hoover Materials Handling Group, Inc. (order) (06/08/2007, non-precedential): district court certified judgment of noninfringement, and plaintiff appealed; defendant cross-appealed requesting review of order granting summary judgment that the patent was not invalid on certain grounds; after appeal filed, district court denied defendants motion to certify its disposition of its invalidity counterclaims; because no final judgment disposing of invalidity counterclaims, Hoover’s appeal is to be dismissed; court of appeals ordered that the motion to dismiss the appeal be granted and the motion to stay be denied

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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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