January 16, 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 fifth, sixth, and seventh patent cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit during the second calendar week of 2007. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Shanghai Meihao Electric v. Leviton (01/10/2007, non-precedential): appeal of grant of summary judgment for non-infringement and issuance of permanent injunction from pursuing further claims against plaintiff (initial declaratory judgment action), discussion of four patents related to circuit interrupting devices (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,040,967 and 6,381,112 (both “Circuit interrupting device with reverse wiring protection”) and 6,246,558 and 6,437,953 (both “Reset lockout for circuit interrupting device”), discussion of “reset lock-out” and “reset lock-out means” and “operational” versus “nonoperational” states as claimed, review of claim construction, discussion of Fed R. Civ. P. 56(d) pertaining to injunctions (setting forth the reason(s) for the injunction), no establishment of “necessity” for permanent injunction

Charles W. Parker v. Microsoft (01/10/2007, non-precedential): here’s the entire opinion: “Charles W. Parker (“Parker”) appeals a final judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissing his patent infringement action against Microsoft Corporation as frivolous. Parker v. Microsoft Corp., No. 06-CV-00540 (D.D.C. Mar. 23, 2006). We review a district court’s frivolousness determination for an abuse of discretion. Denton v. Hernadez, 504 U.S. 24, 32 (1992). Parker’s allegations that he has patented the “elemental atom” and that Microsoft has infringed his rights by using and improperly claiming inventorship of such an invention are “fanciful,” “fantastic,” and “delusional” contentions supporting the district court’s determination. Id. at 33-34. On appeal, Parker provides us with no persuasive basis to conclude that the district court abused its discretion in dismissing the action. We affirm.”

E-Pass Technologies, Inc. v. 3Com Corporation (also known as 3Com, Inc.), et al. (01/12/2007): appeal of final summary judgment of non-infringement, discussion of patent relating to an electronic multifunction card (U.S. Patent No. 5,276,311, “Method and device for simplifying the use of a plurality of credit cards, or the like”), discussion of claim construction of the term “card,” discussion of potentially improper addition of a dimensional element to a claim, comparison of “card” to electronic handheld devices, discussion of “all elements rule” of doctrine of equivalents, discussion of lack of evidence of infringement of method claims


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Mark Reichel
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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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