March 07, 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 by the Federal Circuit during the ninth calendar week of 2007. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

In re Princo Corporation, et al. (03/01/2007): petition for writ of mandamus to stay the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1659 and to vacate its order granting the plaintiff’s motion (Philips) for summary judgment on Princo’s patent misuse defense (petition granted), discussion of six patents relating to recordable and rewritable compact disks (U.S. Patent Nos. 4,809,209, 4,962,493, 4,972,401, 4,999,825, 5,023,856, and 5,418,764), discussion of court’s jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandamus (two full pages of citations), decision to exercise mandamus jurisdiction, discussion of whether a district court must continue to stay proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 1659 after an initial decision by the full U.S. International Trade Commission, § 1659 requires that the stay of district court proceedings continue until ITC proceedings are no longer subject to judicial review, retroactive stay of proceedings issued

Sawgrass Technologies, Inc. v. Texas Original Graphics, Inc., et al. (03/02/2007, non-precedential): appeal regarding transfer of case from one jurisdiction to another (appeal dismissed) discussion of patent relating to methods of printing with sublimation inks using ink jet printers (U.S. Patent No. 5,488,907 (“Permanent heat activated transfer printing process and composition”), discussion of transfers of venue to a more convenient forum, general rule favoring first-to-file (this situation being a declaratory judgment action filed before an infringement action), transfer orders are interlocutory and not ordinarily subject to immediate appeal, no jurisdiction over appeal as the record lacks a final judgment

Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc. v. Universal Security Instruments, Inc. (03/02/2007): appeal of grant of plaintiff’s motion for voluntary dismissal without prejudice (affirmed), discussion of patent relating to smoke detectors with battery back-ups (U.S. Patent No. 4,972,181 (“A.C. Powered Smoke Detector With Back-Up Battery Supervision Circuit”), dismissal of “action” and not just “complaint” includes dismissal of pending counterclaims, court may not dismiss counterclaims on Fed. R. Civ. P. 41 motion if counterclaims filed prior to the filing of the dismissal, dismissal of counterclaims improper but the error was harmless, failure to address standing issue prior to dismissal also harmless error


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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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