April 02, 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 13th calendar week of 2007. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Sandisk Corp. v. Stmicroelectronics, Inc., et al. (03/26/2007): appeal of grant of motion to dismiss claims relating to declaratory judgment action of noninfringement and invalidity for failure to present an actual controversy (decision vacated and remanded); discussion of several patents related to flash memory storage products; determination of actual case or controversy within the meaning of the Declaratory Judgment Act (28 U.S.C. § 2201(a)); specific Article III case or controversy here giving rise to declaratory judgment jurisdiction because “ST sought a right to a royalty under its patents based on specific, identified activity by SanDisk”; discussion of promise not to sue for patent infringement; district court’s dismissal of declaratory judgment action improper

EON-NET, L.P., et al. v. Zimmerman, et al. (order) (03/26/2007, non-precedential): appeal of grant of summary judgment of non-infringement (because plaintiff did not demonstrate evidence of infringement) which led to sanctions; no infringing products listed in complaint; plaintiff’s failure to conduct adequate pre-filing investigation led to sanctions; plaintiff did not meet burden of strong likelihood of success (or that the harm factors weigh in its favor) to obtain a stay pending appeal; motion to stay sanctions pending appeal denied

Citizen Electronics Company, LTD. v. Osram GMBH, et al. (03/29/2007, non-precedential): appeal of dismissal of declaratory judgment action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, barring the complaint under the doctrine of res judicata because the issue of subject matter jurisdiction was already litigated (affirmed); discussion of several patents relating to white light emitting diode technology (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,066,861, 6,245,259, 6,277,301, 6,576,930, 6,592,780, 6,613,247 and 6,812,500); “a prior dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction precludes relitigation of the same jurisdictional issue in a later suit, unless the doctrine of “curable pleading defects” applies”; since CE estopped from relying on OSRAM’s filing of patent infringement suit against CE in Germany and OSRAM’s web report and press release, the district court did not err in holding that “service of process did not cure its lack of subject matter jurisdiction over CE’s DJ action”


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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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