May 01, 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 two patent cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit during the 16th calendar week of 2007. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Intamin, LTD. v. Magnetar Technologies, Corp. (04/18/2007) (erratum from 04/19/2007: LINK): appeal of district court ruling of non-infringement and the vacation of a prior award of Rule 11 sanctions (affirmed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded); discussion of patent related to a magnetic braking system for amusement park rides (U.S. Patent No. 6,062,350, entitled “Braking system for an amusement device”); district court granted summary judgment of non-infringement because several limitations were absent in the defendant’s device; “dependent claims can supply additional context for construing the scope of the independent claims associated with those dependent claims”; remanded for review of claim construction and determination of non-infringement; “[a] patentee may draft different claims to cover different embodiments”; remanded for determination of infringement, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents; plaintiff’s pre-filing inquiry was reasonable (and thus not subject to Rule 11 sanctions) under the circumstances by reviewing documents pertaining to defendant’s devices, inspecting the devices as installed, taking photographs of the devices, and reviewing the devices with experts

Advanced Technology Materials, Inc. v. Praxair, Inc. (04/19/2007, non-precedential): appeal of grant of summary judgment of invalidity for obviousness (affirmed); discussion of two patents related to containers for storing and dispensing pressurized gases for use in the manufacture of semiconductors (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,101,816, entitled “Fluid storage and dispensing system,” and 6,343,476, entitled “Gas storage and dispensing system comprising regulator interiorly disposed in fluid containment vessel and adjustable in situ therein”); defendant asserted invalidity based on four prior art patents, and the district court determined that the asserted patents were invalid for obviousness (anticipation was not addressed); “[u]nder certain circumstances, an expert’s opinion may illuminate disputes of fact, thus requiring a trial”; defendants presented an expert report to dispute what was taught by the prior art, but the appellate court stated that “the report lacks the detail necessary to avoid summary judgment” and that the defendant’s expert “lacked logical continuity, leaving only a conclusory record to oppose summary judgment f obviousness”; district court decision affirmed because the decision was “well supported by the record” and “no issues of material fact remain”


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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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