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December 2005
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Applied Medical Resources Corp. v. U.S. Surgical Corp.

United States Surgical Corporation (“U.S. Surgical”) appeals from the decision of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granting judgment of willful infringement of U.S. Patent 5,385,553 in favor of Applied Medical Resources Corporation (“Applied”), and awarding damages, enhanced damages, attorney fees, and prejudgment interest totaling $64.5 million. Applied Med. Res. Corp. v. U.S. Surgical Corp., Civ. No. 99-CV-625 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 27, 2005). Because the district court did not err in not applying collateral estoppel to the reasonable royalty rate, substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdict of willful infringement, and the court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence regarding a prior litigation, we affirm.

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Energizer Holdings v. International Trade Commission et al.

Energizer Holdings, Inc. and Eveready Battery Company, Inc. (collectively "EBC") appeal the ruling of the International Trade Commission in an action under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 as amended (19 U.S.C. §1337), holding all of the claims of EBC's United States Patent No. 5,464,709 ("the '709 Patent") invalid for failure to comply with 35 U.S.C. §112 ¶2.1 We reverse the holding of invalidity and remand for further proceedings.

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Summit Technology v. Nidek

For the second time, we are asked to review the district court’s award of costs in this case. Because certain portions of the award were unsupported by evidence or were beyond the scope of statutorily allowed costs, we vacate certain portions of the award and direct that the award be reduced from $388,230.83 to $173,434.82.

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UNITHERM FOOD SYSTEMS, INC. v. SWIFT-ECKRICH, INC., dba CONAGRA REFRIGERATED FOODS

Abuse of Patent in Violation of Antitrust Laws

After respondent ConAgra warned companies selling equipment and processes for browning precooked meats that it intended to protect its rights under its patent for that process, petitioner Unitherm, whose president had invented the process six years before ConAgra filed its patent application, and one of ConAgra’s direct competitors jointly filed suit in an Oklahoma federal court. As relevant here, they sought a declaration that ConAgra’s patent was invalid and unenforceable and alleged that ConAgra had violated §2 of the Sherman Act by attempting to enforce a patent obtained by fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office, see Walker Process Equipment, Inc. v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corp., 382 U.S. 172, 174. The District Court found the patent invalid and allowed the Walker Process claim to proceed to trial. Before the case was submitted to the jury, ConAgra moved for a directed verdict under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(a) based on legal insufficiency of the evidence. The court denied the motion, the jury returned a verdict for Unitherm, and ConAgra neither renewed its motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Rule 50(b) nor moved for a new trial on antitrust liability pursuant to Rule 59. On appeal to the Federal Circuit, ConAgra maintained that there was insufficient evidence to sustain the Walker Process verdict. The court applied Tenth Circuit law, under which a party that has failed to file a postverdict sufficiency of the evidence challenge may nonetheless raise such a claim on appeal, so long as the party filed a Rule 50(a) motion before submission of the case to the jury. The only available relief in such a circumstance is a new trial. Freed to examine the sufficiency of the evidence, the Federal Circuit vacated the judgment and ordered a new trial.

Held: Since respondent failed to renew its preverdict motion as specified in Rule 50(b), the Federal Circuit had no basis for reviewing respondent’s sufficiency of the evidence challenge.

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Stern v. Trustees of Columbia University

Frederic A. Stern appeals the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granting the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York’s and Laszlo Z. Bito’s (collectively “Columbia’s”) motion for summary judgment that Stern failed to present sufficient evidence to be added as co-inventor of United States Patent No. 4,599,353 (“the ’353 patent”). Stern v. Trs. of Columbia Univ., No. 01-CV-10086 (S.D.N.Y. Feb 17, 2005). We affirm.

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Fieldturf v. Sprinturf et al.

On the undisputed facts and considering all of the circumstances, we affirm the district court's ruling that SportFields' bid was not an infringing offer to sell the FieldTurf product. Thus the judgment of noninfringement is affirmed.

. . .

The judgment that FieldTurf committed tortious interference and unfair competition is reversed.

. . .

We conclude that the district court clearly erred in deeming this to be an exceptional case under '285. The award of attorney fees is vacated.  Each party shall bear its costs on this appeal.

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