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February 2006
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Microchip Tech. Inc. v. Chamberlain Group

The Chamberlain Group, Inc. appeals from the decision of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona granting summary judgment in favor of Microchip Technology Inc., and holding that: (1) U.S. Patent Re. 36,703 was invalid; (2) equipment other than garage door openers could not infringe U.S. Patent Re. 35,364; and (3) Microchip possessed a patent license under all reissues of U.S. Patent 4,750,118, including U.S. Patent Re. 37,986. Microchip Tech. Inc. v. The Chamberlain Group, Inc., No. 01-1423, slip op. at 17 (D. Ariz. Jan. 27, 2005) (“Final Decision”). However, because the district court lacked jurisdiction under the Declaratory Judgment Act to decide the merits of this action, we vacate the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remand with instructions for the district court to dismiss the action.

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Schoenhaus v. Genesco, Inc.

Plaintiffs Harold D. Schoenhaus and Richard M. Jay appeal the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granting summary judgment of non-infringement of their United States Patent No. 5,174,052 (“the ’052 patent”) to defendants Genesco, Inc. and Johnston & Murphy, Inc. Schoenhaus v. Genesco, Inc., 351 F. Supp. 2d 320 (E.D. Pa. 2005). The district court correctly held that the limitations of claim 1 must be found in a removable orthotic insert, or the immovable insert portion of a shoe, and may not be provided by other parts of the construction of the shoe. Likewise, the district court correctly held that the “heel seat” of the removable insert or immovable insert portion must itself be “rigid”, not rigid only in conjunction with the rear of the upper of the shoe, and not merely semi-rigid. Because the district court correctly concluded as a matter of law that the rigidity limitation of claim 1 is missing from the insert portion of the accused shoe, we affirm.

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Smithkline Beecham Corp. v. Apotex Corp.

SmithKline Beecham Corporation and SmithKline Beecham, P.L.C. (collectively SmithKline”) brought suit against Apotex Corporation, Apotex Inc., and Torpharm, Inc. collectively “Apotex”) for infringement of SmithKline’s patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,113,944 (“‘944 patent”). Apotex moved for summary judgment, arguing that the ‘944 patent was invalid. The district court granted summary judgment to Apotex. We agree that the claims of the ‘944 patent are invalid and thus affirm.

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Lawman Armor Corp. v. Winner Int'l, LLC

In this design patent case, the district court held that infringement had not been shown because each of the alleged “points of novelty” of the patented design was disclosed in the prior art. Lawman Armor Corp. v. Winner Int’l, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2078, No. 02-CV-4595 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 15, 2005) (slip opinion). We affirm that ruling, and reject the patentee’s contention that the combination in the patent of the many non-novel “points of novelty” itself was an additional “point of novelty.” We therefore affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment of non-infringement.

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Hicklin Eng LC v. Bartell, R.J.

. . .
On remand the parties and trier of fact will need to separate Axi-Line’s contributions (which Hicklin owns) from Bartell’s (which he owns), determine which of Axi-Line’s data are trade secrets, ascertain whether Bartell recognized that these data are confidential, pin down the use that Bartell made of those trade secrets, and if necessary decide whether Wisconsin law permits such a use. If Hicklin prevails on these issues, the district court will have to select an appropriate remedy.

Hicklin has presented additional legal theories, but the district court need not consider them. These common-law approaches have been superseded by the Trade Secrets Act. See §7(a) of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, enacted as Wis. Stat. §134.90(6); ConFold, slip op. 12-14 (Wisconsin law);
Hecny Transportation, Inc. v. Chu, 430 F.3d 402 (7th Cir. 2005) (discussing the Illinois version of this provision). They would in any event add little or nothing to the statutory remedy, so they should be put to one side if only to streamline the litigation.

. . .

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Liberto v. D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Co., Inc.

The parties to this dispute over trademarks and the packaging of animal crackers have been negotiating a settlement of their dispute over the past eleven years–while continuing their businesses and continuing to litigate. Today, we only add a chapter to their saga, unable to find a principled closing. So, we address trademarks, licenses, and unenforceable agreements to agree, and final judgments are anything but that.

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