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June 2007
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August 2007

Central Mfg., Inc. v. Brett

Trademark infringement and unfair competition action against a baseball bat company and a former baseball player.  The court decided that there was no evidence of any use of the mark in commerce and that canceling the mark was appropriate.

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Pharmastem Therapeutics, Inc. v. Viacell, Inc.

This patent infringement action was brought by appellant PharmaStem Therapeutics, Inc., in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. PharmaStem sued six defendants (four of which are appellees before us in this appeal), alleging that the defendants had infringed two patents owned by PharmaStem, U.S. Patent No. B1 5,004,681 (“the ’681 patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 5,192,553 (“the ’553 patent”), a continuation-in-part of the ’681 patent. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned verdicts for PharmaStem on both patents, finding both patents infringed and not invalid. The jury also rejected the defendants’ counterclaims of inequitable conduct and violation of the antitrust laws.

The defendants filed motions for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) and a new trial. In response, the district court initially entered an order granting a new trial on the issue of infringement of the ’681 patent and JMOL of noninfringement as to the ’553 patent. Subsequently, however, the court vacated the new trial order as to the ’681 patent and instead entered JMOL of noninfringement as to that patent. The court denied the defendants’ JMOL motions with respect to various asserted grounds of patent invalidity. PharmaStem now appeals from the JMOL orders on infringement, and the defendants cross-appeal from the court’s refusal to grant JMOL on invalidity. We affirm the district court’s judgment as to the infringement issues. With respect to the counterclaim of invalidity for obviousness, however, we reverse the judgment and direct the entry of judgment for the defendants.

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China's Impact on Intellectual Property

The U.S. Commercial Service is pleased to announce the USPTO is sponsoring a China-focused intellectual property (IP) "roadshow" in Philadelphia as part of the USPTO's public awareness and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the global marketplace.  The event will provide valuable information on methods for preventing the theft of intellectual property.

  • July 23-24, 2007
  • Marriott Philadelphia Downtown
  • 1201 Market Street
  • Philadelphia, PA 19107

Full details.

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Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., Ltd.

This case raises the question of whether an equivalent is foreseeable within the meaning of Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., 535 U.S. 722, 740 (2001) (“Festo VIII”), and subject to surrender under the doctrine of prosecution history estoppel. We conclude that foreseeability does not require the applicant to be aware that a particular equivalent would satisfy the insubstantial differences test or the function/way/result test with respect to the claim as amended. We hold that Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., Ltd. and SMC Pneumatics, Inc.’s (collectively “SMC”) aluminum sleeve was a foreseeable alternative to Festo Corporation’s (“Festo’s”) magnetizable sleeve and that prosecution history estoppel applies. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment in favor of SMC of lack of infringement of U.S. Patent No. 4,354,125 (filed May 28, 1980) (“’125 patent”). Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., No. 88-1814, slip op. at 2 (D. Mass. June 13, 2005) (“Festo XI”); Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., Ltd., slip op. 88-1814, p.7 (D. Mass. Jan. 10, 2006) (“Festo XII”) (order denying motion to amend judgment).

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Hutchins v. Zoll Med. Corp.

This appeal arises from charges of patent and copyright infringement based on a computer-assisted system of administering emergency procedures, primarily cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Mr. Donald C. Hutchins charged Zoll Medical Corporation with infringement of Hutchins' United States Patent No. 5,913,685 (the '685 patent) entitled "CPR Computer Aiding." Mr. Hutchins also charged Zoll with copyright infringement and with breach of a contract between Hutchins and Zoll. The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted Zoll's motions for summary judgment of non-infringement on the patent and copyright counts, and that there was no breach of contract. Hutchins appeals the non-infringement rulings and assigns error to various procedural rulings; he also seeks to reopen the case based on charges of fraudulent non-disclosure by Zoll of relevant information.
The grant of summary judgment receives plenary appellate review, reapplying the standard applied by the district court. Thus we review whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, or if there can be but one reasonable verdict. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). To grant a motion for summary judgment there must be no reasonable view of material facts, with cognizance of the substantive evidentiary standards, whereby a reasonable jury could find for the non-movant. Id. at 255; see, e.g., De Jesus-Rentas v. Baxter Pharm. Servs. Corp., 400 F.3d 72, 73-74 (1st Cir. 2005); Depuy Spine, Inc. v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., 469 F.3d 1005, 1013 (Fed. Cir. 2006).

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Honeywell Int'l, Inc. v. Universal Avionics Sys. Corp.

This case concerns a patent on aircraft technology that plaintiffs Honeywell International, Inc., and Honeywell Intellectual Properties, Inc., (collectively, “Honeywell”) asserted against defendant Universal Avionics Systems Corp. We hold that the district court correctly interpreted the disputed terms of the patent and that, under the correct interpretation, the jury permissibly found that Universal infringed Honeywell’s patent.

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Zomba Enters., Inc. v. Panorama Records

Panorama Records, Inc. (“Panorama”), a purveyor of karaoke discs, resembles the majority
of these participants. It entered the business of recording and selling karaoke discs without
considering whether doing so infringed the intellectual property rights of others. Before long, this
lack of foresight caught up with Panorama.

This case requires us to review a district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of, and
monetary award to, a plaintiff copyright holder whose musical compositions Panorama copied on
its karaoke discs. Ultimately, we conclude that the district court (1) correctly concluded that
Panorama willfully infringed the plaintiffs’ copyrights, and did not abuse its discretion by (2)
awarding the plaintiffs $806,000 in statutory damages, (3) denying Panorama’s motion to transfer
venue, and (4) awarding the plaintiffs attorney fees. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the district court’s
judgment in all respects.

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Hansen Beverage Co. v. Nat'l Beverage Corp.

National Beverage Corporation, Shasta Beverages, Inc., NewBevCo., Inc., and Freek’N Beverage Corporation (collectively, “National”) appeal the district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction prohibiting National from infringing upon the trade dress of Hansen Beverage Company’s line of “Monster” energy drinks. The preliminary injunction restrains National, inter alia, from selling or marketing its line of “Freek” energy drinks in their current containers or containers confusingly similar to Monster’s current trade dress. We reverse because the district court abused its discretion when it determined that Hansen is likely to succeed on the merits.

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Young v. Lumenis, Inc.

William P. Young appeals from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio holding that claims 1-5 of U.S. Patent 6,502,579 (the “’579 patent”) are invalid as indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2 and the summary judgment that the ’579 patent is unenforceable by reason of inequitable conduct. Young v. Lumenis, Inc., No. 2:03-CV-655 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 1, 2005) (Indefiniteness Order); Young v. Lumenis, Inc., No. 2:03-CV-655 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 28, 2006) (Inequitable Conduct Order). Because we conclude that the term “near” is not indefinite, we reverse the judgment of invalidity. Because we conclude that no inequitable conduct occurred during the reexamination of the ’579 patent, we reverse the court’s grant of summary judgment of patent unenforceability.

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Saunders Group, Inc. v. Comfortrac, Inc.

The Saunders Group, Inc., brought this patent infringement action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Docket No. 1:05cv69. Saunders alleged that the defendants are liable for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,899,690 (“the ’690 patent”). The district court granted summary judgment of noninfringement on the ground that the asserted independent claims of the ’690 patent require, as one of the limitations of each of those claims, the presence of at least one pressure activated seal, a limitation that is not found in the accused devices. Saunders now appeals. We hold that the district court’s claim construction was erroneous, and we therefore reverse the grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings.

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