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October 2012
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ePlus, Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc.

This is an appeal and a cross-appeal arising from an infringement suit brought by ePlus, Inc. against Lawson Software, Inc. (“Lawson”), in which a jury found that Lawson infringes ePlus’s method and system claims. Lawson appeals, arguing that the system claims are indefinite and that the evidence of infringement of the method claims does not support the jury’s verdict. Accordingly, Lawson submits that the district court should have set aside the verdict and entered a judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) of non-infringement. Moreover, in case the verdict withstands this appeal, Lawson urges us to at least hold that the district court erred by entering too broad an injunction to remedy the infringement. ePlus cross appeals, arguing that the district court abused its discretion in barring it from presenting any evidence of damages at trial. We agree with Lawson that the district court erred in finding that the system claims are not indefinite, and in that respect, we reverse the district court’s determination. We also reverse in part the district court’s denial of JMOL to Lawson and accordingly vacate the judgment of direct and induced infringement entered based on two of the asserted method claims. We remand for the district court to consider what changes are required to the terms of the injunction, consistent with this opinion. In all other aspects of the appeal and the crossappeal, we affirm.

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Ritz Camera & Image, LLC v. Sandisk Corp.

This case comes to us on an interlocutory appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The certified question concerns the limits on standing to bring so-called Walker Process antitrust claims. The Supreme Court in Walker Process Equipment, Inc. v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corp., 382 U.S. 172 (1965), held that antitrust liability may attach when a party uses a patent to obtain or preserve a monopoly if the patent was procured through intentional fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”). The question in this case is whether an antitrust action against the owner of a patent, based on the Walker Process theory of liability, can be brought by a direct purchaser of goods that are protected by the patent, even if the purchaser faces no threat of an action for patent infringement and has no other basis to seek a declaratory judgment holding the patent invalid or unenforceable. We hold that the district court was correct to rule that a direct purchaser is not categorically precluded from bringing a Walker Process antitrust claim, even if it would not be entitled to seek declaratory relief against the patentee under the patent laws.

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Zoltek Corporation v. United States

This appeal represents the continuing saga of the Zoltek Corporation (“Zoltek”) in its effort to obtain compensation for the alleged infringement of its patent. The specific issue in this appeal is whether the Court of Fed-eral Claims properly allowed Zoltek to amend its com-plaint and transfer its claim for infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(g) against Lockheed Martin Corporation (“Lockheed”) to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The trial court allowed the amendment and transfer because it concluded that the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1631, the transfer statute, were satisfied. On the facts of this case, however, amendment and transfer were legal error. Moreover, because the error in this case was precipitated in part by this court’s earlier decision in Zoltek Corp. v. United States (“Zoltek III”), 442 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (per curiam; Gajarsa, J. concurring; Dyk, J. concurring; Plager, J. dissenting) we revisit the basis for that deci-sion. Thus, in light of our revisiting of our earlier decision, we (1) reverse the trial court’s decision here allowing amendment of Zoltek’s complaint and transferring the amended complaint to the district court; and (2) we re-mand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Inc. v. Maersk Drilling USA, Inc.

Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Inc. (Transocean) appeals from the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granting judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that (1) the asserted claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,047,781 (’781 patent), 6,085,851 (’851 patent), and 6,068,069 (’069 patent) are invalid for obviousness and lack of enablement; (2) Maersk Drilling USA, Inc. (Maersk) did not infringe the asserted claims; and (3) Transocean was not entitled to damages. Transocean also appeals from the district court’s conditional grant of a new trial. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse.

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Hor v. Chu

Appellants Pei-Herng Hor (“Hor”) and Ruling Meng (“Meng”) filed this suit against Appellee Ching-Wu Chu (“Chu”) under 35 U.S.C. § 256 for correction of inventorship of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,056,866 (“’866 patent”) and 7,709,418 (“’418 patent”). The district court granted Chu’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Hor’s and Meng’s claims were barred by laches or, alternatively, by equitable estoppel. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm in part, reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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Norgren, Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n

Norgren, Inc. (“Norgren”) appeals from the International Trade Commission’s (“Commission”) determination of no violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1337) (“section 337”) by the importation or sale by SMC Corporation and SMC Corporation of America (collectively “SMC”) of devices alleged to infringe Norgren’s U.S. Patent No. 5,372,392 (“’392 Patent”) based on the Commission’s conclusion that claims 1-5, 7, and 9 are invalid as obvious. Certain Connecting Devices (“Quick Clamps”) for Use with Modular Compressed Air Conditioning Units, Including Filters, Regulators, and Lubrica- tors (“FRL’s”) That Are Part of Larger Pneumatic Sys. and the FRL Units They Connect, Inv. No. 337-TA-587, slip op. at 1-3, 42 (U.S. Int’l Trade Comm’n June 3, 2011) (Commission Opinion) (“Commission Op.”). Because the decision of the Commission is supported by substantial evidence and is not arbitrary, capricious, or legally erroneous, this court affirms.

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Edwards Lifesciences AG v. CoreValve, Inc.

Edwards Lifesciences AG and Edwards Lifesciences LLC (collectively “Edwards”) sued defendants CoreValve, Inc. and its successor in interest Medtronic CoreValve, LLC (collectively “CoreValve”) for infringement of United States Patent No. 5,411,552 (“the ’552 patent”) issued May 2, 1995, entitled “Valve Prosthesis for Implantation in the Body and a Catheter for Implanting Such Valve Prosthesis.” Two other patents, initially in suit, are not at issue. The inventors are Dr. Henning R. Andersen, an interventional cardiologist at Aarhus Medical School in Denmark, his surgical colleague Dr. John M. Hasenkam, and then medical student Lars L. Knudsen.

The invention is a prosthetic device called a “transcatheter heart valve.” The valve is mounted on a stent and implanted in the heart by catheter, thereby avoiding open heart surgery and its associated risks. Suit for infringement was brought in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, trial was to a jury, and the verdict was that the ’552 patent is valid, that CoreValve’s Generation 3 ReValving System infringed patent claim 1, and that the infringement was willful. The jury awarded damages of $72,645,555 in lost profits and $1,284,861 as a reasonable royalty.

The district court entered judgment on the verdict, but declined to enhance damages for the willful infringement. The court also declined to issue an injunction against future infringement, apparently on CoreValve’s representation that, if enjoined, it would move its manufacturing operations to Mexico. The court also denied Edwards’ request to modify the litigation-agreed protective order and to permit Edwards’ patent counsel and technical expert to participate in the ongoing reexamination proceedings of the patent in suit and related patents. Each party appeals the rulings adverse to it. We affirm the district court’s rulings, except that we remand for reconsideration of the court’s denial of an injunction in view of the representation of changed circumstances, and for reconsideration of the court’s ruling on the protective order as applied to patents not in suit, to the extent that this issue has not become moot.

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Joy Mining Machinery v. Cincinnati Mine Machinery

Joy MM Delaware, Inc. and Joy Technologies, Inc. (collectively “Joy”) appeal the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Cincinnati Mine Machinery, Co., (“CMM”) of noninfringement of claim 2 of U.S. Patent No. 6,662,932 (“’932 patent”) and of invalidity of that claim for failing to satisfy the best mode requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112. As part of its appeal, Joy also challenges the district court’s construction of the term “indentations” in that claim. Because the district court properly construed the term “indentations,” we affirm the grant of summary judgment of noninfringement. However, because there is no evidence in the record upon which a reasonable jury could rely to find that the inventor of the ’932 patent concealed the best mode for practicing his invention, we reverse the grant of summary judgment to CMM with respect to best mode and remand for entry of summary judgment in favor of Joy on that issue.

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