The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment on claims of (1) malicious prosecution of a patent infringement action and (2) monopolization in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The panel held that under California law, the defendant did not maliciously prosecute the plaintiff for infringement of a magnetic braking system patent because a reasonable attorney could have concluded that the on-sale bar of 35 U.S.C. § 102 did not apply to invalidate the patent.
Affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claim that the defendant, along with its European affiliate corporations, used the invalid patent to monopolize the market for magnetic braking systems, the panel held that the plaintiff failed to establish a causal antitrust injury stemming from the defendant’s actions.
On cross-appeal, the panel affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s motion for sanctions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 against the plaintiff for bringing a frivolous antitrust action.