Federal Circuit - The FindLaw Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

July 2010 Archives

IP Suit Re Safety Needles & Challenge to USDA Decision

Hacker v. US, 09-1527, concerned a challenge to the the U.S. Court of International Trade's affirmance of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) denial of the application for trade adjustment assistance (TAA) cash benefits by grape farmers.  In affirming, the court held that the USDA correctly rejected petitioners' application for TAA cash benefits because they did not experience an "overall loss" in farm income between 2003 and 2004.  Further, even assuming that the USDA had any obligations to consider whether a TAA applicant's net farm income had declined when calculated on an accrual rather than a cash basis, petitioners did not submit the supporting documentation required by 7 C.F.R. section 1580.301(e)(6).

Becton, Dickinson & Co. v. Tyco Healthcare Group, LP, 09-1053, concerned a suit for infringement of plaintiff's patent, directed toward a safety needle designed to prevent accidental needle stick injuries.  In reversing the district court's finding that defendant's safety needles and blood collection devices literally infringed certain claims of the patent, the court held that the district court incorrectly construed the "spring means" limitation of the asserted claims and erred in denying defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law.  Further, even under the trial court's erroneous claim construction, plaintiff adduced no credible evidence establishing literal infringement by defendant's accused products.  Lastly, plaintiff's argument that the district court erred in granting defendant's motion for an order in limine precluding plaintiff from presenting evidence that defendant's accused products infringed the patent during the manufacturing process is rejected.

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Sun Pharm. Indus. Ltd. v. Eli Lilly & Co., 10-1105, concerned a challenge to the district court's judgment finding certain claims of the patent invalid for obviousness-type double patenting over another patent, in a generic drug manufacturer's suit for a declaratory judgment against Eli Lilly, seeking declaratory relief that a patent related to treating various forms of cancer is invalid and not infringed.  In affirming, the court held that the district court correctly followed the double patenting analysis of the Geneva line of cases, which address the situation in which an earlier patent claims a compound, disclosing the utility of that compound in the specification, and a later patent claims a method of using that compound for a particular use described in the specification of the earlier patent.

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Appeal in Patent Infringement Suit Re Hitch Pin Locks Addressed

Wyers v. Master Lock Co., 09-1412, concerned a challenge to a jury finding that defendant failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that the certain claim of the patents at issue would have been obvious, and district court's denial of defendant's renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law, in an action for infringement of patents related to hitch pin locks that secure trailers to cars and sport utility vehicles.

In reversing, the court held that it was a matter of common sense to combine the prior art, and one of ordinary skill in the art would have had a reasonable expectation of success in doing so.  The court rejected plaintiff's argument for secondary considerations as, where the inventions represented no more than the predictable use of prior art elements according to their established functions, the secondary considerations are inadequate to establish nonobviousness as a matter of law.

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In re Giacomini, 09-1400, concerned a challenge to the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Inferences rejecting certain claims as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. section 102 by another patent, in petitioner's patent application involving a technique for selectively storing electronic data in a readily accessible memory called a "cache." is affirmed as the Trans patent has a patent-defeating effect as of the filing date of the provisional application to which it claims priority and which was filed before petitioner's application.

As stated in the decision: "The Tran patent's filing date is December 29, 2000, exactly a month after Giacomini filed his application.  However, the Tran patent claims priority to a provisional application ("the Tran provisional") filed on September 25,2000, which antedates Giacomini's filing date." 

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An IP Matter & Antidumping Case Involving Diamond Sawblades

Telcordia Technologies, Inc. v. Cisco Sys. Inc., No. 09-1175, involved plaintiff's suit for infringement of patents '306, '763, an '633, related to transmission of data in telecommunications networks.  The court vacated and remanded part of the district court's judgment denying defendant's JMOL motion on invalidity of the '306 patent, as the district court erroneously construed the only term on which it based its denial. With respect to remaining claims, the court affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's JMOL motion that the asserted claims of the '763 patent are indefinite.  The court also affirmed the district court's finding that the jury's verdict of $6.5 million award compensates plaintiff only for past infringement, and also affirmed the district court's award of interest under section 284 as it does not constitute an impermissible double recovery.  Lastly, the court held that it was not abuse its discretion by directing the parties to negotiate the terms of the appropriate royalty.

Diamond Sawblades Mfr. Coation v. US, 09-1274, concerned an antidumping case involving diamond sawblades and related parts from Korea and China.  In affirming the decisions of the Court of International Trade, the court held that the Court of International Trade did not abuse its discretion when it ordered remand for further consideration an original Commission determination that there was neither material injury nor threat of material injury to the domestic diamond sawblade industry.  Furthermore, the court affirmed the Commission's affirmative finding that imports of sawblades and parts from China and Korea pose a threat of material injury to the domestic industry, as the Court of International Trade correctly found that the Commission's determination on remand was supported by substantial evidence.

Related Resources:

  • Full text of Telcordia Technologies, Inc. v. Cisco Sys. Inc
  • Full text of Diamond Sawblades Mfr. Coation v. US