Arcelormittal France, et al. v. AK Steel Corporation, C.A. No. 13-685 - SLR, April 19, 2016.
Robinson, J. Defendant’s motion to dismiss based on collateral estoppel is denied.
At issue in this case is a reissued patent. It was obtained during the appeal in a related matter where the court had ruled for defendants (including the defendant in this case). The appellate court reversed a claim construction for “hot-rolled steel sheet” and also reversed the jury’s verdict of anticipation ‘805 patent and determined that a new trial was needed with respect to obviousness because of the construction it had considered. It found 2 of the 25 claims previously invalidated to be valid. On remand the court would not allow the record to be reopened in the absence of evidence of past infringement of the patent as newly construed. Proof of non-infringement by collateral estoppel is appropriate only where there is a close identity between the relevant features of the accused device and the device previously determined to be non-infringing. Defendant claims that accused steel sheet products in the instant case are not materially different from those accused in the prior litigation. In view of the procedural complexity the court determines to allow discovery on whether the accused steel products had changed and will thereafter hold a status conference.