Case: Cheese Sys., Inc. v. Tetra Pak Cheese & Powder Sys., Inc., Nos. 2012-1463, -1501 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 6, 2013) (precedential). On appeal from W.D. Wis. Before Rader, Reyna, and Davis.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff in a declaratory judgment action appealed the summary judgment determination that the plaintiff infringed under the doctrine of equivalents and that it had not proven the patent invalid. CAFC affirmed.

  • Infringement: The district court erroneously denied summary judgment of non-infringement with respect to the “generally common plane” limitation, and correctly granted summary judgment of infringement with respect to the “agitator panel” and “horizontally disposed axes” limitations.
  • Anticipation: The district court correctly granted summary judgment that the patent was not anticipated by two prior art patents that failed to disclose a particular limitation.
  • Obviousness: The district court correctly granted summary judgment of non-obviousness over any of the several combinations of prior art. Obviousness cannot be based on the hindsight combination of components selectively culled from the prior art to fit the parameters of the patented invention. The after-the-fact expert testimony proffered by the plaintiff to support its obviousness theories ignored the state of the prior art. Additionally, the district court did not abuse its discretion in striking portions of a supplemental expert declaration filed by the plaintiff, for being untimely and prejudicial to the defendant, where the declaration was filed two months beyond the discovery deadline and after the defendant had filed its motion for summary judgment.