Southwire Company v. Cerro Wire LLC (No. 2016-2286, 9/8/17) (Lourie, Moore, Hughes)

September 8, 2017 11:08 AM

Lourie, J. Affirming conclusion of obviousness in inter partes reexamination. The Board erred in relying on inherency, but the error was harmless. “In sum, the Board's underlying factual findings are supported by substantial evidence and reasonably support its conclusion that it would have been 'obvious to have selected such amounts' as would achieve the claimed” requirements.  

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Intercontinental Great Brands v. Kellogg North America Company (No. 2015-2082, -2084, 9/7/17) (Prost, Reyna, Taranto)

September 7, 2017 3:26 PM

Taranto, J.  Affirming summary judgment of obviousness of patent relating to resealable food package.  Also affirming summary judgment rejecting counterclaim of unenforceability.  The district court conducted its obviousness analysis in this order:  (a) finding that all elements of the independent claims were shown in the prior art, (b) finding that a person of ordinary skill would have been motivated to combine the references, (c) finding no basis for a different conclusion about the art-based portion of the obviousness analysis for the dependent claims, and (d) concluding that defendant's “evidence of certain objective indicia, though substantial, was simply not entitled to such weight in the ultimate legal assessment of obviousness as to produce a bottom-line conclusion of anything but invalidity.”  The Court rejected defendant's argument that objective indicia must be evaluated before drawing a conclusion about motivation to combine and found that the district court's “structuring of the analysis fulfills the requirement that the approach to determine obviousness is 'expansive' and 'flexible.'”  Patentee's argument that the prior art had been considered by the PTO during reexamination and therefore placed an “enhanced burden” on defendant was unpersuasive.  Regarding inequitable conduct, the patentee used a reference “that was the central focus before the Board” that contained a misprint.  However, defendant did not establish that patentee used that reference with an intent to deceive.  Reyna, J. dissented-in-part. 

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Lifetime Industries, Inc. v. Trim-Lok, Inc. (No. 2017-1096, 9/7/17) (Lourie, Moore, O'Malley)

September 7, 2017 1:19 PM

Lourie, J. Reversing grant of motion to dismiss for patent related to recreational vehicles (RVs). Patentee adequately pleaded direct infringement of claim requiring an RV and a seal by pleading that defendant installed the claimed seal into an RV.  “[Defendant's] complaints concerning lack of detail ask for too much. There is no requirement for [patentee] to 'prove its case at the pleading stage.'” Patentee also adequately pleaded induced and contributory infringement.

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Mentor Graphics Corporation v. Eve-USA, Inc. (No. 2015-1470, -1554, -1556, 9/1/17) (Prost, Newman, Lourie, Dyk, Moore, O'Malley, Reyna, Wallach, Taranto, Chen, Hughes, Stoll)

September 1, 2017 9:08 AM

Per Curiam. Denying petitions for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc.

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