On August 27, 2010 the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the holding of the International Trade Commission in Inv. No. 337-TA-615, that certain accused products produced by Respondents General Protecht Group, Wenzhou Trimone Science and Technology Electric Co. Ltd. and Shanghai ELE Manufacturing Corporation do not infringe the asserted U.S. Patent Nos. 5,594,398 and 7,212,386, held by Complainant Pass & Seymour, Inc.
For the '398 patent, Pass & Seymour appealed the Commission's construction of claim terms "mounting means for said conducting member to permit movement thereof between a first position wherein said pair of contacts are in respective circuit making engagement with said pair of terminals and a second position, wherein both of said pair of contacts are in spaced, circuit breaking relation to said pair of terminals." The Court agreed with the Commission that this claim requires that each of the contacts moves from its first position into a spaced, circuit breaking relationship with respect to each of the respective terminations, and affirmed the Commission's finding that the accused products did not meet this claim requirement. The Court further agreed with the Commission that General Protecht Group's 2003 devices do not include "a unitary electronically conducting member" and thus do not infringe the '398 patent.
For the '386 patent, Pass & Seymour challenged the Commission's finding that the claim at issue required that the claimed circuit interrupter had to be configured to trip in response to the actuator signal in the reset state, arguing that instead the claim at issue does not require that the accused device be configured to provide a wiring state detection signal in both the tripped and reset states. The Court adopted the Commission's construction of the term, rejecting Pass & Seymour's arguments and finding that the plain language of the claim at issue and the intrinsic evidence in the record provided support for the Commission.