Summary: Judgment of non-infringement affirmed on one claim and vacated on another. CAFC also rules on claim construction.

Case: Nassau Precision Casting Co. v. Acushnet Co., No. 2013-1410 (Fed. Cir. June 6, 2014) (non-precedential). On appeal from E.D.N.Y. Before Wallach,Taranto and Chen.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appealed district court grant of summary judgment of non-infringement. The CAFC affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.

  • Infringement: The CAFC affirmed non-infringement with respect to claim 2, and vacated non-infringement with respected to claim 1 because regardless of which proposed construction was used, the accused golf clubs met the claim limitation, which required that all of the material removed from the top of the club had to come from somewhere other than the face of the golf club. The CAFC flagged the fact that which construction was used would affect the viability of an invalidity defense.
  • Claim Construction: The CAFC found that defendant-appellee’s proposed construction of the word “method” to mean manufacturing process rather than design process was improper. The term “method” has an established meaning: a process of taking specified actions over time. It does not require that the actions are steps in a manufacturing process. In this case, nothing in the specification refers to the steps of physically constructing a golf club, and thus the “method” refers to a design process.

Aryn Conrad