Zenith Elecs. Corp. v. PDI Comms. Sys. Inc.

522 F.3d 1348 (Fed. Cir. 2008)

In a suit in which a patentee sued a competitor for alleged infringement of a patent for digital pillow speakers used in hospital rooms and a method for making them compatible with hospital televisions, the Federal Circuit held that a defendant can not satisfy an anticipation claim by asserting that the accused device is the same as prior art. As the court noted, Section 102(b) of the Patent Act “may bar patentability by anticipation if the device used in the public” more than one year before patent application is filed “includes every limitation” of the invention sought to be claimed. “Anticipation requires a showing that each element of the claim at issue, properly construed, is found in a single prior art reference,” the court said. In vacating and remanding the district court’s summary judgment of invalidity because the defendant had not satisfied its anticipation claim, the court added that factual questions remained whether the patent was anticipated by public use of a combination of asserted prior art.