Digest of Epos Techs. Ltd. v. Pegasus Techs. Ltd., No. 2013-1330 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 5, 2014) (precedential). On appeal from D. D. C. Before Bryson and Hughes.
Procedural Posture: Following claim construction, the district court granted summary judgment of non-infringement based on the constructions and under the doctrine of equivalents. CAFC held that the district court erred in construing claim terms and in granting summary judgment, and thus vacated-in-part, reversed-in-part, and remanded.
- Claim Construction: The district court’s constructions of four claim terms were vacated because they required limitation to the preferred embodiments, a reading out of the preferred embodiments, and construction in direct contradiction with the intrinsic evidence. For example, the court erred in construing the term “drawing implement” as requiring a “conventional” writing utensil because the specification disclosed a variety of writing implements, and “conventional writing implements” only described a preferred embodiment. The district court again improperly imported a limitation from a preferred embodiment when it construed the phrase “given time interval” as a “few seconds or less,” thus placing an upper bound on the “given” time interval that was not required by the intrinsic evidence. With respect to “marking implement,” the court construed the term in a manner inconsistent with the specification and required an “implement which has a marker tip (and not a pen tip),” even though the specification used the words “marker” and “pen” interchangeably, and referred to the marking implement’s tip as “a pen tip.” The court’s construction of the term “temporary attachment” was also incorrect because it read out a preferred embodiment. Constructions that exclude preferred embodiments require highly persuasive evidence, which was absent here.
- Doctrine of Equivalents: The doctrine of equivalence requires that the asserted equivalent be an insubstantial difference from the claimed element, or match the “function, way, and result of the claimed element.” The district court’s analysis shortcut this inquiry and merely looked at whether the element was or was not present. Thus, the CAFC vacated the district court’s grant of summary judgment of non-infringement based on the doctrine of equivalents.