Summary: CAFC reversed summary judgment of noninfringment based on incorrect claim construction at the district court.

Case: Visitan Corp. v. Fadei USA, Inc., No. 2013-1216, -1217 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 3, 2013) (non-precedential). On appeal from N.D. Cal. Before O’Malley, Bryson, Wallach.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff Vistan appealed district court’s summary judgment of non-infringement. Defendants cross-appealed that the asserted claims were invalid as indefinite. CAFC reversed summary judgment but declined to address cross-appeal.

  • Claim Construction: The district court incorrectly construed the claimed active assembly in a device for pitting fruits as being limited under Section 112, paragraph 6 to a pneumatically or solenoid driven actuator based on the court’s conclusion that the specification disclosed only pneumatically or solenoid driven actuators, not mechanical actuators. The Federal Circuit reversed. Although the district court determined that the described mechanical linear actuators are not “a separate class of actuators,” the Federal Circuit disagreed and concluded that they are “a distinct and identifiable class of actuators separate from pneumatic and solenoid-based actuators” disclosed in the specification. Accordingly, the district court erroneously granted summary judgment of non-infringement as to the accused devices that employed a mechanical actuator.
  • Indefiniteness: The Federal Circuit declined to address defendants’ cross-appeal on indefiniteness because those issues had not yet been addressed by the district court.