Digest of Flexiteek Americas, Inc. v. Plasteak, Inc., No. 2014-1214 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 19, 2015) (nonprecedential). On appeal from S.D. Fla. Before Prost, Bryson and Wallach.

Procedural Posture: Flexiteek appealed claim construction of “longitudinal slots” and summary judgment of noninfringement. CAFC affirmed.

  • Claim Construction: The district court correctly construed the term “longitudinal slots” as “[g]rooves spaced relatively close together that run parallel to each other for the length of the planks or sheet…” in light of both the intrinsic and extrinsic evidence. The only illustrations of the longitudinal slots in the specification showed the slots as being evenly spaced and running the length of the material. Also, during a reexamination, Flexiteek’s experts stated that it was necessary that the longitudinal slots be positioned in a very tight pattern.
  • Infringement: CAFC confirmed the district court’s finding that neither category of the accused products infringed the asserted claims. Because the Shiplap design had no more than a single groove, it did not meet the “longitudinal slots” claim limitation, which was construed to require that a plank had more than one groove. The T-Shaped design did not infringe because even if the edges were found to be slots, the side edges did not constitute the claim-recited slots as they were not relatively close together.