Summary: CAFC finds no Section 337 violation based on affirming the ITC’s claim constructions.
Case: Cognex Corp. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, No. 2011-1098 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 16, 2013) (non-precedential). On appeal from U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”). Before Reyna, Clevenger, and Linn.
Procedural Posture: Complainant Cognex appealed the Commission’s determination of no Section 337 violation and findings that the asserted claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and were not infringed. CAFC affirmed the determination of non-infringement and did not address invalidity.
- Claim Construction: The CAFC affirmed the Commission’s finding that the accused products do not practice the “accept threshold” limitation of the only asserted independent claim. Cognex waived any argument with respect to the Commission’s construction of “accept threshold” by not disputing, or even mentioning, the construction in their opening appeal brief and failing in the reply brief to point out where the issue was presented in the opening brief.
- Claim Construction: The CAFC affirmed the Commission’s claim construction of the limitation “probe” as being a data element. This construction is supported by the specification, which defines a data element as a “probe,” and the use of the term in the claim language. Based on this construction, the CAFC rejected the argument proffered by Cognex that the accused software performs a test at each probe.
- Patent Eligibility (Section 101): The CAFC did not address the finding of the Commission that the patent was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 because the finding of non-infringement of the asserted claims was sufficient to support termination of the investigation by the Commission.