The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, on its own motion, has granted a hearing en banc in a patent infringement suit involving “beam-type” automobile wiper blades and requested that the parties address whether the court has jurisdiction over an appeal from patent infringement liability determinations given that a damages trial has not yet occurred and willfulness issues remain undecided. Robert Bosch LLC v. Pylon Mfg. Corp., Nos. 2011-1363, -1364 (Fed. Cir., order entered August 7, 2012).
In 2011, the court denied the patent holder’s motion to dismiss appeals from the district court’s infringement findings and a motion for reconsideration of that denial. According to the court, 29 U.S.C. § 1292(c)(2) gives the court “exclusive jurisdiction in appeals from judgments in patent infringement cases that are final except for an accounting.” Patent holder Bosch urged the court to distinguish between an “accounting” under § 1292 (c)(2) and a “jury trial . . . on the issues of damages and willfulness.” The court’s August 7, 2012, order establishes a briefing schedule and invites the submission of amicus briefs.
In October 2011, a split three-judge panel reversed the district court’s denial of Bosch’s motion for entry of a permanent injunction following a jury’s infringement determination in the bifurcated proceeding; the court determined that the district court had committed clear error in concluding that Bosch failed to show it would suffer irreparable harm. Robert Bosch LLC v. Pylon Mfg. Corp., No. 2011-1096 (Fed. Cir., decided October 13, 2011). The court majority ordered the district court to enter an injunction, finding that the undisputed evidence showed that permanent injunctive relief was warranted. The dissenting judge would have remanded for the lower court to resolve competing factual issues.