In Guangdong Alison Hi-Tech Co. v. International Trade Commission, No. 2018-2042 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 27, 2019), the Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC’s findings that the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,078,359 were not invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112 and § 102.

The ’359 patent is directed to an improvement in aerogel composite products and includes a claim directed to, among other things, “lofty . . . batting.” Aspen Aerogels, Inc., filed an ITC complaint alleging that Alison imported aerogel insulation materials that infringed the ’359 patent. Despite Alison’s challenge that the term “lofty . . . batting” was indefinite, the ITC found that the ’359 patent was not invalid and entered an exclusion order barring importation. Alison appealed.

The Federal Circuit affirmed. The court found that the written description of the ’359 patent provided express definition, functional characteristics, and specific examples to the claim term “lofty . . . batting.” As a result, the claim term was not indefinite. The Federal Circuit also found that the ITC’s conclusion that the ’359 patent was not anticipated was supported by substantial evidence. Accordingly, the Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC.