Bobel v. MaxLite, Inc., No. 12 C 5346, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 5, 2014) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve construed the disputed terms in this patent litigation related to compact fluorescent lamps. Of particular note, the Court held as follows:
- Resonate Boosting Circuit was construed as “a circuit comprising (i) boosting inductance connected in circuit between the AC input terminals and (ii) boosting capacitance, comprising one or more capacitors, connected in parallel with selected one or more diodes of the rectifier circuit.”
- Power Line Voltage Rectifier was construed as “a device that converts the AC signal from an alternating voltage source into a pulsating DC signal at the output of the rectifier, with such device including at least two diodes, each of which connects on one side to the AC power line.”
- Integrated Into was construed as “physically combined into.”
- A Resonant Boosting Circuit Integrated Into the Power Line Voltage Rectifier was construed as “a circuit operable to provide between the DC terminals a variable DC voltage having an absolute peak magnitude higher than the absolute peak magnitude of a rectified voltage of the alternative voltage source, and the resonant boosting circuit comprising: (i) boosting inductance connected in circuit between the AC input terminals and the alternating voltage source, and (ii) boosting capacitance comprising one or more capacitors connected in parallel with one or more unidirectional devices of the rectifier circuit.” Because the term was a combination of the previously construed terms, the term was construed consistent with those constructions.
- Parallels was construed as “of or denoting electrical components or circuits connected to common points at each end, rather than one to another in sequence.” This construction was based upon a dictionary definition.
The Court helpfully closed its opinion with a chart listing its constructions.
Albecker v. Contour Prods., Inc., No. 09 C 00631, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sept. 27, 2013) (Chang, J.).
Judge Chang decided the parties’ respective Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) motions for reconsideration: (1) plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of the Court’s previous claim construction order; and (2) defendant’s motion for reconsideration of the Court’s previous opinion denying defendant’s motion to dismiss the declaratory judgment count for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff filed affirmative patent infringement claims against defendant, as well as declaratory claims seeking to invalidate defendant’s patent. Defendant argued that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to declare defendant’s patent invalid because there was no case or controversy. The Court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss. Then, during claim construction of plaintiff’s patent, the claim term “secured to” was construed to mean “attached using attachment means,” a construction that allegedly excluded a preferred embodiment disclosed in the patent’s specification.
In its motion for reconsideration, plaintiff argued that the Court’s construction impermissibly excluded a preferred embodiment disclosed in the specification. Defendant argued that this construction did not impermissibly exclude a disclosed embodiment because the intrinsic evidence supported the construction and plaintiff withdrew the claims directed to the preferred embodiment in favor of prosecuting other embodiments in response to a restriction requirement issued by the PTO. Even heeding the Federal Circuit’s cautionary warning from Plantronics, Inc. v. Aliph, Inc., 724 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2013) to not conclude that a patentee has disclaimed claim scope simply by withdrawing claims after receiving an unexplained restriction requirement, the Court found that the bulk of intrinsic evidence supported the Court’s prior construction. Because the weight of the evidence supported the Court’s prior construction, plaintiff did not meet the burden required of a motion to reconsider.
Defendant’s motion for reconsideration of defendant’s denied motion to dismiss was granted because defendant’s actions toward plaintiff did rise to the standard required by SanDisk Corp. v. STMicroelectronics, Inc. for declaratory judgment actions. 480 F.3d 1372, 1381 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (requiring patentee to take position that “puts the declaratory judgment plaintiff in the position of either pursuing illegal behavior or abandoning that which he claims a right to do.”).
Carrier Vibrating Equip., Inc. v. General Kinematics Corp., No. 10 C 5110, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sept. 27, 2012) (Dow, J.).
Judge Dow granted plaintiff Carrier Vibrating Equipment’s (“Carrier”) motion for summary judgment of validity and denied defendant General Kinematics’s cross motion for summary judgment of invalidity in this patent case related to controlling retention time of a casting on a vibratory conveyor. The Court initially construed the claim “modifying” to require automatic modification of the angle of vibratory force. That construction was critical because the parties agreed that the alleged prior art system did not allow for automatic modification of the angle of vibratory force. The Court, therefore, granted Carrier summary judgment of validity with respect to the asserted piece of prior art.