Black & Decker Inc. v. Robert Bosch Tool Corp., No. 04 C 7955, 2007 WL 108412 (N.D. Ill. Jan 12, 2007) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve denied defendant’s motion for a new trial, altered judgment or judgment as a matter of law in this patent dispute (more on this case and the injunction in the Blog’s archives). Defendant first argued that the jury’s infringement findings on various claim elements were not supported by the facts. The Court denied each argument, citing facts that supported the jury’s infringement findings. Defendant also argued that the jury’s verdict that claim 1 of USPN 6,788,925 (the "’925 patent") was valid while the almost identical claim 2 of the ‘925 patent was invalid was inconsistent. Defendant sought an altered judgment or a new trial as a remedy. The Court first noted that several Circuits would have waived this objection because defendant did not object to the alleged inconsistency when the jury rendered its verdict. But because the Seventh Circuit has not directly ruled on the issue (the matter is governed by region-specific law because it is a procedural matter), the Court did not waive the objection. The Court did, however, waive any arguments Defendant first made in its reply brief. Having addressed the procedural posture of the arguments, the Court held that the jury’s validity findings on the two claims was sufficiently supported. Because the two claims, although substantially the same, had different elements, the Court held that a rational jury could have come to different validity conclusions for each claim and denied defendant’s request for a new trial.