Voltstar Techs., Inc. v. Amazon.com, No. 13 C 5570, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 28, 2014) (Lee, J.).

Judge Lee granted defendant Amazon’s motion for summary judgment of noninfringement of plaintiff Voltstar’s design patent to an electrical charger and denied Voltstar’s cross-motion for summary judgment.  An ordinary observer viewing the two chargers side-by-side would conclude that they were substantially different:

  • Voltstar’s charger was squat, while Amazon’s was larger and thinner;
  • Each charger’s tapered top was different; and
  • Voltstar’s charger had a “unique” clamshell appearance that Amazon did not have.

The differences cumulatively created a significant overall difference.

While both products differed from the prior art having tapered ends, the tapers were sufficiently different, as noted above.  Voltstar’s expert report identifying alleged similarities did not prevent summary judgment.