Not Dead Yet Mfg., Inc. v. Pride Sol’ns, LLC, No. 13 C 3418, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 5, 2015) (Pallmeyer, J.).

Judge Pallmeyer construed the claim terms of plaintiff Not Dead Yet’s (“NDY”) patents to a quick connect and disconnect system for a farming implement known as a stalk stomper.

Of particular note, the court held as follows:

  • The Court construed “plate” as “a single smooth thin flat sheet of material that may contain minor angles or curves.” This construction was the Court’s own based in part upon the ordinary meaning of “plate.”
  • “Plate member having a crossbar” means “plate member having thereon a cross bar.”
  • “Retention means” was construed as means plus function as “a block or stop that retains the position of the stalk stomper with respect to the mounting bracket by restricting the longitudinal movement via engagement with a pin member, and equivalents thereof.”
  • “Retention member” was also a means plus function terms and was construed the same as “retention means.”
  • “Transversely” was construed pursuant to its ordinary meaning as “acting, lying, or being across.”