Dyson, Inc. v. SharkNinja Operating LLC, No. 14 C 779, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 17, 2015) (Darrah, J.).

Judge Darrah denied defendants’ (collectively “SharkNinja”) motion for reconsideration of the Court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment of noninfringement in this design patent case. SharkNinja sought reconsideration arguing that the issues of whether the claimed designs are functional or ornamental are legal questions to be decided by the Court.

The Court acknowledged that its prior decision was incorrect insofar as it stated that functionality was to be decided by the jury. Whether elements are function was a question of fact to be decided by the Court.  In this case, however, there had been no claim construction and the parties dispute which elements of the design were ornamental and which were functional.  And claim construction was premature pursuant to the Local Patent Rules and the parties’ schedule.  The Court’s original decision denying summary judgment, therefore was not infirm.