Rehco, LLC v. Spin Master, Ltd., No. 13 C 2245, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 28, 2019) (Blakey, J.).
Judge Blakey granted defendant Spin Master’s motion for supplemental claim construction and for summary judgment in this patent case involving remote control toy vehicles.
The Court previously construed the terms, but the Federal Circuit reversed for consideration of certain claim terms. First, the Federal Circuit held that “a signal” meant one or more signals, not one signal, as the Court originally determined. The Federal Circuit also remanded for consideration of whether the parties’ dispute on appeal regarding the “predefined-speed” limitation was an actual claim construction dispute and, if so, how it should be resolved. The Court adopted Spin Master’s proposed construction, requiring that a “predefined-speed” was “a speed programmed on the circuit board in advance to cause a vehicle to gain altitude.”
Spin Master’s accused devices did not have a set speed programmed into the circuit board of the vehicle. But the vehicle did program the circuit board to modify the percentage of a pulse modulation by a predetermined amount which had the impact of increasing the speed. While that was not a literal infringement, Rehco argued it was an infringement based upon the Doctrine of Equivalents (“DoE”). The DoE analysis is a question of fact that must be determined by the trier of fact because there are facts supporting both parties’ arguments. As such, summary judgment was inappropriate.