Norix Group, Inc. v. Correctional Techs., Inc. d/b/a Cortech USA, et al., Slip Op., No. 20 C 1158 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 19, 2021) (Feinerman, J.).

Judge Feiinerman granted in part defendant Cortech’s motion to stay pending ex parte reexam and denied Coretech’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) in this patent case involving “intensive use” beds and shelving units used in prisons.

First, the Court denied the motion to dismiss claiming Norix had improperly describe the patents and applications to which it claimed priority. Realizing its issues, Norix sought and received a certificate of correction from the Patent Office. That certificate was enough to resolve the issue.

The Court denied Cortech’s motion to dismiss based upon the claims requiring “hangars” to be used on the shelves, instead of “hangers.” While a Court is not allowed to rewrite the claims where there is only one plausible meaning, there were two possible here — once was nonsensical (shelves for storing hangars, which are places to repair aircraft) and the other was sensical ( shelves for storing hangers which are devices for holding clothes). The issue of which meaning was the correct one was for claim construction, not Rule 12.

Cortech argued that its accused devices did not include J-bar’s required by each asserted claim. But whether Cortech’s accused devices included a J-bar or an equivalent was not determinable at the Rule 12 stage.

Finally, the Court granted Cortech’s motion to stay as to the ‘150 patent because the Patent Office initiated Cortech’s ex parte reexam. Because that patent would not impact the other asserted patent, the ‘642 patent, proceedings were not stayed as to that patent.