TI Group Automotive Systems v. VDO (Fed. Cir. June 30, 2004) [PDF].
TI Group is an automotive supplier that makes fuel tanks, fuel pump assemblies, and complete fuel tank systems. (U.S. Patent 4,860,714). TI Group has sold over thirty million fuel pump assemblies that embody the ’714 patent. VDO began selling an assembly that “were essentially drop-in replacements.”
After a jury verdict of willful infringement, the district court granted a JMOL in VDO’s favor based on non-infringement but denied VDO’s JMOL motion for invalidity.
Because we affirm some of the district court’s claim constructions, and because as to those limitations TI Group points to no evidence supporting the jury’s finding of infringement, we affirm the district court’s grant of VDO’s JMOL motion with respect to infringement. However, because we have broadened a number of the district court’s claim constructions, thus affecting the invalidity analysis, we vacate the district court’s denial of VDO’s JMOL motion with respect to invalidity and remand that issue for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
COMPETITIVE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., and UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS v. FUJITSU LIMITED and FUJITSU HITACHI PLASMA DISPLAY LIMITED (Fed. Cir. June 30, 2004).
In a patent infringement suit against Fujitsu over plasma screen technologies, the University of Illinois sought to have some of Fujitsu’s counterclaims dismissed on Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity grounds. (U.S. Patent 4,866,349 and 5,081,400). The Northern District of California court denied the University’s motion to dismiss the claims. U of I appealed.
Without reaching a decision on the merits, the Federal Circuit (DYK, MAYER, GAJARSA) dismissed the University’s appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.
The judgment of the district court is not final under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and the district court has not issued the certificate required by either Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) or 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b).
The appellate panel found that the district court’s decision on the issue of sovereign immunity did not “conclusively determine” that question. Thus, the case did not fall under the limited Cohen exception that could have created a jurisdictional basis.
The EFF has released the list of patents that they plan to challenge as part of their “patent busting project.” According to Wired,
As part of its Patent Busting Project, the EFF in mid-June began soliciting the public for submissions of patents that were both potentially invalid and used to stifle online innovation. The organization received nearly 200 suggestions, 10 of which it will now formally ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine.
Acacia Technologies tops the list of offenders. Recently, Acacia sued a number of media technology companies for infringement of its patents that allegedly cover digital streaming technology. (Read more about Acacia here).
Freddie Guynn of Laramie, Wyoming has patented a new type of child bicycle seat. (U.S. Patent 6,010,140). According to the Laramie Boomerang:
The bike seat sits on the bar directly behind the handlebars of the bike. Foot pegs are set above the brake and the child’s feet rest away from the spokes.