Masimo Corp. v. Philips Elect. North Am. Corp. (D. Del. Sept. 2, 2014) addressed whether the accused infringer would be permitted to amend its answer to include a claim for inequitable conduct. The district court rejected Masimo’s contention that the answer failed to state a claim and allowed amendment.
The substantive allegations of the claim were that during ex parte reexam the patentee knew of but failed to disclose a district court’s claim interpretation that contradicted its position in reexam. Specifically, the District Court had construed the claims to not require that claimed calculators actually determined a particular ratio, but in the PTO it argued the opposite — that the claimed calculators do require calculating the two ratios.
The district court acknowledged that the broadest reasonable construction standard applied in the office, but not in court, but nonetheless found the allegations sufficient under Exergen and Rule 9(b) and allowed amendment and also discovery into the issues.