Golden Blount v. Peterson

Golden Blount, Inc. v. Robert H. Peterson Co. (Fed. Cir. 2004).

In an infringement action over a patented fireplace burner assembly, the district court, after a bench trial, found for the plaintiff patent holder. (U.S. Patent 5,988,159). A Federal Circuit panel vacated the infringement holding:

Because the district court’s sparse opinion provides this court with only bald conclusions for review, we conclude that the district court’s judgment as to literal infringement, contributory infringement, induced infringement, and infringement under the doctrine of equivalents is insufficient under Rule 52(a).

Additionally, the appellate court upheld a finding of validity. (Apparently, bald conclusions of validity satisfy Rule 52(a) because of the accompanied presumption of validity). Finally, the court refused to hear an inequitable conduct charge that had not been raised below.