April 4, 2013

Federal Circuit Decisions for Week Ending November 23, 2012

Ritz Camera & Image, LLC v. SanDisk Corp., No. 2012-1183 (November 20, 2012) (precedential) (3-0) Patent Nos. 5,172,338 and 5,991,517

Key points:

  • A Walker Process antitrust claim is a separate cause of action from a patent declaratory judgment action, even though a Walker Process claim requires that the plaintiff prove that the defendant procured the relevant patent by fraud on the PTO.
  • A direct purchaser has standing to bring a Walker Process antitrust claim against a patentee.

ePlus, Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc., Nos. 2011-1396, -1456, -1554 (November 21, 2012) (precedential) (3-0) Patent Nos. 6,023,683 and 6,505,172

Key points:

  • A specification must disclose a corresponding structure for a means plus limitation, even if one of ordinary skill in the art would have been able to implement the disclosed invention.
  • Because indefiniteness of a claim is an issue of law, when a defendant obtains a ruling on the issue via denial of summary judgment, the defendant preserves its ability to appeal after trial.
  • To prove patent infringement of a method claim, evidence must be presented of an actual act of infringement, and not merely evidence of the capability to infringe.