Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment of invalidity for obviousness finding that there was no material factual dispute regarding scope and content of prior art, differences between prior art and asserted claims, level of ordinary skill in the art and secondary considerations since components required to assemble claimed inventions are simple mechanical parts that are well known in the art, and need for safer utility lighters was recognized as of the priority date of the patents-in-suit, since parties agree that cigarette lighters and utility lighters are analogous arts, and person of ordinary skill would thus be directed to claimed safety utility lighters by combining available utility lighters with prior art automatic locking mechanisms on cigarette lighters, and since undisputed facts therefore compel conclusion of obviousness, which cannot be overcome by plaintiff’s far weaker showing of secondary considerations.
Results for Summary Judgment
When construing a claim element, the ordinary meaning of the term must be considered in the context of the rest of the claim. The claim element may be construed broadly unless other elements of the claim require a narrower construction. Furthermore, to avoid Rule 11 sanctions, a reasonable inquiry before filing an infringement suit may not require complete deconstruction and analysis of the allegedly infringing product.
Where the non-moving party (patentee) bears the burden of proving infringement, in a motion for summary judgment nothing more is required than the filing of a summary judgment motion stating that the patentee had no evidence of infringement and pointing to the specific ways in which accused systems did not meet the claim limitations.
The credibility of witness testimony may present a genuine issue of material fact to preclude summary judgment of patent invalidity. It is not sufficient to merely contradict witness testimony. Rather, evidence must be adduced that is contrary to the conclusion put forth by the witness.
Affidavit submitted by declaratory defendant raised factual issues, concerning truth of certain representations made to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during prosecution of patents in suit, that precluded summary judgment holding defendant’s patents unenforceable for inequitable conduct.
Defendants did not waive their right to trial on issue of patent invalidity by failing to raise it in opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on issue of infringement, since plaintiffs did not request summary judgment of liability, or summary judgment on affirmative defense and counterclaim of invalidity asserted in defendants’ answers, and since infringement and validity must be treated as separate issues.