Today the Federal Circuit issued two nonprecedential opinions in patent cases and one Rule 36 judgement. Here are the introductions to the opinions and a list of the Rule 36 judgments.
UCP International Company v. Balsam Brands, Inc. (Nonprecedential)
The instant appeal is the companion to concurrently issuing Appeal No. 18-1256 (“the Merits Appeal”), where we determined that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California misconstrued the “pivot joint” claim term of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,062,718 (“the ’718 patent) and 8,993,077 (“the ’077 patent”) (collectively, “the Patents-in- Suit”). See UCP Int’l Co. v. Balsam Brands, Inc., No. 2018- 1256, slip op. at 27 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 19, 2019). We presume familiarity with our opinion in the Merits Appeal which recites the same technology and patents as the instant appeal. We, therefore, only recite the facts necessary to understand the issues on appeal here.
Cross-Appellants UCP International Company and Global United Enterprises (collectively, “UCP”) sued Appellants Balsam Brands Inc. and Balsam International Unlimited (together, “Balsam”) in the district court seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement of all claims of the Patents-in-Suit. The district court granted UCP’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement and subsequently awarded limited attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 to UCP.
Balsam appeals from the district court’s award of limited attorney fees, arguing that, if we reverse or vacate the district court’s judgment in the Merits Appeal, then we also must reverse the district court’s attorney fees award. UCP cross-appeals on the ground that the district court abused its discretion in not awarding all the fees UCP requested in its motion. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the district court’s attorney fees award and dismiss UCP’s cross-appeal.
Chrimar Systems, Inc. v. ALE USA Inc. (Nonprecedential)
Chrimar Systems, Inc., owns four related patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,155,012, 8,942,107, 8,902,760, and 9,019,838, that address the identification and tracking of electronic equipment over an Ethernet network. In 2015, Chrimar sued ALE USA Inc., alleging infringement of those patents. After claim construction, ALE stipulated to infringement of the asserted claims of all four patents but pressed several defenses and counterclaims. A jury trial returned a verdict in favor of Chrimar, and the district court entered a judgment awarding Chrimar damages and post-verdict ongoing royalties.
ALE appealed to this court. We affirmed on all issues presented to us except for the construction of a claim term in the ’012 patent, which we reversed, and we remanded for further proceedings. Chrimar Holding Co., LLC v. ALE USA Inc., 732 F. App’x 876 (Fed. Cir. 2018). We noted in our opinion (as amended on June 1, 2018) that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the Patent and Trademark Of- fice had recently issued final written decisions deeming un- patentable all the claims at issue in this case, but we did not address any issue that those decisions might raise. Id.at 881 n.2.
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We reiterate that we do not decide whether ALE is correct on the merits of the just-discussed contentions. We decide only that this case remains pending and that its pending status is not the result of an abuse of the judicial process in the form of presentation of insubstantial arguments. As a result, the now-affirmed unpatentability determinations by the Board as to all claims at issue must be given effect in this case. Accordingly, the motion to terminate the appeal is denied, the final judgment and award of costs are vacated, and the case is remanded to the district court for dismissal.