This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in patent case appealed from the District of California. The opinion reverses a grant of summary judgment of non-infringement based on the Federal Circuit’s claim construction. The Federal Circuit also issued a nonprecedential order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking to overrule the District of New Jersey’s decision to transfer a patent case to the Western District of Texas . Finally, the Federal Circuit issued a Rule 36 judgment. Here are the introductions to the opinion and order as well as a link to the Rule 36 judgment.

Evolusion Concepts, Inc. v. HOC Events, Inc. (Precedential)

Evolusion Concepts, Inc. owns U.S. Patent No. 8,756,845, titled “Method and Device for Converting Firearm with Detachable Magazine to a Firearm with Fixed Magazine.” In the main case before us, Evolusion sued Juggernaut Tactical, Inc. in the Central District of California, alleging infringement of claims 1–3 and 8–10 of the ’845 patent. On the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment regarding infringement, the district court granted Juggernaut summary judgment of non-infringement. Evolusion Concepts, Inc. v. Juggernaut Tactical, Inc., No. 8:18-cv-01378, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77792, at *27 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 5, 2020) (Juggernaut Decision). The court’s key ruling was that the term “magazine catch bar” in the asserted claims of the ’845 patent excludes a factory-installed magazine catch bar. Id. at *13–22. That claim construction concededly precludes literal infringement, the court held, because Juggernaut’s products use the factory-installed magazine catch bar. Id. at *22–23. The court also determined that Juggernaut does not infringe under the doctrine of equivalents. Id. at *23–26.

On Evolusion’s appeal, we hold that the term “magazine catch bar” in the asserted claims includes a factory-installed magazine catch bar. We therefore reverse the grant of summary judgment of non-infringement, reverse the denial of summary judgment of direct infringement as to the independent claims 1 and 8, and remand for further proceedings in Appeal No. 21-1987, which is the appeal in the Juggernaut case. We also vacate and remand in Appeal No. 21-1963, which involves a separate, related case, discussed near the end of this opinion.

In re Amperex Technology Ltd. (Nonprecedential Order)

On September 27, 2021, the New Jersey district court granted Maxell’s transfer request. The court recognized that proceeding with a mirror image first-filed declaratory action is generally preferred over a second-filed patent infringement action, but the court concluded that “considerations of judicial and litigant economy, and the just and effective disposition of disputes require that I depart from the first-to-file rule.” Appx0014 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The court rested that determination in part on its finding that Maxell’s action was filed upon “receipt of specific, concrete indications” that a patent infringement suit by Maxell was “imminent.” Appx0010 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Based on its first-to-file analysis, the district court determined that there would be a sufficient basis to decline declaratory judgment jurisdiction. Nonetheless, the court chose not to dismiss the complaint, concluding that “it is in the best interests of justice to transfer this case to the Western District of Texas[.]” Appx0016. The court reasoned that ATL’s choice of forum was not entitled to significant weight, not only because it was anticipatory, but also because both parties were foreign corporations and New Jersey had no particular connection to the infringement claims. The court added that “the Texas case has already advanced farther than this case and thus will likely be resolved more expeditiously.” Id. This petition followed.

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ATL’s mandamus petition is denied.

Rule 36 Judgment