This morning the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential opinion in a patent case appealed from the Northern District of California. The opinion addressed whether a patentee’s arguments during reexamination before the Patent and Trademark Office narrowed the scope of claims and nullified a prior district court judgment of infringement. Notably, Judge Dyk dissented in part. Here is the introduction to the majority opinion and dissenting opinion.
Opticurrent, LLC v. Power Integrations, Inc. (Nonprecedential)
Opticurrent, LLC brought suit against Power Integrations, Inc., alleging infringement of claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 6,958,623. Following a jury trial, the district court entered final judgment against Power Integrations. Power Integrations then challenged the patent’s validity, seeking reexamination before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and Opticurrent successfully overcame the challenge. Power Integrations contended that Opticurrent set forth arguments limiting the scope of its claimed matter such that, under the claim’s narrower meaning disclosed during reexamination, Power Integrations’s accused products no longer infringe the ’623 patent. Premised on this contention, Power Integrations moved for relief from judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(2), (3), (5), and (6). But the district court disagreed with Power Integrations’s characterization of Opticurrent’s reexamination arguments and instead found the validity arguments Opticurrent made during reexamination consistent with its infringement arguments presented at trial. The district court denied the motion.
Taking issue with the district court’s interpretation of Opticurrent’s reexamination arguments, Power Integrations appeals the district court’s Rule 60(b) denial. We affirm.
DYK, Circuit Judge, concurring-in-part and dissenting-in-part.
While I agree that there is no basis for reopening the judgment as to past infringement through the mechanism of a Rule 60(b) motion, I respectfully disagree with the majority’s holding as to prosecution disclaimer and ongoing royalties. In my view, Opticurrent made a “clear and unmistakable” disclaimer of patent scope. Omega Eng’g, Inc. v. Raytek Corp., 334 F.3d 1314, 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2003). The ongoing royalties award to Opticurrent cannot be sustained since it is based on disclaimed claim scope.