Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Newegg wins

The bottom line in Soverain v. Newegg was that Newegg wins:

The claims in suit of the ’314 and ’492 patents are invalid for obviousness over the CompuServe Mall system. The claims of the ’639 patent are invalid for obvi- ousness over Johnson in view of additional prior art, and the other evidence presented. The judgments of validity are reversed, and therefore the judgments of infringement and damages are vacated.

Newegg did lose on its jury trial argument:

Newegg argues that it was wrongfully deprived of a jury determination of the question of obviousness, pointing to the extensive testimony on this issue at trial. However, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50 “allows the trial court to remove cases or issues from the jury’s con- sideration ‘when the facts are sufficiently clear that the law requires a particular result,’” Weisgram v. Marley Co., 528 U.S. 440, 448 (2000) (quoting Wright & Miller, Feder- al Practice and Procedure (2d ed. 1995)). The Court has explained that the purpose of Rule 50 is “to speed litigation and avoid unnecessary retrials.” Neeley v. Martin K. Eby Const. Co., 386 U.S. 317, 326 (1967).

In passing, an Inventio case was cited:

Inventio AG v. Otis Elevator Co., No. 2011-1615, 2012 WL 5907489, at *5 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 27, 2012) (non-precedential) (reversing judgment of nonobvi- ousness when patent was “a clear example of a ‘combination of familiar elements according to known methods [yielding] no more than . . . predictable results.’” (citations omitted)).

Of experts:

Also, precedent does not require “expert” opinions on matters of law. In Nutrition 21 v. United States, 930 F.2d 867, 871 n.2 (Fed. Cir. 1991) this court observed that “[a]n expert’s opinion on the ultimate legal conclusion is neither required nor indeed ‘evidence’ at all.” Avia Group Int’l v. L.A. Gear Cal., Inc., 853 F.2d 1557, 1573 (Fed. Cir. 1988) (“an expert’s opinion on the legal conclusion of obviousness is neither necessary nor controlling”).
We conclude that the prior art CompuServe Mall system, by clear and convincing evidence, rendered obvi- ous the “shopping cart” claims: claims 34 and 51 of the ’314 patent and claim 17 of the ’482 patent. These claims are invalid; the district court’s contrary ruling is reversed.


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