Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cardiac Pacemakers and 271(f)

An August 24 post at istockanalyst begins:

Technology majors Intel, Apple, Cisco and Microsoft have won an appeals court ruling that limits the amount of patent damages they will have to pay for products shipped outside the US.

Huh? The case in question is the CAFC's Cardiac Pacemakers v. St. Jude. The connection to Cisco is through an amicus brief filed by Ed Reines, who was one of McCain's IP advisors, even though Cisco/Yen et al. might be deemed more tied to Democrats.

The Cardiac side is the patentee side [U.S. Patent 4,407,288 ] and the decision is complex, with the "big deal" about 271(f) [and Newman's dissent]:

For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the district court’s grant of summary
judgment of invalidity of the ’288 patent and reinstate the jury verdict that the patent has
not been shown to be invalid. We also reinstate the jury’s verdict that the ’288 patent is
not unenforceable for inequitable conduct and reverse the district court’s grant of a
conditional new trial on that issue. We remand to the district court for a determination of
damages. We affirm the district court’s rulings limiting damages to instances in which
the patented method has been performed. Finally, we reverse the court’s decision that
35 U.S.C. § 271(f) is applicable to this case and hold that St. Jude’s ICDs that practice
the method of claim 4 outside the United States do not infringe that claim under
Section 271 (f).

The district court judge was Judge David F. Hamilton of SD Ind.

The University of Chicago is also mentioned:

The Court stated in Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S.
677, 696-97 (1979), that “it is always appropriate to assume that our elected
representatives, like other citizens, know the law . . . and that an evaluation of
congressional action taken at a particular time must take into account its contemporary
legal context.”




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