Monday, October 5, 2009

Judge Ward Overturns Jury Verdict of Willfulness Based In Part on Closeness of Claim Construction

Following a jury verdict of willful infringement, the court granted defendants' motion for judgment as a matter of law of no willful infringement based in part on the closeness of claim construction which was not presented to the jury. "[T]he fact that certain facts were not presented to a jury, such as the close issue of claim construction, does not preclude the court to consider them. . . . In this case, the issue of claim construction was close and [defendants'] proposed interpretation for the claims, although eventually not adopted, was reasonable and based upon the specification and prosecution history of the . . . patent. Thus, the Court takes the close issues of claim construction into consideration in its determination of whether [defendants'] actions were 'objectively reckless.'"

Centocor, Inc. et al v. Abbott Laboratories, 2-07-cv-00139
(TXED October 1, 2009, Order) (Ward, J.)

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