Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Patent Claim Containing “Intent Element” Not Indefinite

The court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment on its indefiniteness defense as to plaintiff's retroreflective sheeting patent. "The Court construed the claim term 'varied/vary in opposition' as follows: 'to intentionally provide within a given cube corner element a 1‐2 dihedral angle error and a 1‐3 dihedral error that are different in magnitude and/or sign.' The Court also construed 'nominally parallel' as follows: 'no purposeful variation from parallel using a groove‐forming machine with a degree of precision of at least ¼ arc minute.' [Defendant] argues that as these terms have been construed to include an intent or purpose requirement, a person of ordinary skill in the art cannot independently conclude that a particular piece of retroreflective sheeting, article or lamina infringes because such analysis requires a determination of the subjective intent of the person who made such sheeting, article or lamina. . . . The Court finds that there is no binding authority for the position that an apparatus claim may not include an intent element. . . . [Plaintiff] has demonstrated that a person of ordinary skill in the art can determine the scope of those claims that include an intent requirement by reviewing internal design documents or through witness testimony."

3M Company, et. al. v. Avery Dennison Corporation, 0-10-cv-02630 (MND February 25, 2013, Order) (Davis, J.).

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