Friday, August 1, 2014

Lack of Maximum Length Limitation Renders Claims Indefinite Under Nautilus

Following a bench trial, the court found that plaintiff's boat motor patents were invalid as indefinite. "[T]he Court construed the term 'elongated drive housing' to mean 'a drive housing that is greater in measurement in one axis than in the other two axes.' . . . [and construed] the term 'drive shaft' [as] shafts comprised of segments connected by universal joints.' . . . [T]hese constructions . . . combined with the [patents'] lack of maximum length limitation, expands the reach of [the] Patents well-beyond the scope of his invention to include traditional long-tail motors. This ambiguity regarding the scope of the [patents] remains even when the Patents' claims are read in light of their respective specifications. . . . [T]he evidence clearly and convincingly demonstrates that [the claims] each 'fail[s] to inform, with reasonable certainty, those skilled in the art about the scope of [plaintiff's] invention.' Accordingly, these claims are invalid for lack of definiteness under the newly minted test announced by the Supreme Court in [Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2120, 2124 (2014)]."

Broussard et al v. Go-Devil Manufacturing Co. of LA, Inc. d/b/a Go-Devil Manufacturers of Louisiana, Inc., 3-08-cv-00124 (LAMD July 10, 2014, Order) (Jackson, J.)

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