American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC et al, 1-15-cv-01168 (DED February 27, 2018, Order) (Stark, USDJ)
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Vibration Attenuation Patent Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment of invalidity because the asserted claims of plaintiff’s vibration attenuating patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed to a law of nature. "There is no dispute that adjusting the mass and stiffness of the liner will change the amount of damping of a certain frequency. The claimed methods are applications of Hooke's law with the result of friction damping. . . . [T]he Asserted Claims do not disclose a method of manufacturing a propshaft; instead, considered as a whole, they are directed to the mere application of Hooke's law, and they fail to instruct how to design the tuned liners or manufacture the driveline system to attenuate vibrations."