NEW YORK A patent infringement lawsuit filed by scrap metal recycler and container-loading-system manufacturer Advanced Steel Recovery LLC (ASR) against X-Body Equipment Inc. is on its way to a jury trial after a federal District Court in California released its ruling on claim constructions last week..
In patent litigation, claim constructionor the "Markman hearing"is a critical stage before jury trial in which definitions are established for various terms used in the patent claims.
In April 2012, ASR, Fontana, Calif., sued Rocklin, Calif.-based X-Body and the two companies it hired to build its container loading systemPaladin Brands Group Inc. and Jewell Attachments LLC, both of Cedar Rapids, Iowafor allegedly infringing on one of its patents, called the Container Packer System And Method, issued Nov. 22, 2011 (amm.com, May 7, 2012).
In his Claim Construction Order dated Sept. 9, senior U.S. district judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. ruled in favor of nine terms originally adopted by ASR, making two exceptions for X-Body. Judge Burrell said that both ASR and the three companies it has accused of infringement agreed to a definition or "construction" of the term "transport container."
While ruling that the defendants proposed claim constructions are not adopted and no disputed claim terms fail for indefiniteness, Judge Burrell stated that the agreed construction of "transport container" will be "a container for moving material from one geographic location to another."
ASR chief executive officer Nathan Frankel welcomed the ruling.
"We are extremely happy with the courts decision in this ruling, which rejected the defendants effort to narrow the scope of our claims. We believe the Courts ruling is a very important step forward in the litigation."
A spokesman for X-Body, who also offered comment on behalf of Paladin Brands and Jewell Attachments, said the ruling was mere process.
"Theres really nothing here other than its just a part of the process. Its not a win or loss for anybody. All it does is sets the rules of engagement for a trial. Basically ASR is saying that whatever is in the patent claim thats the language that were going to go to a jury with. When it goes to jury thats where the real decisions are made," he said.
In the April 2012 lawsuit, ASR alleged the companies were aware of its patent and have infringed and continue to infringe on one or more claims of its patent by making, using, selling and/or offering to sell infringing container packer systems, including the Acculoader container loader, without authority or license from ASR.