NEW YORK A
federal judge has reconfirmed a decision that automotive steels
produced by Severstal North America LLC, Wheeling-Nisshin Inc.
and AK Steel Corp. do not infringe a patent by ArcelorMittal
France and ArcelorMittal Atlantique et Lorraine, according to
documents filed at the U.S. District Court in Delaware.
The ruling, filed Oct.
25, concerns two patents at issue: the 805 and RE153.
While there are several cases pending claiming different parts
of the patent, the ruling addresses the original case filed in
2010 concerning steel with a tensile strength of 1,000
megapascals (MPa) (
amm.com, Jan. 25, 2010). The other patent
appealsfiled earlier this yearare still pending (
amm.com, April 18).
Judge Sue L. Robinson
opined that "there can be no doubt that ArcelorMittal pursued
its reissue patent as an intentional strategy to avoid the
consequences of this courts narrow claim construction,
with the ultimate goal of capturing more acts of infringement
under the broadening scope of new dependent claim 23 of the
She added that
although the strategy would have worked if it was pursued
within two years from the grant of the 805 patent, "the
court concludes that ArcelorMittals post-trial strategy"
Courts ruling once again invalidates the ArcelorMittal
patent relative to this material," Severstal North America vice
president and general counsel Martin Szymanski said in a
however, said that its claim on a reissue patent could still be
valid, adding it "believes the court has invalidated claims
covering steel with a tensile strength of 1,000 (MPa), but that
the validity of claims covering steel with a tensile strength
of 1,500 MPa is left for the new cases which were filed earlier
in 2013 on the reissue patent," an ArcelorMittal USA LLC
"We believe that the
purchase or use of steel having a tensile strength of 1,500 MPa
(or the equivalent thereof) will infringe our patent," she
added in an e-mail.
AK Steel declined to comment further. Wheeling-Nisshin could
not be reached for comment.