By Jeanne Jeong
Summary Judgment Finding Patent Claim Invalid as Indefinite Reversed and Remanded Due to Specification and Prosecution History
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Eidos Display, LLC v. AU Optronics Corp. reversed and remanded the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas grant of summary judgment finding that Eidos Display, LLC and Eidos III, LLC’s (Eidos) patent claim of U.S. Patent No. 5,879,958 (‘958 patent) was invalid as indefinite. Eidos Display, LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., 14-1254 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 10, 2015). The Federal Circuit held that in light of the specification and prosecution history, the claim informed relevant parties with reasonable certainty about the “scope of the claimed invention.” Eidos at 2. Eidos alleged that AU Optronic infringed claim 1 of 958 patent, which concerns manufacturing processes for an electro-optical device such as an LCD panel. Id. at 3. The limitation at issue involved the construction of the claim’s language, “contact hole for source wiring and gate wiring connection terminals.” Id. at 10. Finding that the specifications did not deviate from known industry practice at the time the patent was filed, the history of the patent, and the text of the specification itself, the court adopted Eidos’s construction and concluded that a person of ordinary skill in the art would understand that the language at issue meant separate contact holes for source wiring connection terminals and gate wiring connection terminals. Id. at 11-15.
District Court Grant of Summary Judgment Finding Affirmed
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in American Energy Co., LLC ex rel. Exelon Generation Co., LLC v. United States affirmed the United States Court of Federal Claims’ decision granting summary judgment below based on the economic performance requirement of 42 U.S.C. § 461(h). Amergen Energy Co., LLC ex rel. Exelon Generation Co., LLC v. United States, 14-5067 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 11, 2015). Finding that the district court properly found § 461(h) pertained to the case, the court further determined based on the statutory text that the “all events test” is not limited to expense deductions and applies to basis calculation. Amergen at 2. Because AmerGen did not economically perform the decommissioning during the relevant tax years, the court held that AmerGen may not, on its 2001 through 2003 tax returns, include future nuclear decommissioning liabilities from its purchase of three nuclear power plants for calculating the basis of an acquired nuclear power plant and associated assets. Id. at 10-15.