Fresh From the Bench: Latest Federal Circuit Court Cases
CASE OF THE WEEK
TecSec, Inc. v. Adobe, Inc., Appeal Nos. 2019-2192, -2258 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 23, 2020)
In our Case of the Week, the Federal Circuit issued a wide-ranging opinion following three previous appeals in the same case and a jury trial on remand.
The patents concern security over digital objects in documents. The claims are method claims. TecSec sued a number of companies, including IBM and Adobe, for inducing infringement of the claims by customers who use the software. In the case of Adobe, the accusations concerned its actions involving .pdf documents. The district court stayed the action against all defendants other than IBM. On March 3, 2011, the court construed several claim terms, including “multimedia” and then granted summary judgment of noninfringement in favor of IBM. The Federal Circuit affirmed, without reaching the claim construction issue.
American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, Appeal No. 2018-1763 (Fed. Cir. 2020)
In this precedential Order, the Federal Circuit denied a stay of its mandate, pending the filing of a certiorari petition, from its controversial decision finding claims directed to a method of manufacturing driveline shafts patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Court agreed that patentee American Axle had shown the required reasonable probability that certiorari would be granted, as well as a fair prospect that its judgment would be reversed by the Supreme Court. However, the Court found that American Axle failed to show a likelihood of irreparable harm resulting from denial of a stay, as even substantial and potentially unrecoupable continued litigation expenses were not irreparable injury, and that this ground alone warranted denial. Judge Moore, who filed vigorous dissents in the underlying opinions, concurred in the decision, arguing that certiorari should be granted but agreeing that the mandate should not be stayed pending that determination. Our previous write-ups of the original decision and decision on panel rehearing can be found here and here.