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Allen Eng'g Corp. v. Bartell Indus.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

August 1, 2002, Decided

01-1238

Opinion

 [***1770]   [*1342]  LINN, Circuit Judge.

Bartell Industries, Inc. ("Bartell") appeals the April 13, 1999 judgment, following a bench trial, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, 46 F. Supp. 2d 867 ("Allen Engineering"), holding that Bartell's riding trowel models TS-65, TS-78, and TS-88 1 infringed certain claims of United States Patent No. 5,108,220 (" '220 patent"), assigned to Allen Engineering Corporation ("Allen"), and the same court's Order of February 2, 2001, entering judgment for Allen and awarding doubled damages in the amount [**2]  of $ 463,485.10. Because the district court did not construe the claims in suit and did not identify the specific claims it held to be infringed under the doctrine of equivalents, we vacate the judgment of infringement and the award of damages based thereon. Moreover, because the district court failed to apply the proper legal test in considering whether Allen's sales of the Red Rider more than one year prior to the filing date of the '220 patent constituted an on-sale bar to the patenting of the invention claimed therein, we vacate the district court's determination that the patent is not invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b). Because claims 1-4, 13, and 23 of the '220 patent are indefinite, we reverse the district court's holding that those claims are not invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112. We affirm the district court's finding that Bartell has not established the intent to deceive necessary to its claim of inequitable conduct before the Patent and Trademark Office based on Allen's failure to disclose its Red Rider trowel during the prosecution of the '220 patent. Finally, we affirm the district court's finding that the typographical error contained [**3]  in certain patent identification labels on the Allen trowels was not material and does not affect any eventual calculation of damages. The case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. BACKGROUND

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299 F.3d 1336 *; 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 15418 **; 63 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1769 ***

ALLEN ENGINEERING CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BARTELL INDUSTRIES, INC. and DARRAGH COMPANY, Defendants-Appellants.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appealed from: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Judge Stephen M. Reasoner.

 Allen Eng'g Corp. v. Bartell Indus., Inc., 46 F. Supp. 2d 867, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5443 (E.D. Ark. 1999).

Disposition: AFFIRMED-IN-PART, REVERSED-IN-PART, VACATED-IN-PART, AND REMANDED.

CORE TERMS

patent, invention, trowel, infringement, experimental, limitations, district court, sales, recites, frame, steering, estoppel, copying, on-sale, specification, preamble, prong, inventor, invalid, argues, riding, plane, inequitable conduct, comprising, patentee, gearbox, testing, doctrine of equivalents, means-plus-function, experiment

Civil Procedure, Trials, Bench Trials, Appeals, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, De Novo Review, Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, General Overview, Infringement Actions, Claim Interpretation, Fact & Law Issues, Doctrine of Equivalents, Specifications, Definiteness, Claims & Specifications, Invention Theory, Abuse of Discretion, Defenses, Inequitable Conduct, Statutory Bars, Abandonment & Forfeiture Bar, On Sale Bar, Claims, Claim Language, Elements & Limitations, Infringing Acts, Business & Corporate Compliance, Ownership, Conveyances, Assignments, Aids & Extrinsic Evidence, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Filing Requirements, Drawings, Scope of Claim, Tax Law, Federal Estate & Gift Taxes, Basis of Property, Stepped Up Basis, Combination Claims, Elements, Claim Parts, Claim Transitions, Preambles, Means Plus Function Clauses, Description Requirement, Burdens of Proof, Prosecution History Estoppel, Equivalence Limits, Prosecution Related Arguments & Remarks, Elements & Tests, Graham Test, Secondary Considerations, Criminal Law & Procedure, Abuse of Discretion, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Clear & Convincing Proof, Effect, Materiality & Scienter, Elements, Nonobviousness, Prior Art, Evidence, Experimental Use Exception, Invention Date & Priority, Enablement Requirement, Reduction to Practice, Marking, Governments, Courts, Court Personnel, Legal Ethics, Professional Conduct, Tribunals