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Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration Sys.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

August 11, 2004, Decided

04-1097

Opinion

 [***1002]   [*1113]  CLEVENGER, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-Appellant Innova/Pure Water, Inc. ("Innova") appeals the decision of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida granting summary judgment of noninfringement in favor of Defendant-Appellee Safari Water Filtration Systems, Inc. ("Safari") and denying Innova's attempt to amend its complaint to add a later issued patent. Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration Sys., 289 F. Supp. 2d 1347 (M.D. Fla. 2003). Because the district court erred in its interpretation of the term "operatively connected," we vacate the district court's summary judgment of noninfringement and remand for further proceedings. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in [**2]  refusing to allow Innova to amend its complaint to add a later issued patent, we affirm that decision.

Innova sued Safari for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,609,759 ("the '759 patent"). The '759 patent, entitled, "Bottle Filter Cap," is directed to a water filter assembly and a container incorporating the assembly. In general terms, the filter assembly described includes a tube of filtering material (alternatively, "filter tube"), a bottle cap, and a valve for dispensing water. In some of the depicted embodiments, the assembly is positioned at the mouth of a container which is a bottle, sealing the bottle and suspending the tube of filtering material in the bottle. More broadly, the filter assembly operates to place the tube of filtering material between the water in the bottle and the valve so that water is filtered before it exits the bottle. Various embodiments are depicted in Figures 1-12 of the '759 patent.  [***1003]  

Safari's accused product is a water bottle with a tube of filtering material, a bottle cap, and a valve. In operation, the tube of filtering material is suspended in the mouth of the bottle by means of an annular flange that rests on the mouth of the bottle. The tube [**3]  of filtering material is mechanically sealed in position when the bottle cap is screwed over the mouth of the bottle, thereby contacting the annular flange and fixing the tube of filtering material in position to filter water before it exits the bottle.

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381 F.3d 1111 *; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 16549 **; 72 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1001 ***

INNOVA/PURE WATER, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SAFARI WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. (doing business as Safari Outdoor Products), Defendant-Appellee.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appealed from: United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Judge Steven D. Merryday.

Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration Sys., 289 F. Supp. 2d 1347, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19827 (M.D. Fla., 2003)

Disposition: Vacated in part, affirmed in part and remanded.

CORE TERMS

filter, tube, cap, patent, connected, district court, bottle, tenacious, written description, engagement, patentee, embodiments, terms, invention, liquid, assembly, flange, amend, infringement, affixed, summary judgment, prior art, unitary, specification, disavowal, surface, valve, contends, recited, words

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, General Overview, Standards of Review, Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Infringement Actions, Claim Interpretation, Summary Judgment, Supporting Materials, Discovery Materials, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Genuine Disputes, Legal Entitlement, Materiality of Facts, Evidence, Admissibility, Scientific Evidence, Specifications, Enablement Requirement, Definiteness, Description Requirement, Claim Broadening, Exclusive Rights, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Reissue Proceedings, Claims, Claim Parts, Preambles, Inferences & Presumptions, Examinations, Abuse of Discretion, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Appeals, Pleadings, Amendment of Pleadings, Leave of Court