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Lans v. Digital Equip. Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

June 4, 2001, Decided

00-1144, 00-1145, 00-1146, 00-1147, 00-1150, 00-1151, 00-1152, 00-1153, 00-1358, 00-1359, 00-1360, 00-1361, 00-1362, 00-1363, 00-1364, 00-1365, 00-1556

Opinion

 [***1058]   [*1324]  RADER, Circuit Judge.

This opinion addresses three separate but related appeals. First, on a motion for summary judgment, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that Mr. Hkan Lans lacked standing to sue Digital Equipment Corporation, Gateway [**3]  2000, Inc., Dell Computer Corporation, Compaq Computer Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Packard Bell NEC, Inc., Acer America Corporation, and AST Research, Inc. (collectively, the Computer Companies) for infringing U.S. Patent No. 4,303,986 (the '986 patent). Lans v. Gateway 2000, Inc., 84 F. Supp. 2d 112 (D.D.C. 1999) (Lans I Memorandum). The district court also denied Mr. Lans's motion to amend his complaint to substitute Uniboard Aktiebolag (a company whose managing director and sole shareholder is Mr. Lans) for himself as plaintiff under Rules 15 and 17 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, the district court entered summary judgment in favor of the Computer Companies and dismissed the suit. Because the district court correctly held that Mr. Lans lacked standing, this court affirms the district court's dismissal.

Second, on a motion by Mr. Lans for relief from its earlier judgment, the district court held that Mr. Lans did not meet the requirements of Rule 60(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Lans v. Gateway 2000, Inc., 110 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2000) (Lans II Memorandum). Because the district court was within its [**4]  discretion in denying Mr. Lans's Rule 60(b)(2) motion, this court affirms.

Third, after the summary judgment against Mr. Lans, Uniboard filed a separate action against the Computer Companies for infringing the '986 patent. On a motion to dismiss, the district court held that it could not provide any relief for infringement of the '986 patent because the patent had already expired and because 35 U.S.C. § 287(a) (Supp. IV 1998) prevented Uniboard from recovering any  [***1059]  damages from the Computer Companies for infringement during the term of the patent. Uniboard Aktiebolag v. Acer Am. Corp., 118 F. Supp. 2d 19 (D.D.C. 2000) (Uniboard Memorandum). Because § 287(a) prevented Uniboard from recovering any damages from the Computer Companies for infringement during the patent term, this court affirms.

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252 F.3d 1320 *; 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 11584 **; 59 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1057 ***

HAKAN LANS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, and GATEWAY 2000, INC., and DELL COMPUTER CORPORATION, and COMPAQ COMPUTER CORPORATION, and HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY, and PACKARD BELL NEC, INC., and ACER AMERICA CORP., and AST RESEARCH, INC., Defendants-Appellees. HAKAN LANS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, and GATEWAY 2000, INC., and DELL COMPUTER CORPORATION, and COMPAQ COMPUTER CORPORATION, and HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY, and PACKARD BELL NEC, INC., and ACER AMERICA CORP., and AST RESEARCH, INC., Defendants-Appellees. UNIBOARD AKTIEBOLAG, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ACER AMERICA CORP., and AST RESEARCH, INC., COMPAQ COMPUTER CORPORATION, and DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, and DELL COMPUTER CORPORATION, and GATEWAY 2000, INC., and HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY, and PACKARD BELL NEC, INC., Defendants-Appellees.

Subsequent History:  [**1]  Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied (00-1556) July 11, 2001, Reported at: 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 17244.

Rehearing denied by, Rehearing, en banc, denied by Uniboard Aktiebolag v. Acer Am. Corp., 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 17244 (Fed. Cir., July 11, 2001)

Prior History: Appealed from: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge John Garrett Penn.

Uniboard Aktiebolag v. Acer Am. Corp., 118 F. Supp. 2d 19, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15690 (D.D.C., 2000)Lans v. Gateway 2000, Inc., 110 F. Supp. 2d 1, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12728 (D.D.C., 2000)Lans v. Gateway 2000, Inc., 84 F. Supp. 2d 112, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21178 (D.D.C., 1999)

Disposition: AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

district court, infringement, patentee, notice, patent, amend, summary judgment, license, alleged infringer, notified, damages, notification, affirms, lack standing, recovering, correctly, expired

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, General Overview, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Patent Law, Defenses, Inequitable Conduct, Infringement Actions, Marking, Infringing Acts, Intent & Knowledge, Business & Corporate Compliance, Ownership, Conveyances, Licenses, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Summary Judgment Review, Discovery, Methods of Discovery, Genuine Disputes, Materiality of Facts, Supporting Materials, Jurisdiction & Review, Justiciability, Standing, Preliminary Considerations, Parties, Real Party in Interest, Abuse of Discretion, Pleadings, Amendment of Pleadings, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Independent Actions