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Moba v. Diamond Automation

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

April 1, 2003, Decided

01-1063, 01-1083

Opinion

 [***1431]  [*1309]   PER CURIAM.

At trial, a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that Moba, B.V., Staalkat, B.V., and FPS Food Processing Systems, Inc. (collectively FPS) did not infringe patents assigned to Diamond Automaton, Inc. (Diamond). See Moba, B.V. v. Diamond Automaton, Inc., No. 95-CV-2631, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15483, at *43 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 29, 2000). In response to a motion for judgment as a matter of [**2]  law (JMOL), the district court correctly discerned that substantial evidence supports the jury's verdict that machines sold by FPS and used by its customers do not practice the method of United States Patent No. 4,519,494 ('494 patent). However, no reasonable jury could find that machines sold by FPS and used by its customers do not practice the method of United States Patent No. 4,519,505 ('505 patent). Thus, this court affirms-in-part, reverses-in-part, and remands for a determination of damages.

Diamond is a Michigan corporation that manufactures and sells high-speed egg processing machines to sort batches of eggs into different categories by weight and quality. Diamond developed these machines during the early 1980s with technology that significantly increased the processing speed for eggs. Diamond obtained various patents covering aspects of that technology, including the '494 and '505 patents, and United States Patent Nos. 4,569,444 ('444 patent) and 4,505,373 ('373 patent). While Diamond asserted all of these patents at trial, only the '505 and '494 patents appear in this appeal. The '505 patent relates generally to "front end" processing of eggs, while the '494 patent [**3]  relates generally to "back end" processing of eggs.

The "front end" process first washes the eggs, then introduces them into a candling station where a high intensity light source checks the eggs for defects such as blood spots or cracks. The process then weighs the eggs. A computer stores this information for use in sorting the eggs at a later point. Figure 2 of the '505 patent illustrates an embodiment of the invention designed to weigh eggs and to lift them to an overhead conveyor.

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325 F.3d 1306 *; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 6285 **; 66 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1429 ***

MOBA, B.V., STAALKAT, B.V., and FPS FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEMS, INC., Plaintiffs-Cross Appellants, v. DIAMOND AUTOMATION, INC., Defendant-Appellant.

Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by Moba v. Diamond Automation, Inc., 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 9623 (Fed. Cir., Apr. 25, 2003)

US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Moba, B.V. v. Diamond Automation, Inc., 540 U.S. 982, 157 L. Ed. 2d 371, 124 S. Ct. 464, 2003 U.S. LEXIS 8012 (U.S., 2003)

Motion granted by, Motion denied by, Judgment entered by, On remand at Moba, B.V. v. Diamond Automation, Inc., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17722 (E.D. Pa., Aug. 31, 2004)

Prior History:  [**1]  Appealed from: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Bruce W. Kauffman.

Moba v. Diamond Automaton, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15483 (E.D. Pa., Sept. 29, 2000)

Disposition: AFFIRMED-IN-PART, REVERSED-IN-PART, and REMANDED.

CORE TERMS

patent, eggs, invention, infringement, written description, specification, disclosure, conveyor, station, district court, guiding, steps, biotechnology, skill, downwardly, inventor, lifting, invalid, inducement, machines, urge, trial court, new matter, subject matter, processing, deposits, substantial evidence to support, customers, patentee, sequence

Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, Substantial Evidence, General Overview, Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Business & Corporate Compliance, Infringement Actions, Infringing Acts, Making & Manufacturing Infringement, Claim Interpretation, Construction Preferences, Civil Procedure, Jury Trials, Jury Instructions, Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Objections, Reviewability, Waiver, Jury Instructions, Indirect Infringement, Judgment as Matter of Law, Defenses, Patent Invalidity, Presumption of Validity, Specifications, Description Requirement, Invention Date & Priority, Enablement Requirement, Inequitable Conduct, Appeals, De Novo Review, Sufficiency of Evidence, Standards & Tests, Anticipation & Novelty