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Ottah v. Fiat Chrysler

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

March 7, 2018, Decided

2017-1842

Opinion

 [*1137]  [***1902]   NEWMAN, Circuit Judge.

Chikezie Ottah (herein "Ottah") appeals the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.1 The district court granted summary judgment of non-infringement to several defendant automobile companies with respect to U.S. Patent No. 7,152,840 ("the '840 Patent"), and dismissed the complaint with prejudice as to several other automobile companies. We have reviewed, and now affirm, the district court's rulings.

Background

The '840 Patent is entitled "Book Holder," and describes the invention as "a removable book holder assembly for use by a person in a protective or mobile structure such as a car seat, wheelchair, walker, or stroller." '840 Patent at col. 1, ll. 6-9. The book holder is described as "having an adjustable, releasable clipping means and a support arm configured for . . . adjustment of the book supporting surface of the book holder to hold a book in a readable position [**3]  in front of the user." Id. at col. 1, ll. 9-13.

In the "Background of the Invention" the '840 Patent recites disadvantages associated with prior art book holders, such as "[t]he  [***1903]  book holders in the prior art lack the ease of application to a mobile vehicle such as a wheelchair or stroller to allow the reader to have mobility to explore their environment in a stationary sitting or reclining position while reading a book supported on the mobile device." Id. at col. 1, ll. 48-53. The '840 Patent recites ten "object[s] of the present invention," including "provid[ing] a book holder that can be easily and removably attached to and removed from a bar or portion of the mobile vehicle without tools." Id. at col. 1, ll. 64-67. Eight of the ten objects refer to the advantages of a holder for books, one refers to a writing board, and one refers to the removable attachment of the mounting structures. Id. at col. 1, l. 64 - col. 2, l. 34.

Claim 1, the only claim of the '840 Patent, reads:

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884 F.3d 1135 *; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5761 **; 125 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1901 ***; 2018 WL 1177036

CHIKEZIE OTTAH, Plaintiff-Appellant v. FIAT CHRYSLER, TOYOTA, NISSAN MOTORS CO. LIMITED, HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA, FORD MOTOR COMPANY, JAGUAR LAND ROVER NORTH AMERICA, GENERAL MOTORS LLC, KIA MOTORS AMERICA, INC., Defendants-Appellees, DAIMLER AG (MERCEDES BENZ), CITROËN/PEUGEOT MOTOR COMPANY ARNESS PARIS 6 CITY, MITSUBISHI MOTOR CORPORATION, BMW MOTOR CORPORATION, ROLLS ROYCE CORPORATION, MAZDA MOTOR, SUBURU MOTOR CORPORATION, Defendant

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in No. 1:15-cv-02465-LTS, Judge Laura Taylor Swain.

Ottah v. BMW, 230 F. Supp. 3d 192, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14074 (S.D.N.Y., Feb. 1, 2017)

Disposition: AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

holder, camera, district court, mounting, platform, summary judgment, infringement, specification, surface, mobile, tools, clip, stare decisis, non-infringement, invention, front, arm, patent, clasp, doctrine of equivalents, prior art, pro se, telescoping

Patent Law, Infringement Actions, Summary Judgment, Appeals, Claim Interpretation, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Claim Interpretation, Fact & Law Issues, Governments, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Doctrine of Equivalents, Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Parties, Pro Se Litigants, Pleading Standards, Business & Corporate Compliance, Patent Law, Infringement Actions