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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
February 5, 2010, Decided
2009-1099, 2009-1108, 2009-1119
[***1619] [*1365] RADER, Circuit Judge.
This case began in August of 1999 when Plaintiff SEB S.A. ("SEB") sued defendants Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc. ("Montgomery Ward"), Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. ("Global-Tech"), and Pentalpha Enterprises, Ltd. ("Pentalpha") for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 4,995,312 (the "'312 patent"). Almost seven years later, a jury found that Pentalpha had willfully infringed, and induced infringement of, claim 1 of the '312 patent and awarded SEB $ 4.65 million in damages. Pentalpha filed post-trial motions on a number of grounds. The district court granted them in part, reducing the amount of damages by $ 2 million. SEB S.A. v. Montgomery Ward & Co., No. 99-9284, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80394, 2007 WL 3165783 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 9, 2007) [**2] ("JMOL Opinion"). The district court awarded SEB enhanced damages and attorneys' fees, but later vacated that award in light of this court's decision in In re Seagate Technology, LLC, 497 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (en banc). SEB S.A. v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113468, 2008 WL 4540416 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 1, 2008) ("Enhanced Damages Opinion"). On appeal, Pentalpha raises a host of issues that relate to the jury verdict and the district court's post-trial rulings. SEB cross-appeals the district court's enhanced damages ruling. Detecting no reversible error in the district court proceedings, this court affirms.
SEB is a French company that specializes in home-cooking appliances. It sells products in the United States through an indirect subsidiary, T-Fal Corp. ("T-Fal"). SEB owns the '312 patent, entitled "Cooking Appliance with Electric Heating," which claims a deep fryer with an inexpensive plastic outer shell, or skirt. In the past, skirts for deep fryers were made of plastic material capable of continuously withstanding temperatures higher than 150 [degrees] C. These heat resistant plastics, however, are expensive and therefore incompatible with large-scale manufacture of low-priced [**3] fryers.
The skirt disclosed in the '312 patent, labeled with the number 3 in the cross-section [***1620] shown below, is well-insulated from the heat of the fryer's metal pan (1).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
594 F.3d 1360 *; 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 2454 **; 93 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1617 ***
SEB S.A., Plaintiff/Counterclaim Defendant-Cross Appellant, and T-FAL CORPORATION, Counterclaim Defendant, v. MONTGOMERY WARD & CO., INC., Defendant, and GLOBAL-TECH APPLIANCES, INC., Defendant-Appellant, and PENTALPHA ENTERPRISES, LTD., Defendant/Counterclaimant-Appellant.
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by, Rehearing, en banc, denied by SEB S.A. v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 7937 (Fed. Cir., Mar. 25, 2010)
US Supreme Court certiorari granted by Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 562 U.S. 960, 131 S. Ct. 458, 178 L. Ed. 2d 286, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 8068 (Oct. 12, 2010)
Affirmed by Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 563 U.S. 754, 131 S. Ct. 2060, 179 L. Ed. 2d 1167, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 4022 (May 31, 2011)
Prior History: [**1] Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 99-CV-9284, Judge Stephen C. Robinson.
SEB, S.A. v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113468 (S.D.N.Y., Sept. 30, 2008)
infringement, patent, district court, skirt, pan, fryers, inducement, deep fryer, deep, ring, completely free, marking, damages, plastic, heat, temperature, modified, thermal, willful, bridges, cooling, sales, products, new trial, specification, invention, royalty, jury instructions, deliberate indifference, attorney's fees
Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Infringement Actions, Claim Interpretation, General Overview, Prosecution History Estoppel, Civil Procedure, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Postverdict Judgment, Remedies, Injunctions, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Appeals, Clearly Erroneous Review, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Evidentiary Considerations, Jury Trials, Verdicts, Inconsistent Verdicts, Jury Instructions, Objections, Commercial Law (UCC), Contract Provisions, Contract Terms, Business & Corporate Compliance, Infringing Acts, Indirect Infringement, Intent & Knowledge, Defenses, Marking, Abuse of Discretion, Relief From Judgments, Motions for New Trials, Damages, Patentholder Losses, Reasonable Royalties, Collateral Assessments