Back on September 25, 2005, Judge
Farnan of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware stayed
the litigation between Hasbasit Belting, Inc. v. Rexnord Industries, Inc.
(Civil Action 03-185) relating to U.S. Patent 6,523,680. The stay was
entered in favor of inter partes reexamination 95/000,072.
Yesterday, the rejection of
issued claims 1-14 was reversed at the BPAI (decision
here). The refusal to adopt a rejection of claim 6 and 13 was also
affirmed. Thus, the Third Party, Rexnord Industries, may find itself on the
wrong side of the estoppel equation of 35 USC 315 (c) very shortly.
More importantly, will the court
recognize the significant delay to date, and the appeal reversal as
justification enough to lift the stay?
To be sure, estoppel does not
attach until a "final" determination (i.e., CAFC). Still, with the CAFC
reviewing the BPAI fact finding on the Zurko standard (substantial
evidence), and claim interpretation only for lack of
reasonableness, perhaps the writing is already on the wall for Judge
Farnan. Unfortunately, these cases have a way of settling before anything
interesting happens...stay tuned.
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