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Doctrine of Equivalents. Intro to IP – Prof Merges 2.2.10. Topics Today. Doctrine of Equivalents Prosecution history estoppel. Equivalents/Literal Claim Scope. Range of Equivalents. Literal Claim Scope. Hughes Satellite – p. 275-78.

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doctrine of equivalents

Doctrine of Equivalents

Intro to IP – Prof Merges

2.2.10

topics today
Topics Today
  • Doctrine of Equivalents
  • Prosecution history estoppel
equivalents literal claim scope
Equivalents/Literal Claim Scope

Range of

Equivalents

Literal

Claim

Scope

slide5
Hughes Aircraft Co. v. United States, 717 F.2d. 1351, 1362-63 (Fed. Cir. 1983).
  • Later developed technology to use onboard computers to control satellite orientation is equivalent to receive signals form the satellite and use the computers on earth to control the orientation of the satellite)
hughes viii 1998
Hughes VIII 1998
  • Because Hughes Aircraft Co. v. United States , 717 F.2d 1351, 219 USPQ 473 (Fed. Cir. 1983) ( Hughes VII ) satisfies the legal requirements announced in Warner-Jenkinson , we affirm.
slide10

S/E

S/E

slide12

Patent

Claim

Elements

S/E

  • f “means disposed . . . for receiving . . . signals
  • g “said valve being coupled to said last-named means and responsive ...

Literal Infringement

Doctrine of Equivalents

?

slide13

Patent

Claim

Elements

  • f “means disposed . . . for receiving . . . signals
  • g “said valve being coupled to said last-named means and responsive ...

Literal Infringement

Doctrine of Equivalents

Modest

Inventions

Pioneering

Inventions

prosecution history estoppel
Prosecution History Estoppel
  • Festo v. SKK Kabushiki, p. 279
slide20

Original Claim Scope

Narrowed Scope, after amend-ment

slide23
United States Patent 4,354,125 Stoll October 12, 1982 Magnetically coupled arrangement for a driving and a driven member

The invention is concerned with a magnetically coupled arrangement for a driving and a driven member, which arrangement is operable by a pressure medium and is used in a conveying system. A slidable piston (16) within a tube (10) has an arrangement of annular magnets (20) provided at each end with sealing and sliding members (24, 26). A driven assembly (18) slidable on the outer surface of the tube (10) has an arrangement of annular magnets (32) corresponding to the magnets (20) and provided at each end with a sliding ring (44). The members (24, 26, 44) prevent ingress of foreign bodies to the magnet locations, and consequently enable the spacing between the magnets and the tube (10) to be very small. A good magnetic coupling is achieved resulting in effective transmission of power. Several pistons (16) abutting one another can be used for conveying heavy loads.

Inventors: Stoll; Kurt (Lenzhalde 72, D-7300 Esslingen, DE) Appl. No.: 153999Filed: May 28, 1980

amendments
Amendments
  • Two patents –
    • Stoll, 4,354,125
    • Carroll, 3,779,401
prosecution history
Prosecution History
  • Amendments
  • What limitations did patentee add during prosecution?
  • Why were they made?
how amended
How amended?
  • Claims changed to include a new limitation: piston assembly must now include a pair of sealing rings
equivalents and prosecution history
Equivalents and Prosecution History
  • P. 283
  • “Insubstantial alterations”
  • BUT: Cannot “recapture” an insusbtantial alteration GIVEN UP during prosecution
1 st point related to patentability
1st point: “related to patentability”
  • Claim amendment for any reason can give rise to estoppel
  • Not just prior art-related reasons
2 nd point the 3 part test
2nd Point: The 3-Part Test
  • Supreme Court rejects “complete bar”
  • Federal Circuit’s new rule reversed and thrown out
slide35

Original Claim Scope

Narrowed Scope, after amend-ment

2 nd point the 3 part test1
2nd Point: The 3-Part Test
  • P 287
  • [1] Unforeseeable equivalents
  • [2] Amendment bears “tangential relation” to equivalent
  • [3] “Some other reason” -- ?
doctrinal sequence
Doctrinal Sequence
  • FIRST: What is the literal meaning of the claim language?
  • THEN: If the accused product falls outside that language, is it an “equivalent” of the claimed invention?
what is the test for equivalence
What is the test for equivalence?
  • Is the accused product an “insubstantial alteration” under Warner-Jenkinson and Festo?
  • Even if so, was this trivial variation on the claim “given up” during patent prosecution; in which case, equivalents are “estopped”
equivalents literal claim scope1
Equivalents/Literal Claim Scope

Range of

Equivalents

Literal

Claim

Scope

What is a “baffle”? Is the tank “thereon”?

equivalents literal claim scope2
Equivalents/Literal Claim Scope

Range of

Equivalents

Literal

Claim

Scope

Is a single sealing ring equivalent to “a pair” of them?

prosecution history estoppel1
Prosecution History Estoppel
  • Warner-Jenkinson: presumption that part of claim coverage is surrendered when applicant amends claim
  • Festo case: 3 Ways to beat the presumption
  • Post-Festo developments: “disclosed but not claimed”/dedicated to the public
slide42

“Range of Equivalents”

Literal Claim Scope

Infringement under DOE ?

warner jenkinson
Warner-Jenkinson
  • DOE Survives challenge
  • Presumption in cases of claim amendment: amendment made for reasons related to patentability; prosecution history estoppel applies

 SO: Presumption of no DOE, you are limited to your literal claim language

slide45

Original Claim Scope

Narrowed Scope, after amend-ment

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