Wednesday, August 15, 2018

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Diebold Nixdorf, Inc. v. International Trade Commission

Import: Tariff Act of 1930 § 337: Patent infringement: Assignment: ITC: ALJ:

Appellants Diebold Nixdorf, Inc. and Diebold Self-Service Systems (together, “Diebold”) appeal the International Trade Commission’s (“ITC” or “Commission”) finding that they violated § 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing components of automated teller machines (“ATMs”) that infringe claims 1–3, 6, 8, and 9 of U.S. Patent No. 8,523,235 (“the ’235 patent”). Diebold challenges the Commission’s determination that these claims, all of which recite the term “cheque standby unit,” are not invalid for indefiniteness. See Certain Automated Teller Machines, ATM Modules, Components Thereof, and Prods. Containing the Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-989, 2017 ITC LEXIS 1603 (USITC Mar. 13, 2017).

We conclude that the term “cheque standby unit” in the ’235 patent is a means-plus-function term subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 6, which lacks corresponding structure disclosed in the specification. We therefore reverse the Commission’s finding that Diebold violated § 337.

In February 2016, Intervenors Hyosung TNS Inc. and Nautilus Hyosung America Inc. (together, “Hyosung”), which own the ’235 patent by assignment, filed a complaint with the ITC against Diebold, alleging violations of § 337 by reason of Diebold’s infringement of four patents related to ATMs.

(…) The administrative law judge (“ALJ”), after holding an evidentiary hearing, issued an Initial Decision (…)

The Commission, after undertaking review of the ALJ’s Initial Decision on issues not involving the “cheque standby unit,” issued its Final Determination finding a violation of § 337, in addition to a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders. Diebold appeals. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(6).

We review the Commission’s final determinations under the standards of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”). See 19 U.S.C. § 1337(c) (stating that “any person adversely affected by a final determination of the Commission” may appeal to this court “for review in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5”). Under the APA, we review legal determinations de novo and findings of fact for substantial evidence. Ajinomoto Co., Inc. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 597 F.3d 1267, 1272 (Fed. Cir. 2010); Osram GmbH v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 505 F.3d 1351, 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2007).

(…) Because the ’235 patent fails to disclose any structure corresponding to the function of “holding the at least one authentic cheque to return the at least one authentic cheque to the user responsive to receiving user instructions cancelling depositing of the at least one authentic cheque,” we conclude that claims 1–3, 6, 8, and 9 are invalid for indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 2.

For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the Commission’s finding that Diebold violated § 337.

Costs to appellant.

(U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, August 15, 2018, Diebold Nixdorf, Inc. v. International Trade Commission, Docket 17-2553, Type: Precedential, Circuit Judge O’Malley)

Les étapes de la procédure en violation de la Section 337 du Tariff Act de 1930, la violation reprochée étant l’importation de composants qui porteraient atteinte à un brevet U.S. La procédure devant l’ITC puis devant le Circuit fédéral implique analyse de la question de la violation du droit fédéral des brevets d’invention pour décider/juger si une violation de la section 337 s’est ou non produite. Standard de la preuve : en droit : de novo, en fait : substantial evidence. La procédure a ici été initiée par le titulaire par assignation du brevet U.S.

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