[Full disclosure: I am counsel for NewRiver, the plaintiff in this case]
In the Spring a jury trial was held to determine whether defendant Newkirk Products, Inc. (
The verdict found certain claims infringed but also invalidated those same claims. Judgment entered for the defendant and post-trial motions ensued. In one motion NewRiver focused its attention on a particular claim set, noting that under Koito Mfg. Co., v. Turn-Key-Tech, LLC, 381 F.3d 1142 (Fed Cir. 2004) the summary conclusions offered during trial regarding obviousness were insufficient to invalidate the claims in question.
Judge Young agreed that the expert testimony was “sparse in detail” and engaged in a thoughtful analysis of the Federal Circuit’s requirements for supporting expert testimony on obviousness (as well as anticipation, written description, and infringement under the doctrine of equivalents) as compared to the traditional requirements for expert testimony under Daubert and the Federal Rules.
Judge Young declined to enter JMOL, instead granting the alternative motion for a new trial. In deference to the jury’s verdict, a new trial on infringement of the claims in question was also ordered.
Concluding the opinion was an edict from Judge Young that going forward he will sua sponte, and at the “earliest possible moment,” rule on the sufficiency of the foundation for any opinion testimony on obviousness, anticipation, written description, or doctrine of equivalents.
NewRiver, Inc. v. Newkirk Products, Inc., 06-12146-WGY (Dec. 16, 2009)