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Court Denies Summary Judgment Motion as Premature Prior to Markman Hearing

Pipeline Technologies Inc. (“Pipeline”) filed a patent infringement action against Telog Instruments Inc. (“Telog”). Telog filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking summary judgment on the ground that the disputed claims of U.S. Patent 7,219,553 (‘553 patent) are invalid for indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. ยง 112(b).

As explained by the district court, Telog asserted “that Claim 1 of the ‘553 patent is indefinite because it combines two separate statutory classes of invention and therefore fails to particularly claim the subject matter the inventor regards as the invention.” Telog relied on the following portion of Claim 1:

wherein the signal processor records data samples showing dynamic transient pressures above a threshold level to internal memory until pressure returns to a steady state or until the user specifies.

The district court noted “that both parties have identified the above-cited phrase as a disputed claim term to be construed by the Court at the Markman hearing scheduled on September 30, 2014. (See Doc. 83 at 12-13; Doc. 84.) Further, the parties have filed briefs and a joint claim construction chart setting forth their proposed claim constructions for the disputed phrase.”

The district court then determined that a Markman hearing should be held before any summary judgment motions. “Given the current posture of this case, Defendants fail to address in their motion why summary judgment would be appropriate before the parties have had the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence at the scheduled Markman hearing. As the Court’s ultimate construction of the disputed phrase in Claim 1 may have a direct bearing on Defendants’ present arguments regarding invalidity, the Court finds that this motion is premature and will be denied without prejudice.”

Pipeline Technologies Inc. v. Telog Instruments Inc., Case No. CV-13-02104-PHX-SPL (D. Az. Aug. 19, 2014)

The authors of are patent trial lawyers at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP. We represent inventors, patent owners and technology companies in patent licensing and litigation. Whether pursuing patent violations or defending infringement claims, we are aggressive and effective advocates for our clients. For more information contact Stan Gibson at 310.201.3548 or