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Phillips v. AWH Corp.:AWH 向美國最高法院提出訴願

2005年11月20日

AWH Corp. 日前向美國最高法院提出訴願,請求最高法院准予調閱 (Petition for Certiorari) CAFC 對 Phillips v. AWH 乙案做成的全院聯席 (en banc) 判決 (Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005))。AWH 所提出的法律問題如下:

QUESTION PRESENTED
Whether the Federal Circuit is correct in holding that all aspects of a district court’s patent claim construction may be reviewed de novo on appeal. [聯邦巡迴上訴法院的以下見解是否正確:聯邦地方法院所做成的專利權項範圍解讀的所有觀點均可於上訴時重新審理 (review de novo)。]

事實上,CAFC 法官 Haldane R. MayerPauline Newman 在本案全院聯席判決當中已表達反對多數法官見解的意見 (dissent opinion),其表示 CAFC 堅持「專利權項的解讀屬於法律議題 (a matter of law) 而不涉及事實的判斷」是一種徒勞且荒謬的作法。一般認為,「de novo 審理原則」是造成 CAFC 經常撤銷聯邦地方法院所做成的專利權項解讀的主要原因。

Timeline of Disposition

  • Phillips v. AWH Corp. (on petition for certiorari)
  • Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1310 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (Phillips IV: en banc)
  • Phillips v. AWH Corp., 376 F.3d 1382 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (Phillips III: petition for rehearing en banc granted)
  • Phillips v. AWH Corp., 363 F.3d 1207 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (Phillips II: affirmed)
  • Phillips v. AWH Corp., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25199 (D. Colo. 2003) (motion for summary judgment of non-infringement granted)
  • Phillips v. AWH Corp., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27298 (D. Colo. 2002) (Phillips I: claim construction)

Procedural History

  • This action was initiated on February 3, 1997. On October 3, 2000, a “Markman” hearing was conducted following which the parties filed motions for summary judgment. This ruling is intended to resolve the disputes concerning claim construction for the ’798 Patent. Phillips v. AWH Corp., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27298, 1-2 (D. Colo. 2002)
  • “[T]he Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED. Upon reconsideration the Court’s Order of May 8, 2002 is VACATED, and the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement is GRANTED.” Phillips v. AWH Corp., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25199 (D. Colo., 2003)
  • “On appeal, the court determined that, while the district court erroneously considered the term ‘baffle’ to be in means-plus-function format, based on the court’s construction of the patent, and because the defendants did not use acute or obtuse angles in its panels, it would affirm the judgment of noninfringement.” Phillips v. AWH Corp., 363 F.3d 1207 (Fed. Cir. 2004)
  • The CAFC agreed to rehear the appeal en banc and vacated the judgment of the panel (Phillips v. AWH Corp., 376 F.3d 1382 (Fed. Cir. 2004)), and reversed the portion of the court’s judgment addressed to the issue of infringement.
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