• Aug 16 2019
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

Anza filed this action alleging that Mushkin had infringed claims of Anza’s U.S. Patent No. 7,124,927 relating to tools and techniques (“wire bonding” and “flip chip bonding”) for bonding electronic components, such as semiconductor integrated circuit (“IC”) chips, to substrates, circuit boards, or carriers. That complaint was dismissed and Anza filed first and second amended complaints alleging infringement of additional patents and two additional products. The district court granted a motion by Mushkin to dismiss Anza’s second amended complaint, finding that Anza’s claim of damages for patent infringement was barred by the six-year statute of limitations in the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 286. That ruling was based on the court’s determination that the claims in Anza’s second amended complaint did not relate back to the date of Anza’s original complaint and were therefore time-barred. Anza appealed.  After deciding that the de novo standard of review applies, the CAFC notes that the Supreme Court has interpreted the relation back doctrine liberally, and that the question is whether the general factual situation or the aggregate of operative facts underlying the original claim for relief gave notice to Mushkin of the nature of the allegations it was being called upon to answer. The CAFC holds that the claims in the second amended complaint that relate to the six originally accused products relate back to the date of the original complaint under Rule 15(c), and reverses the grant of the motion to dismiss as to those products.  For the products that were added for the first time in the second amended complaint, the CAFC vacates the order of dismissal and remands for the district court to determine whether the allegations regarding those products should relate back to the filing date of the original complaint.

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