NIAZI LICENSING CORPORATION v. ST. JUDE MEDICAL S.C., INC.
- Apr 11 2022 |
- Category: CAFC Updates
Niazi sued St. Jude for patent infringement, accusing combinations of St. Jude’s products of directly infringing and inducing infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,638,268 relating to a double catheter for cannulating the coronary sinus to place pacing leads on the hearts of patients with heart failure. The district court determined that the terms “resilient” and “pliable” rendered certain claims of the ’268 patent indefinite, but the CAFC finds that the district court erred because the intrinsic record and extrinsic evidence inform a skilled artisan, with reasonable certainty, of the meaning of those terms which are broad, but not uncertain. As a result of various exclusion orders (with which the CAFC finds no abuse of discretion), Niazi’s induced infringement case rested on St. Jude’s instructions for use (IFUs) for its catheter. The district court determined that logic requires the steps of claim 11 to be performed in the order listed and accordingly concluded that claim 11 is infringed only when the steps are performed in the order listed. The district court determined that the IFUs required the performance of the claim steps in an order different than that required by the claims. Like the district court, the CAFC thinks it is clear from the claim language that certain steps must take place in the sequence specified, and that there is no evidence of such a sequence here. Accordingly, the CAFC: reverses the district court’s determination that certain claims are invalid as indefinite and remands for further proceedings; affirms the summary judgment of no induced infringement; and affirms the district court’s exclusion orders (and award of monetary sanctions for violating the exclusion orders).