OMEGA PATENTS, LLC v. CALAMP CORP.
- Apr 9 2019 |
- Category: CAFC Updates
CalAmp appeals from a judgment that certain patents asserted by Omega were infringed and are not invalid. The patents generally relate to multi-vehicle compatible systems that can remotely control various vehicle functions (for example, remote vehicle starting), read the status of various vehicle devices (for example, battery health), and notify the driver, or the driver’s employer, if certain conditions occur (for example, speeding). With respect to invalidity, CalAmp argues that had the district court’s made the correct claim construction, CalAmp’s invalidity defenses would have included additional prior art references. The CAFC finds that CalAmp did nothing in the district courtMarkman proceeding (or at any time thereafter) to specifically identify the prior art that would be impacted by the claim construction ruling, and thus CalAmp failed to satisfy the requirements of Rule 46. With respect to the various infringement issues, the CAFC concludes that there was sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find that CalAmp, at least under some circumstances, directly infringed one of the Omega patents, but that CalAmp was entitled to JMOL of no direct infringement of other Omega patents because CalAmp does not provide all the required claim elements. With respect to indirect infringement, on the issue of whether there were predicate acts of direct infringement by CalAmp’s customers, the CAFC finds that in the absence of guidance in the form of proper claim construction, the jury lacked a yardstick by which to measure the arguments and evidence on this issue and assess whether Omega’s infringement theory was a valid one, requiring a new trial. With respect to enhanced damages, the CAFC could not determine which patent(s) or claim(s) the jury found to be willfully infringed, and because such a finding may be based on an infringement finding that has been set aside, the jury’s willfulness finding must be vacated, as must the resulting enhanced damages and attorney’s fees award by the district court. Accordingly, the CAFC affirms the judgment of no invalidity, affirms-in-part, reverses-in-part, vacates-in-part, and remandsthe judgment as to direct infringement, and vacates and remands for a new trial on indirect infringement, compensatory damages, willful infringement, enhanced damages, and attorney’s fees.