A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Denies Summary Judgment Because of Factual Dispute Between Experts

In a January 14, 2015 ruling, Judge Coleen McMahon denied summary judgment in this patent infringement action because of the parties’ experts’ conflicting testimony. The Court wrote:
In sum, the two sides’ experts differ on two critical points: whether [the prior art] and the [patent-in-suit] disclose the same elements and limitations, and whether one acknowledged difference between them (the plurality of numbers) would have been “obvious” to one skilled in the art. Each side has presented testimony from a purported expert to support its point of view. The experts do not agree. That precludes summary judgment.
In commenting on the experts’ disagreement about the qualifications for a person skilled in the art concerning the patent-in-suit, Judge McMahon wrote:
Two more disparate descriptions of what constitutes a “person having ordinary skill in the art” I cannot imagine. . . . The Court has no idea who is correct, or for that matter how to resolve the issue; this is the first case I can recall in which the parties did not agree on the qualifications of the hypothetical “person having ordinary skill in the art.” . . . If the parties cannot agree on who qualifies as a person skilled in the art, then there is a question of fact to be resolved. This precludes summary judgment as well.
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