No Crying Over Spilled Milk – Held to Claim Construction During ProsecutionFebruary 23, 2007

Nouri Hakim appealed the decisions of the District Court of Western Louisiana granting Cannon Avent Group’s motion for summary judgment that Avent did not infringe one of Hakim’s patents (“the ‘931 patent“) and finding another of Hakim’s patents invalid (“the ‘620 patent“). The patents-in-suit involved the art of non-spill drinking cups and the apparatus in the spout of the cup which prevents accidental spillage. As to the motion for summary judgment of non-infringement, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that Hakim was held to the restrictive claim construction during the prosecution of the ‘931 patent for its particular device to prevent spillage ? that of a “slit” in the flexible valve material ? which Hakim specifically used to distinguish his invention from the prior art. As to the district court’s finding that the ‘620 patent was invalid, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision holding that the ‘620 device was anticipated by prior art, finding no reversible error. To read the full decision in Hakim v. Cannon Avent Group, PLC, click here.

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