United States: Thelen Wins Patent Infringement Case For SCAFCO
Last Updated: August 30 2007

LOS ANGELES (July 6, 2007)—A Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP trial team has won a significant patent infringement victory on summary judgment for client SCAFCO Corporation.

On June 11, 2007, in a complete victory for our client, the U.S. District court for the Central District of California found in favor of SCAFCO on the grounds that the plaintiff, Brady Construction Innovations, Inc., impermissibly enlarged the scope of its patent on steel beams more than two years after the original patent was issued. The patent in question specifically referred to a slotted header system, using studs with pre-drilled holes, for use in the construction industry.

SCAFCO argued that, while additional language was added to the patent claim in the reissue of the patent, the language did not narrow the claim. The key to the ruling was that merely adding words to a patent claim did not necessarily narrow its scope.

"The two-year rule against 'enlarging the scope' is rigid," said lead trial attorney and Thelen Los Angeles partner Breton A. Bocchieri. "The patent holder, Brady Construction, argued that the claims were not broadened because, according to Brady, new terms were added to the claims at issue, which narrowed the scope of the patent. The challenges in this case were explaining why the added language did not narrow the scope of the purported invention at issue, and why the reissued claim violated the rule against broadening."

Bocchieri added: "We demonstrated that the invention had, in fact, been broadened more than two years after issuance of the patent, and that the patent was invalid under the rigid rule."

Bocchieri was assisted in the matter by Los Angeles of counsel Thomas A. Douvan.

For more information, contact:

Kevin Livingston
National Manager of Public Relations
Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP

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