WILMINGTON, Del. (Legal Newsline) -- A Swiss company's patents for an elevator control and modernization system are invalid, a federal jury ruled last month.
On Feb. 28, after a week-long trial in the infringement case filed by Inventio AG against ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation, a jury for the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware sided with ThyssenKrupp.
Inventio sued ThyssenKrupp in November 2008, alleging ThyssenKrupp infringed on two of its patents: U.S Patent No. 6,892,861, entitled "Destination Call Control for Modernizing Elevator Installation," and No. 6,935,465, "Method for Modernization of an Elevator Installation."
According to Inventio's original five-page complaint, 6,892,861 was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in May 2005 and 6,935,465 was issued in August 2005.
Click here to read Inventio's complaint.
The patents covered a system in which a passenger enters a desired destination while waiting for an elevator to show up and a process in which the technology replaces current up and down buttons on the boarding floor.
The patents also disclosed a "modernizing device" and a "computing unit" to operate the new system.
Initially, the federal court found the device and unit were "means plus function limitations" and that both terms were indefinite, granting ThyssenKrupp's motion for summary judgment.
Inventio then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The Federal Circuit, which handles all patent appeals, ruled in 2011 that the federal court was wrong in its ruling and that the device described in the patents was a "sufficiently definite structure."
Click here to read the Federal Circuit's ruling.
The appeals court reversed the federal court's decision and remanded the case.
Wilmington, Del., law firm Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP and Cincinnati firm Frost Brown Todd LLC represented ThyssenKrupp in the case against Inventio, a sister company of Schindler Elevator Corporation.
The jury took just three and a half hours to come to its decision, Frost Brown Todd attorney David Schmit said.
Inventio was seeking damages for three jobs that had been completed and for any future jobs.
The company could not immediately be reached for comment on the ruling.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.