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IP Suit Re Safety Needles & Challenge to USDA Decision

By FindLaw Staff on July 30, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Hacker v. US, 09-1527, concerned a challenge to the the U.S. Court of International Trade's affirmance of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) denial of the application for trade adjustment assistance (TAA) cash benefits by grape farmers.  In affirming, the court held that the USDA correctly rejected petitioners' application for TAA cash benefits because they did not experience an "overall loss" in farm income between 2003 and 2004.  Further, even assuming that the USDA had any obligations to consider whether a TAA applicant's net farm income had declined when calculated on an accrual rather than a cash basis, petitioners did not submit the supporting documentation required by 7 C.F.R. section 1580.301(e)(6).

Becton, Dickinson & Co. v. Tyco Healthcare Group, LP, 09-1053, concerned a suit for infringement of plaintiff's patent, directed toward a safety needle designed to prevent accidental needle stick injuries.  In reversing the district court's finding that defendant's safety needles and blood collection devices literally infringed certain claims of the patent, the court held that the district court incorrectly construed the "spring means" limitation of the asserted claims and erred in denying defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law.  Further, even under the trial court's erroneous claim construction, plaintiff adduced no credible evidence establishing literal infringement by defendant's accused products.  Lastly, plaintiff's argument that the district court erred in granting defendant's motion for an order in limine precluding plaintiff from presenting evidence that defendant's accused products infringed the patent during the manufacturing process is rejected.

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