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Summary Judgment In an IP Matter Reversed, Reassignment Advised

By FindLaw Staff on June 09, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In TriMed, Inc. v. Stryker Corp., 09-1423, the Federal Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant of invalidity of the asserted claims of a patent relating to an implantable device used to set bone fractures in plaintiff's patent infringement suit.

As the court wrote: "Both the record in this case and the order granting Stryker's motion for summary judgment are devoid of such reasoning," and "The record also fails to explain why the district court summarily dismissed the evidence of secondary considerations of nonobviousness submitted by TriMed.  We have repeatedly held that evidence of secondary considerations must be considered if present."

Thus, in reversing the judgment, the court held that the district court improperly resolved genuine issues of material fact in favor of defendant as the record fails to provide a reasoned basis to support the district court's grant of summary judgment.  Furthermore, the court concluded that reassignment is advisable to preserve the appearance of justice as the district court has now been reversed twice after entering summary judgment against plaintiff, in both instances simply signing defendant's proposed statement of law and facts relevant to the decided issues, a disfavored practice in the Ninth Circuit.     

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