D.L. Auld Co. v. Chroma Graphics Corp. SKH

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  • Summary judgment may not issue when material issues of fact requiring trial to resolve are present.
  • On motion for summary judgment, evidence and inferences must be viewed and drawn in a light most favorable to nonmoving party.
  • Party moving for summary judgment bears burden of showing the absence of material fact issue and doubt will be resolved against that party.
  • Summary judgment is an important means of conserving judicial and other resources, but it must be carefully employed in appropriate cases, for an improvident grant may deny a party a chance to prove a worthy case and improvident denial may force upon a party and the court an unnecessary trial.
  • Presumption of patent validity is a procedural device, not a substantive rule, and submission of evidence by a patent challenger may raise a need for a patentee to go forward with countering evidence, but the burden-assigning effect of the presumption is never lost.
  • Once evidence is presented that an invention was on sale or that the product of a method invention was on sale more than a year before party's application filing date, countervailing evidence establishing an experimental purpose must necessarily come from the patentee to avoid the forfeiture of a right to the grant of a valid patent; to defeat a motion for summary judgment, patentee need not prove an experimental purpose, but must submit facts indicating an ability to come forward with evidence that such proof is possible.
  • Where claimed method of forming foil-backed inserts in the form of cast decorative emblems was employed in preparing a number of sample emblems and assignee of patent attempted to profit from the use of that method by offering some of those samples for sale more than one year before assignee's application filing date, and there was no possibility that performance by hand of the method in producing some of the samples was itself in any manner experimental, patent No. 4,100,010 relating to the method of forming foil-backed inserts in the form of cast decorative emblems was void.
  • Failure of magistrate to follow local rule providing for oral hearing on request on motions determinative of the case on the merits did not require reversal of summary judgment entered against assignee of patent, because assignee had already obtained a hearing, albeit in connection with its motion to vacate, and there was no way that a remand could provide the hearing before judgment on the motion for summary judgment as envisaged by the letter of the local rule.
  • Where noncompliance with local procedural rule which provided for oral hearing on request on motions determinative of the case on the merits was inadvertent and all steps open to the decision maker in rectification had been taken, there being no denial of a constitutional right to due process, it did not serve the ends of justice to assign controlling weight to the grant of a hearing after, rather than before, initial judgment.