Kemnetz: Homework Assignment 03/23

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Emanuel Hazani v. U.S. International Trade Commission

Patantee alleged that the importers of electronic products used unfair trade because their imported and sold goods infringed their patent. The patent (No. 5,166,904) itself related to semiconductor memory cells.

In general, "To anticipate patent claim, prior art reference must disclose every feature of claimed invention, either explicitly or inherently"

Timeline: I.T.C. denied the claim Patantee appealed Court of Appeals (Bryson as the Circuit Judge) held: "

  1. arguments raised for the first time on motion for reconsideration were untimely
  2. patent did not require capacitor capable of storing charge in all modes of operation
  3. patent claims were anticipated by prior art
  4. single unanticipated claim was not infringed by accused products"

The Case: EEPROM is a type of non-volatile memory, which means that the data stored in the memory cells is not lost when power to the memory is turned off. This requires the use of two "memory states". This involves a floating gate, which is a conductive plate that can store charge of an appropriate polarity, or can have no charge stored on it. When charge is stored on the plate, the FET (field-effect transistor) cannot turn on, which is one of the memory states. The second memory state is when the floating gate is not storing any charge and the FET operates as if the floating gate is not there. Hazani's complaint to the I.T.C. said that suppliers of electronic components had been importing DRAMs (dynamic random access memory) devices that had components that infringed on his patent.

The Appeal: In the appeal, Hazani used differences he found between the claims and the prior art that he cited in his claims. These differences were ignored by the Court of Appeals since they were not in the original argument given to the administrative law judge. However, the Court did say that the claims still did not change the outcome of the case even if they had been considered.