Riester:CCS Fitness, Inc. v. Brunswick Corporation, 288 F.3d 1359 (2002)
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United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit.
CCS FITNESS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,
BRUNSWICK CORPORATION and its Division Life Fitness, Defendants Appellees.
- Plaintiff-Appellant CCS Fitness, Inc. appeals from a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Colorado holding that the claim limitation “reciprocating member” as used in the asserted patents does not cover anything more than the single-component straight bar depicted in the patents' drawings. As a result, the district court concluded, the accused infringer Life Fitness warranted summary judgment of non-infringement, since its accused exercise machines' “pedal lever” uses a multi-component, curved bar.
- i.e. CCS sued Brunswick for infringement but the District Court of Colorado warranted a summary judgement of non-infringement because the "reciprocating member" part of the claim only covers the single component straight bar depicted in patent drawings whereas Brunswick used a multiple-component, curved bar. CCS appealed to USCA.
- Court of appeals reversed because the term 'member' has an established meaning the patent does explicitly say it has to be straight and so the use of a curved, multi component member does in fact infringe.
- Reversed - infringement!
- Patent deals with an elliptical.
- "Besides the description set forth above, nothing in the claim language of the three patents describes the shape of the reciprocating members or whether it consists of a single-component structure only, as opposed to a structure consisting of multiple components."
- This seems to be the salient point: Brunswick's manifestation of the design differed by only a different shaped and broken up member, but that wasn't specified under the CCS patent so it's still encompassed within the CCS patent and thus infringes.
- Does this mean it's better to be less precise sometimes?