(CN) – The Federal Circuit reversed a $2.5 million award for Exergen in a patent dispute over infrared thermometers.
Systems Application of Advanced Technology (SAAT) makes radiation-detecting thermometers that allegedly infringe on Exergen’s patents. The thermometer detects radiation from skin near the temple on a person’s forehead and converts the reading to the patient’s oral temperature.
The case proceeded to trial, and the jury awarded Exergen $2.5 million in lost profits, finding that SAAT had directly violated two patents and induced infringement of a third patent. The jury also rejected SAAT’s defense that the patents weren’t valid.
SAAT moved for judgment as a matter of law, claiming Exergen hadn’t presented enough evidence to support the verdict. Exergen cross-appealed the denial of its bid for enhanced damages and prejudgment interest.
The federal appeals court agreed with SAAT that its claims were not anticipated by prior art, specifically by a patent that describes a method of measuring temperature from the face, outer ear and ear canal.
The court also reversed the jury’s findings of direct or induced infringement.
However, the Federal Circuit rejected SAAT’s claim that Exergen’s attorneys concealed their knowledge of at least two existing patents that disclosed a technique for “scanning a radiation detector across a target.”
The circuit court agreed with the district court that SAAT’s argument, known as inequitable conduct, requires it to identify the who, what, where and how of the alleged misrepresentation or omission. In this regard, SAAT’s pleading fell short, Judge Linn concluded.
The court reversed the final judgment for Exergen on validity and infringement, and dismissed SAAT’s inequitable conduct claim.