A.C. Aukerman Co. v. R.I. Chaides Construction
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
960 F.2d 1020 (1992) (en banc)
Aukerman (plaintiff), assignee of the ‘133 and ‘633 patents, sued Chaides (defendant) for patent infringement. The patents relate to a device and method for forming concrete barriers that divide uneven highway lanes. In 1979, Chaides purchased the device from an Aukerman licensee (Gomaco Corp.), but did not pay a fee to Aukerman. Correspondence was exchanged between Aukerman’s counsel and Chaides regarding a possible license, though none was ever executed and Aukerman did not pursue it further. In 1987, at the urging of a Chaides competitor and Aukerman licensee (Baumgartner, Inc.), Aukerman again sought a license from Chaides. When none was executed, Aukerman sued Chaides in 1988. On summary judgment, Chaides alleged that the claims for infringement were barred by laches and equitable estoppel, on which it prevailed, resulting in the appeal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nies, C.J.)
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