Exergen Corp. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
575 F.3d 1312, 91 U.S.P.Q.2d 1656 (2007)
Exergen Corporation (plaintiff) brought suit against S.A.A.T. Systems Application of Advanced Technology, Ltd. (defendant) and Daiwa Products, Inc. (defendant) (collectively, SAAT) for infringement of two patents relating to infrared thermometers. A third patent was issued after initiation of the proceedings and added to the suit. SAAT counterclaimed for patent invalidity and noninfringement. SAAT then moved for leave to amend its pleading to add inequitable conduct as a defense. The proposed pleading accused Exergen of concealing known prior art, including existing patents, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) during the application process. The proposed pleading also stated that Exergen had made misleading statements to the PTO concerning both the prior art and the measurements of the invention. The federal district court denied the motion for leave on the ground that SAAT had failed to plead with sufficient particularity. SAAT moved for judgment as a matter of law, which was also denied. SAAT appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Linn, J.)
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