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Johnson & Johnston Associates Inc. v. R.E. Service Co., Inc.

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
285 F.3d 1046 (2002)


Facts

Johnson & Johnston (J&J) (plaintiff) sued R.E. Service (RES) (defendant) for infringement of the ‘050 patent, which claimed a method of making printed circuit boards. In particular, the claimed method permitted the safe handling of delicate portions of the boards during manufacture, and included the step of binding a thin copper foil to a thicker piece of aluminum. RES, on the other hand, began a similar process of manufacturing circuit boards that instead included the step of binding a thin copper foil to a thicker piece of steel. After a finding of no literal infringement, J&J urged infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. However, RES countered that, because J&J had disclosed but had not claimed the copper foil plus steel assembly in the ‘050 patent, it was dedicated to the public and outside the range of equivalents. The district court sided with J&J on RES’s motion for summary judgment, and sent the matter to a jury, which found infringement. RES appealed to the Federal Circuit.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)

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Concurrence (Rader, J.)

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