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Judin v. United States

110 F.3d 780, 42 U.S.P.Q.2d 1300 (1997)

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Judin v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

110 F.3d 780, 42 U.S.P.Q.2d 1300 (1997)

Facts

Patent holder Herbert Judin (plaintiff) and his attorneys, including Robert Van Der Wall, filed a patent-infringement claim against the government (defendant) in the Court of Federal Claims, asserting that the United States Postal Service (the Postal Service) used a device that infringed on Judin’s patent. Judin and Van Der Wall became aware of the potential infringement by observing from afar a post office using a device that, like his patented device, used a light source to direct light through a round tip and focus on a pinpoint. Neither Judin nor any of his attorneys attempted to obtain a device or reverse engineer a copy to compare to Judin’s patent claims, nor did they offer the court an explanation for this failure. Van Der Wall reviewed one of the multiple asserted patent claims and said it looked fine prior to filing the lawsuit. Van Der Wall and Judin signed the patent-infringement complaint. Hewlett Packard (defendant) moved for sanctions against Judin and his attorneys under Rule 11 of the Rules of the Court of Federal Claims (Rule 11), which was patterned after Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. The Court of Federal Claims denied the motion for sanctions. Hewlett Packard appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Plager, J.)

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