United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
For Pediatric Medical Devices, Inc., Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Ann Grunewald Fort, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP-GA, Atlanta, GA; William L. Warren, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Atlanta, GA.
For Indiana Mills & Manufacturing, Inc., Defendant: Ann G. Schoen, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Barry M. Visconte, LEAD ATTORNEY, Frost Brown Todd-OH, Cincinnati, OH; Sumner Curtis Rosenberg, Ballard Spahr-Atl, Atlanta, GA.
For Indiana Mills & Manufacturing, Inc., Counter Claimant: Ann G. Schoen, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Frost Brown Todd-OH, Cincinnati, OH; Sumner Curtis Rosenberg, Ballard Spahr-Atl, Atlanta, GA.
Timothy C. Batten, Sr., United States District Judge.
This patent-infringement case is before the Court on three related motions: Indiana Mills & Manufacturing, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment of noninfringement , its motion to file under seal exhibits 1 and 2 in support of its motion for summary judgment , and Pediatric Medical Devices, Inc.'s motion for relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d) .
PMD owns U.S. patent no. 7,281,285: a pediatric emergency transport device that improves upon the prior art and makes the transportation of pediatric patients safer and more efficient. One way that the claimed invention improves upon the prior art is by eschewing the use of straps or belts as a means for securing or fastening a pediatric transportation device to a conventional stretcher. All told, the '285 patent has four claims: one independent and three dependent.
PMD alleges that the SafeGuard Transport device manufactured by IMMI infringes all four claims of the '285 patent. IMMI denies infringement and has counterclaimed for a declaratory judgment of noninfringement and invalidity.
While PMD's claimed invention has several elements, the focus here is on the attachment limitation of claim 1: " said pediatric emergency transport device being operatively adapted for attachment to and detachment from a conventional stretcher." The Court defined the scope of this limitation in the claim-construction order and reaffirmed that construction in its order denying PMD's motion for reconsideration. Thus, the attachment limitation means: " said pediatric emergency transport device designed and configured to attach to and detach from a conventional stretcher without the use of straps or belts."
Given this construction, IMMI has moved for summary judgment of noninfringement. It argues that the accused device does not infringe the '285 patent because it attaches to a conventional stretcher with the use of straps (joined together with a hook and bracket mechanism).
PMD counters that the accused device " [c]learly [i]nfringes" because " IMMI's attachment mechanism is not merely three straps--it is a hook and bracket structure that merely incorporates a strap element, and is designed and configured to engage with stretchers of various sizes as part of its operation." In its view, the accused product is thus " 'operatively adapted' for attachment to and detachment from a conventional stretcher."
A. Legal Standard