Cardpool, Inc. v. Plastic Jungle, Inc., NKA Cardflo, Inc.

Docket No. 2014-1562

April 5, 2016

Brief Summary: DC decision denying of a joint motion (with Plastic Jungle) to vacate the DC “judgment of patent invalidity [based on § 101] insofar as the judgment[] was with prejudice” affirmed.

Summary: Cardpool appealed DC denial of a joint motion (with Plastic Jungle) to vacate the DC “judgment of patent invalidity insofar as the judgment[] was with prejudice” (patent-ineligible under § 101) because “all of the Cardpool claims had been replaced on reexamination, and that Plastic Jungle (now operating as CardFlo, Inc.) was no longer conducting the accused infringing activities.” The DC § 101 determination was affirmed without opinion by the FC in 2014 but then remanded the case after rehearing, instructing the DC “to determine what actions, if any, are appropriate in light of the reexamined claims.” Cardpool argued “that the case was not ‘settled’…because the ‘final PTO judgment’ on reexamination was issued before ‘the appellate mandate that would have finalized the interim district court decision” (Fresenius USA, FC 2013 (“the statute requires that a final PTO decision affirmed by this court could be given effect in pending infringement cases that are not yet final” and is not affected by a subsequent final court ruling contrary to the PTO ruling); Aspex Eyewear, FC 2012 (“[H]olding that a settlement and resultant dismissal with prejudice was res judicata against a later suit when infringement reoccurred, although the claims were different due to reexamination.”)) The FC panel concluded the DC “violated no legal right in preserving its original decision, which is limited to the claims and grounds that existed” and how “[d]ismissal ‘with prejudice’” “would apply to changed circumstances depends on the factual circumstances of the specific situation” (“Res judicata does not automatically arise against unknown future situations.”) (Lawlor, US 1995). And “[o]n the facts and procedures of this case, the issue of validity of the reexamined claims to be addressed in any future proceeding” since “[i]n the initial proceeding the original claims were adjudicated only on the ground of subject matter eligibility under section 101.” The DC decision was therefore affirmed.

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