Federal Circuit Reverses W.D. Wash. on Summary Judgment of Non-infringement Based Upon Incorrect Implicit Claim Limitation Read Into a Configuration of an Accused Product

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in Maxill, Inc. v. Loops, LLC, Nos. 2020-1519, 2020-1618, (Fed. Cir. Dec. 31, 2020), reversed the W.D.Wash.’s finding of non-infringement based upon reading additional requirements into a claim construction and an incorrect understanding of the relevant claim limitation. The application of the claim construction improperly added an implicit limitation that a particular element have the characteristic of “flexible throughout” when assembled rather than intrinsically possess that property at pre-assembly. The Court held that a component of a product (i.e., the elongated body of a toothbrush) need not have the characteristic of “flexible throughout” when fully assembled as part of a toothbrush.

The Court’s opinion may be found at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/20-1519.OPINION.12-31-2020_1710354.pdf