Duncan Parking Technologies, Inc. v. IPS Group, Inc.
IPS’s founder and CEO (King) and Chief Technical Officer (Schwarz) are electrical engineers. IPS manufactured multi-space parking meters. King claims he conceived the idea for a credit-card enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter in 2003, consulted with Schwarz, and decided that IPS would offer a retrofit device that replaces the internal components of an existing parking meter. IPS engaged a design firm, D+I, in 2004, providing it with King's list of desired components and functionalities. Schwarz compiled a list of electrical components and product specifications and drew a block diagram conceptualizing the electrical connections. The 054 patent issued in 2013 from a 2006 application, naming King and Schwarz as inventors. It claims a credit card-enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter that can retrofit the internal components of existing parking meters. The 310 patent issued in 2010 from a 2008 application, naming as inventors King and three D+I engineers. It claims a credit card-enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meter. In 2015, IPS sued DPT for infringement. The court granted summary judgment that DPT’s Liberty® Single-Space Meter does not infringe either patent. DPT successfully petitioned the Patent and Trademark Office for inter partes review under 35 U.S.C. 102(e). The Board rejected an anticipation argument, holding that King was the sole inventor of the anticipating disclosure of the 054 patent. The Federal Circuit reversed the decision that the 310 patent claims are not unpatentable as anticipated; affirmed summary judgment of noninfringement of the 310 patent; and vacated summary judgment of noninfringement of the 054 patent; the district court erred in construing the claims too narrowly. View "Duncan Parking Technologies, Inc. v. IPS Group, Inc." on Justia Law