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WASHINGTON, DC, January 8, 2009 — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that the only claim in a patent for making and selling retractable covers for flat-bed trucks allegedly infringed by DeMonte Fabricating is invalid. The Federal Circuit’s decision overturns a lower court’s ruling on damages and a permanent injunction that would have significantly affected DeMonte’s business. Covington & Burling LLP represented DeMonte on the appeal.
DeMonte was sued in the Eastern District of Michigan by its competitor, Sundance. During the initial liability trial, a jury ruled that the claim was invalid, a decision that was rejected by the judge on post-trial motions. The case then proceeded to trial on damages. A permanent injunction was also entered. DeMonte retained Covington to handle the appeal. Covington first obtained a stay of the injunction and of execution on the money judgment. On December 24, 2008, the Federal Circuit determined that the asserted claim was invalid as obvious following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 127 S. Ct. 1727 (2007), and thus, the district court was wrong to overturn it.
The Covington appellate team was led by patent litigation partner Richard Rainey, who argued the case at the Federal Circuit. He was assisted by partner Rod McKelvie, senior counsel Edward Bruce, and associates Scott Weidenfeller and Roger Ford. All are based in the firm’s Washington office.