United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ADOPTING IN PART THE RECOMMENDED DECISION ON
LEVY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiffs in this case, Marical Inc., Europharma AS, and
Europharma Inc. (Canada) (the “Plaintiffs”), have
filed patent infringement claims against the defendants,
Cooke Aquaculture Inc., Cooke Aquaculture USA Inc., True
North Salmon Co. Ltd., True North Salmon U.S. Inc., True
North Sales US, Inc., and Salmones Cupquelan S.A. (the
“Defendants”). ECF No. 154 at 1. All parties are
engaged in the farming of salmon, which is a type of
anadromous fish. Id. at 2.
Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants produce and import
salmon raised by methods that infringe four patents: United
States Patent No. 6, 463, 883 (Patent ‘883); United
States Patent No. 6, 475, 792 (Patent ‘792); United
States Patent No. 6, 481, 379 (Patent ‘379); and United
States Patent No. 6, 564, 747 (Patent ‘747). ECF No. 1
claim construction portion of the case was referred to the
United States Magistrate Judge, who filed a Recommended
Decision (ECF No. 154) with the court on July 6, 2016,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 72(b). The Plaintiffs and the Defendants each
filed an Objection to the Recommended Decision on July 25,
2016 (ECF Nos. 163 and 164). The Defendants filed their
Response to Plaintiffs' Objection (ECF No. 167) and the
Plaintiffs filed their Response to the Defendants'
Objection (ECF No. 168) on August 9. A hearing on the
parties' objections to the Recommended Decision was held
on August 11, 2016. ECF No. 169.
reviewed and considered the Magistrate Judge's
Recommended Decision, together with the entire record, and
have made a de novo determination of all matters
adjudicated by it. I adopt the claim constructions
recommended by the Magistrate Judge, with the exception of
the constructions discussed below.
noted in the Recommended Decision, the grant of a patent is a
grant of a monopoly, in exchange for which the inventor is
required to teach to others skilled in the art, in clear and
precise language, how to make, construct, and use the
patented invention. ECF No. 154 at 3 (citing 35 U.S.C. §
112; Gen. Elec. Co. v. Wabash Appliance Corp., 304
U.S. 364, 368-69 (1938)). The requirement that the patentee
teach the invention in clear terms is known as the
“definiteness requirement, ” Nautilus, Inc.
v. Biosig Instr., Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2120, 2128 (2014), and
provides notice of the scope of the patent, Dow Chem. Co.
v. Nova Chem. Corp. (Canada), 803 F.3d 620, 630 (Fed.
patent must “conclude with one or more claims
particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject
matter which the inventor or a joint inventor regards as the
invention.” 35 U.S.C.A. § 112(b) (2016). To be
definite, terms contained in the patent claim “must be
precise enough to afford clear notice of what is claimed,
thereby apprising the public of what is still open to
them.” Nautilus, 134 S.Ct. at 2129 (citation
and quotation marks omitted).
initial stage in a patent infringement action-and the current
stage of this litigation-involves construction of the patent
claim. Wavetronix LLC v. EIS Elec. Integrated Sys.,
573 F.3d 1343, 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2009). “The purpose of
claim construction is to determine the meaning and scope of
the patent claims asserted to be infringed.” O2
Micro Int'l Ltd. v. Beyond Innovation Tech. Co., 521
F.3d 1351, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (citation and quotation
marks omitted). The construction of patent claims is a matter
of law, though the construction of a claim term can have
“evidentiary underpinnings” that require
subsidiary fact-finding. Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz,
Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 835 (2015).
construing claim terms, the court looks first to intrinsic
evidence, which is “the most significant source of the
legally operative meaning of the disputed claim language[,
]” Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic, Inc., 90
F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1996), and which includes the
patent claims themselves, the patent specification, and the
patent prosecution history, id. at 1582-83. The
patent specification, in particular, has been described by
the Federal Circuit as “the single best guide to the
meaning of a disputed term[, ]” “[u]sually . . .
dispositive, ” and “always highly
relevant[.]” Id. at 1582.
considering intrinsic evidence, “a court may also seek
guidance from extrinsic evidence such as expert testimony,
dictionaries, and treatises.” Suffolk Techs., LLC
v. AOL, Inc., 752 F.3d 1358, 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2014).
However, extrinsic evidence carries less weight in
determining the operative language of claim language.
Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1317 (Fed.
Recommended Decision construes the term
“freshwater” in Patents ‘379 and ‘792
to include specified ranges of calcium and magnesium in part
2 of the definition. ECF No. 154 at 46 (“Water
described in [part 1] to which has been added calcium and/or
magnesium to achieve concentrations in the ...