June 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 179

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June 27, 2022

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Federal Circuit Decision Reverses District Court Decision on Settlement

In PlasmaCAM, Inc. v. CNCElectronics, LLC, No. 21-1689 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 3, 2022), the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded the district court’s judgment ordering CNC to execute Plasmacam’s version of the settlement agreement.

The patent-in-suit is directed to a plasma cutting system, to which Plasmacam has an executive license. Plasmacam accused CNC of infringement. The parties later notified the district court that they reached a settlement agreement; however, the parties could not agree on the scope of the release. CNC advocated for a broad release of all past and future claims, not just those specifically accused of infringement. The district court ordered CNC to execute the settlement agreement using Plasmacam’s proposed narrow scope, releasing only past and future claims for products accused of infringement.

In a split decision, the Federal Circuit held that “the district court committed clear error” when ordering CNC to execute the settlement based on Plasmacam’s terms, finding that email correspondence between the parties “establishes that Plasmacam ultimately agreed to CNC’s proposed Covered Products definition” and released CNC from future claims of infringement. Judge Newman dissented, finding that there was never an agreement between the parties.

© 2022 Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 45
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About this Author

Associate

Soniya Shah focuses on patent litigation and prosecution. She handles intellectual property matters related to electronics and information technology, including computer hardware, software, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and electrical and computer technology.

While in law school, Soniya worked as a law clerk focused on global trade and policy, including economic sanctions, export controls, and trade policy matters, including Section 301 tariff changes and exclusion requests. She also worked as a summer associate at Finnegan,...

202-408-4204
Esther H. Lim Patent Litigation Attorney Finnegan Law Firm Washington, DC
Partner

Esther Lim has twenty-five years of experience in patent litigation, portfolio management, licensing, and counseling. She has litigated extensively before federal district courts, the International Trade Commission (ITC), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in complex matters involving a wide range of technologies from electrical to mechanical to pharmaceutical. Esther served as the founding managing partner of Finnegan’s Shanghai office. She is the past president of the D.C. Bar with 110,000 members.

Over two decades of diverse professional endeavors and...

202-408-4121
Kara Specht Patent Litigation Attorney Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner Law Firm Atlanta GA
Associate

Kara Specht focuses on patent litigation before district courts and before the International Trade Commission (ITC). Her practice covers a wide range of electronic and electrical technology areas related to computers, consumer electronics, and computer-implemented business methods.

Kara has experience in all aspects of patent litigation before district courts, the ITC, and the Federal Circuit. Before district court and the ITC, Kara has experience from both a plaintiff and defendant perspective, ranging from pre-filing planning and strategy,...

404 653 6481
Elizabeth Ferrill Patent Attorney Finnegan Law Firm
Partner

Elizabeth Ferrill is an “undisputed expert on design patents” who is “always updated and enlightening others with her deep knowledge,” “very involved in the design bar,” and “gives her clients an outstanding service” as noted in Intellectual Asset Management Patent 1000. She focuses her practice on all aspects of design patents, including prosecution, counseling, post-grant, and litigation.

Elizabeth counsels clients who hold design patents as well as those accused of infringement. She has experience with design patents related to consumer and industrial products, medical...

202 408 4445
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