Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates Patents Asserted Against Jackson Walker Client ALE USA Inc.


On September 19, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit entered an opinion ending ALE USA Inc.’s longstanding patent dispute with Chrimar Systems, Inc. and Chrimar Holding Company, LLC. The appeals court vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded with instructions to dismiss. In doing so, the opinion cites the appeals court’s affirmance of Final Written Decisions from the Patent Trial and Appeals Board invalidating each of the four patents-in-suit and explains that Chrimar is precluded from continuing to enforce its invalid patents against ALE.

This case dates back to March of 2015. Chrimar sued ALE, alleging that products compliant with the IEEE Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards infringed Chrimar’s patents. The patents at issue were U.S. Patent Nos. 8,155,012; 8,942,107; 9,902,760; and 9,019,838. Chrimar contends that its patents are essential to practicing the PoE standards.

The case was tried in the Eastern District of Texas in October 2016 and subsequently appealed. Following ALE’s successful appeal, the case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings. Contemporaneous with the remand, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board completed its review of the four patents-in-suit, which resulted in Final Written Decisions invalidating all of the patent claims asserted against ALE. Chrimar appealed the Board’s Final Written Decisions.

At the district court, ALE requested relief in view of the Board’s intervening Final Written Decisions invalidating all of the asserted patent claims, including a stay of the case and relief from any prospective enforcement of Chrimar’s invalid patents. The district court denied ALE’s request for relief, and ALE appealed.

The appeals court consolidated ALE’s appeal for purposes of oral argument with Chrimar’s appeal of the Board’s Final Written Decision and both appeals were argued on the same day. In a separate order, the appeals court affirmed the Board’s Final Written Decisions invalidating the patent claims asserted against ALE. The appeals court’s affirmance of invalidity necessitated dismissal of Chrimar’s case against ALE, ending nearly five years of litigation between the parties.

ALE was represented by Chris Cravey and Leisa Talbert Peschel, both of Jackson Walker LLP, at the district court and on appeal to the Federal Circuit. The favorable outcome in this case resulted from a close partnership with ALE, and the unwavering support of the company, including ALE’s general counsel, the executive management team, and ALE’s employees supporting the case.

About ALE USA Inc.

ALE USA Inc. is the US-based headquarters of Alcatel Lucent Enterprise, a leading, worldwide provider of enterprise services, communications, networking and cloud solutions. Building on 100 years of technology heritage, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, ALE is committed to providing comprehensive business outcomes through personalized connected experiences for customers and end users.

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Founded more than 130 years ago, Jackson Walker has played a vital role in the growth and development of Texas business. With more than 350 attorneys across seven Texas-based offices, the Firm represents Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations, major financial institutions, insurance companies, and a wide range of public companies and private businesses around the globe. The Firm is ranked nationally in 27 practice areas in the U.S. News’ “Best Law Firms” rankings, has 12 Chambers USA-ranked practices, and has been recognized as a BTI Client Service A-Team since 2014. Learn more at JW.com.