Southern District of Texas Grants Partial Summary Judgment for Jackson Walker Client Sentinel Manufacturing, Inc.

December 11, 2019 | Client Results



Highlights

  • After nearly three years of litigation, the Southern District of Texas granted summary judgement stating client Sentinel Manufacturing, Inc.’s current products do not infringe the plaintiff’s patent-in-suit.
  • The results of this case reflect Jackson Walker’s experience representing manufacturing companies and other clients in patent infringement suits.

On November 19, 2019, Judge Andrew S. Hanen for the Southern District of Texas rendered final judgment granting Jackson Walker’s motion for summary judgment on behalf of Arkansas manufacturer Sentinel Manufacturing, Inc.

At issue was U.S. Patent No. 9,410,302 (’302 patent), which relates to the construction of an improved tank base designed to protect against spills and leaks associated with wear-and-tear on tanks. The plaintiff, Asset Guard Products Inc. (Falcon), filed suit against Sentinel in March 2017, alleging infringement of its ’302 patent through Sentinel’s logo tank pads. The claims required, in relevant part, substrates that have: (1) first and second parts; and (2) elastomers encapsulating those parts.

After a Markman hearing, the Court construed the term “encapsulated/encapsulating” to mean “coated on all surfaces.” Falcon then amended its complaint, further contending that the logo pads include black paint and a “coating surround[s] each part, except for an uncoated portion that forms the Sentinel logo.” On August 8, 2019, Sentinel moved for summary judgment, asserting that its logo pads do not infringe the patent-in-suit because Sentinel’s logo appears “on a major face of each part that is not coated with an elastomer but rather comprised of a non-elastomeric black paint.”

In an order dated October 21, 2019, granting Sentinel’s motion for summary judgment on the logo pads issue, Judge Hanen wrote, “No reasonable jury could find that all surfaces of Sentinel’s logo pads is coated with an elastomer when part of the logo pad’s top surface is covered by non-elastomeric paint. Therefore, no evidence exists that could entitle Plaintiff to a jury verdict for literal infringement as to Defendant’s logo pads. In other words, Plaintiff failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact on literal infringement with the encapsulated with an elastomer claim limitation.”

Jackson Walker partners John Jackson and Leisa Talbert Peschel represented Sentinel. To explore the Firm’s experience handling infringement lawsuits involving intellectual property, visit our Intellectual Property practice page.

Meet John

Dallas partner John M. Jackson has represented clients  in patent litigation and complex commercial litigation matters in federal and state courts throughout the country, and in the International Trade Commission. John has served as trial counsel in more than 125 patent infringement lawsuits nationally and has handed matters before the ITC. He has tried three major patent infringement cases to a jury and has considerable experience with all aspects of the claim construction or Markman process in patent infringement lawsuits.

Meet Leisa

Houston partner Leisa Talbert Peschel handles a wide array of technologies in her intellectual property practice, including Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), biotechnology research tools, chemical compositions, audio compression technology, display technologies, plastics, pipe thread compounds, blow-out preventers, secondary containment systems, security systems, computer software methods, and electronics. In addition to her litigation experience, Leisa maintains an active transactional practice preparing patent opinions of counsel, including freedom-to-operate, noninfringement, and invalidity opinions. Her scientific background is particularly helpful to clients seeking an opinion of counsel relating to biotechnology, chemical, or oilfield services products.