By Eric Schweibenz
On November 18, 2009 ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 14 denying respondent Sidergas SpA’s (“Sidergas”) motion for summary determination of invalidity of claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 6,260,781 (the ‘781 patent) in Certain Bulk Welding Wire Containers and Components Thereof and Welding Wire (Inv. No. 337-TA-686).

According to the Order, Sidergas filed its summary determination motion on October 27, 2009.  Complainants Lincoln Electric Company and Lincoln Global, Inc. (collectively “Lincoln”) and the Commission Investigative Staff filed responses on November 6, 2009 opposing the motion.  In addition, respondents Atlantic China Welding Consumables, Inc., ESAB AB, Hyundai Welding Co., Ltd., and Kiswel Ltd. filed a joint response on November 6, 2009 in support of Sidergas’ motion.  On November 12, 2009, Sidergas filed a motion for leave to file a reply in support of its motion, which was denied.

Similar to his ruling in connection with Order No. 13 (see our November 19 post), ALJ Rogers determined in the Order that “[b]ecause the parties failed to identify the claim terms in dispute or offer any proposed claim constructions, I find that granting summary determination based on anticipation would be improper.”  ALJ Rogers also again rejected Sidergas’ argument that it was accepting Lincoln’s proposed claim constructions.  Specifically, ALJ Rogers determined that “Lincoln merely provided infringement charts as part of its complaint” and “[t]he charts do not propose constructions for any of the terms, but instead provide a comparison between the claims and the accused Sidergas products.”

ALJ Rogers also found that there was a “genuine factual dispute regarding whether or not the three alleged prior art patents disclose ‘welding wire’ as required by claim 1” of the ‘781 patent.