Faegre & Benson's intellectual property litigation team has produced a significant victory for client Jiffy Lube International, a subsidiary of Shell Oil, in a patent infringement action. On January 18, 2007, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision affirming summary judgment.
The case began when Jiffy Lube was sued for patent infringement by plaintiff Transclean Corporation based on Jiffy Lube's use of a transmission fluid changing product. The plaintiff had already obtained a judgment of infringement and patent validity against the manufacturer of the accused product in a prior lawsuit. In the district court, however, the Faegre & Benson team was able to lock the plaintiff into admissions that Jiffy Lube and the manufacturer were in "privity" with each other. The district court found that these admissions meant that the plaintiff's lawsuit against Jiffy Lube was prohibited under the procedural doctrine of claim preclusion. On appeal, the plaintiff tried to retreat from its privity admissions but the Federal Circuit would not allow it to do so.
The Faegre & Benson litigation team included David J.F. Gross, James W. Poradek, Timothy Grimsrud, Lee Pulju, and Chad Drown. Jim Poradek argued the appeal.