Faegre & Benson LLP's intellectual property practice obtained a significant victory for its client Pella Corporation in a patent infringement suit involving reduced visibility insect screens. The July 31 victory in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota is one of the first federal court applications of the "obviousness" standard for patents after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex, Inc. earlier this year.
Pella had been named with another defendant in a suit filed in 2005 accusing them of infringing Andersen Corp.'s patent for window screens. Citing the 2007 Supreme Court decision in KSR—which directed courts to take a "common sense" approach when assessing whether an invention would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art—Faegre & Benson's IP team contended that Andersen's patent was invalid because of its obviousness. The court agreed and granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment shortly before trial.
The Faegre & Benson team was led by Calvin Litsey and James Poradek, partners in the firm's intellectual property litigation practice, and included Chad Drown, Kevin Wagner, Nina Wang, Karl Schwappach and David Koontz.