Gene Quinn, of IPWatchdog and Practice Center Contributor, passed along this article on the recent Federal Circuit decision Centillion Data Systems, LLC v. Qwest Communications International, Inc.. In the article, Quinn discusses the opinion and questions whether it will “breathe new life into the doctrine of equivalents” given the Court’s determination of the meaning of “use” of a system as a matter of law under 35 U.S.C. 271 (a).
On January 20, 2011 the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in Centillion Data Systems, LLC v. Qwest Communications International, Inc., in which the district court was affirmed in part and reversed in part. Of particular note here is the determination of the meaning of “use” as that term is used in 35 U.S.C. 271(a). The Federal Circuit, per Judge Moore (with Judges Lourie and Linn joining) acknowledged that the Court has never directly addressed the issue of infringement for “use” of a system claim that includes elements in the possession of more than one actor, thereby making the specific issue a question of first impression. (more…)