A federal appeals court in June overturned Stryker’s win in a lower court decision, ruling that the district court misconstrued the claim construction in a patent infringement lawsuit over hospital bed monitoring systems.
Today the Supremes declined to review the June decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Hill-Rom sued Stryker in the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana in April 2011, alleging infringement of 3 patents covering remote bed-monitoring systems. That court found for Stryker, ruling that the term "datalink" means "a cable connected to the bed that carries data," according to court documents; Hill-Rom argued that the term could also include wireless communication.
A 3-judge Federal Circuit panel split over Hill-Rom’s appeal, with 2 of the judges siding with Hill-Rom and the 3rd with Stryker. The Federal Circuit reversed the ruling and sent the case back to the Indiana court.
"Stryker does not dispute that wireless datalinks were known at the time the patent was filed, nor does it suggest that the plain meaning of datalink at the relevant time was a cable. Instead, Stryker insists that ‘datalink’ ought to be given its plain and ordinary meaning in the context of the specification. We agree. This is not, however, a license to read limitations from the embodiments in the specification into the claims. The plain and ordinary meaning of datalink at the relevant time is a connection that carries data. And neither the specification nor the prosecution history gives reason to limit the term to a wired connection," Judge Kimberly Moore wrote for the majority.
Judge Jimmie Reyna disagreed, writing that the record "is devoid of any description of a wireless ‘datalink’ structure."
"Put simply, everything within the intrinsic record identifies the claimed ‘datalink’ as a physical structure. There is nothing in the claims, written description, or file history that indicates the claimed “datalink” embraced wireless communications," Reyna wrote.