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Chief Judge Sleet: Post-Trial Motions Denied


On August 11, Chief Judge Sleet denied several post-trial motions in CNH America LLC v. Kinze Manufacturing, Inc., C.A. No. 08-945-GMS (D. Del. Aug. 11, 2011). A jury found in February that all of the claims of the two patents asserted by CNH were invalid as anticipated, and all but two of them were also invalid as obvious.

Patent-holder and plaintiff CNH brought a motion for JMOL or a new trial on invalidity. CNH presented a number of arguments – here are a few of the more interesting ones:

  • CNH argued that it was entitled to a new trial because defendant Kinze presented a previously-undisclosed video at trial. The Court found that this was merely a new copy of a previously-disclosed video, this time with better production values. Id. at 8-9.
  • CNH argued against anticipation and obviousness on various bases; the Court denied all of these, and characterized many of them as attempts by CNH to present late claim construction arguments. Id. at 11-16.
  • CNH argued that the jury must have erred in determining that certain claims were anticipated but not obvious. The Court rejected these arguments based on a statement by the Federal Circuit that a determination of non-obviousness does not necessarily foreclose anticipation. The Court also noted that Third Circuit precedent actually controls this issue, and does not support CNH’s position. Id. at 16-19.

Defendant Kinze also presented two motions:

  • Kinze moved for JMOL of obviousness as to the two claims that were anticipated but not obvious. The Court refused to rule on the substance of this issue, on the grounds that it would not affect the scope of the judgment (the Court did state, however, that the motions could be renewed if the case were reversed or vacated on appeal). Id. at 20-21
  • Kinze moved for attorney’s fees; the Court denied the motion, because there was nothing exceptional about this case. Id. at 21.

  • CNH America LLC v. Kinze Manufacturing, Inc., C.A. No. 08-945-GMS (D. Del. Aug. 11, 2011)

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