Master Lock $5.4M Infringement Verdict Chucked

Law360 (July 22, 2010, 3:35 PM EDT) -- A federal appeals court has overturned a $5.35 million patent infringement jury verdict against Master Lock Co., ruling that the patents asserted by the plaintiff, a Colorado lockmaker, were obvious.

The claims in the three patents-in-suit would have been obvious as a matter of law, a three-judge panel ruled in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday.

The patents-at-issue cover hitch pin locks that secure trailers to cars and sport utility vehicles.

Even if the prior art padlocks were not within the same field of endeavor, they are still clearly "reasonably pertinent" to the problem that the...

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