27 Months of Litigation and 90 Pages of Opinions



The Federal Circuit issued a nine-page opinion Aug. 11 describing why the patented bra strap retainer shown in the figure on the left is not infringed by the one on the right. 

Patent owner Mich & Mich TGR Inc. alleged the combination of parts A1, A2, A3 and A4 infringed its “elongate” main portion, part 11, and end portions, parts 12 and 13. 

Mich & Mich initiated litigation on May 11, 2014, dismissed it, and filed again. Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York wrote a thoughtful 81-page opinion granting Brazabra Corp. summary judgment of no infringement 16 months later. 

The appeal proceeding at the Federal Circuit included oral argument. The nine-page affirmance written by Judge Kara F. Stoll was equally thoughtful. 

But … 

The adjective “elongate” means “long and narrow” or “lengthened or tapered.” The patent specification gives no other definition. 

Isn’t there some way to take less than 27 months to conclude that there’s no way to warp the English language to allow something that’s “long and narrow” or “lengthened” to have a break in the middle?

And did the appeals court really think that the patent community would have been dissatisfied with an affirmance without opinion?