MIAMI – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently adopted a magistrate judge’s report regarding a lawsuit involving patent infringement claims for LED arms for vehicle and pedestrian traffic gates.
According to the May 23 District Court filing, plaintiff Gatearm Technologies Inc. sued Access Masters LLC, and Blacksky Technologies Inc. for alleged patent infringement of two patents – the ’125 patent and the ’200 patent for LED arms for vehicle and pedestrian traffic gates.
Gatearm offers access control products such as LED gate arms and owns the ’125 and ’200 patents, according to the filing.
“Essentially, the plaintiffs’ gate arms feature small outer cavities on either side that serve as housings for strips of LED lights," the filing said. "The defendant Access Masters competes with the plaintiff in the marketing and distribution of security products, including LED gate arms. The defendants Blacksky Technologies Inc. and Gatearms.com distribute Access Masters products. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants collectively infringed the ’125 and ’200 patents by manufacturing and selling a similar LED gate arm.”
The case was settled in 2016 through mediation, and a consent decree was entered enjoining the defendants from any actions that would infringe upon the patents, the filing said.
However, later that year, Gatearm filed a motion to reopen the case, contending that Access Masters and Blacksky were “in contempt of the consent decree because they have released a new product that infringes upon the ’125 and ’200 patents, and therefore, violates the consent decree.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes held a Markman hearing to settle the case. During that hearing, the judge heard arguments regarding the claim terms that the parties dispute. According to the filing, “the parties agreed with Judge Otazo-Reyes’ assessment that only two particular phrases appearing in Claims 1, 2, and 3 of the ’125 patent require construction – ‘first upper sidewall including a terminating end’ and ‘first lower sidewall including a terminating end.’”
Otazo-Reyes recommended that the court adopt the Access Masters and Blacksky’s proposed claim construction, according to the filing, and Gatearm filed objections to Otazo-Reyes’s report.
“Judge Otazo-Reyes reasoned that the plaintiff’s proposed construction requires that ‘sidewall’ and ‘terminating end’ refer to the same feature, which would render the terms ‘including a’ impermissibly superfluous,” the filing said. “Ultimately, Judge Otazo-Reyes recommends the court adopt the defendants’ proposed claim construction because it does not utilize linguistically different terms to refer to the same structural feature and does not render claim language superfluous.”
In conclusion, the District Court affirmed and adopted Otazo-Reyes’s report and “the following claim construction applies: ‘first upper sidewall including a terminating end’ and ‘first lower sidewall including a terminating end.’”