WASHINGTON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Ricoh Company won a battle in a patent fight with Quanta Computer (2382.TW) over optical disc drives when a patent appeals court ruled on Tuesday that a lower court erred in tossing out Ricoh’s lawsuit.
Ricoh had filed suit against both Quanta and its customer Nu Technology, accusing them of infringing its patents for optical disc drives. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin issued a summary judgment against Ricoh.
Ricoh appealed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled on Tuesday that the federal court in Wisconsin was correct in rejecting the suit as it pertained to two patents but “applied erroneous legal standards” to assess whether Quanta contributed to infringement of the other two.
The court ruled that Quanta may well have sold its drives with the intent that they would be used to infringe two of Ricoh’s patents.
“The (lower) court erred in discounting evidence that QSI (Quanta Storage) made a presentation to Dell DELL.O, which touted the advantages of the Quanta drives,” the federal circuit said.
“First, the presentation is relevant to the extent it indicates QSI possessed the requisite intent that its drives be used to perform the infringing methods. Second, the presentation is relevant to the issue of whether it encouraged Dell to use the drives in an infringing manner,” the court said.
The federal circuit remanded the case back to Wisconsin, saying the Washington court would not “assess the factual sufficiency” of Ricoh’s allegations.
The case number is 2007-1567. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Brian Moss)