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The claim at issue related to a container packing system which required that a certain piston-and-cylinder unit be connected to the “proximate end” of the base and packer. The court construed “proximate end” according to its ordinary meaning to mean as “the extreme or last part lengthwise” and rejected Advanced Steel’s construction that the "proximate end" means the “back half.”  The Federal Circuit affirmed this construction. Applying this construction to the accused device, in which the alleged piston-and-cylinder unit was attached to the floor of the container about 35% down its length, the Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment of no literal infringement.  As to equivalents infringement, the court held, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, that the expert’s declaration was insufficient to create genuine issue of material fact, because he failed to provide evidence of equivalence under each prong of the function, way, result test.

Advanced Steel Recovery, LLC v. X-Body Equipment, Inc., Case No. 2014-1829 (November 12, 2015); Opinion by: Stoll, joined by Prost and Moore; Appealed From: United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Burrell, J. Read the full opinion here.

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