Goodwin’s Intellectual Property team secured a rare jury verdict of patent invalidation due to obviousness, representing Pass & Seymour Inc. in a declaratory judgment action alleging invalidity of a patent owned by Leviton Manufacturing Co. The case involved Pass & Seymour’s core technology, ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), and is the latest in a long-running dispute between the two market leaders in the United States GFCI market.
The case was tried in the Eastern District of New York before a jury. On December 20, the jury returned a verdict that all of the asserted claims in the Leviton patent were invalid because they would have been obvious, an exceedingly rare outcome.
The victory concludes Pass & Seymour’s many years of litigation over a number of Leviton patents with a total victory. The court ruled last year, on summary judgment, that one of Leviton’s patents was not infringed.