Press Release December 20, 2019

Goodwin Secures Rare Jury Verdict Determining Technology Patent Invalid due to Obviousness

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.

Pass & Seymour, a product line of Legrand, includes electrical wiring devices and outlets for safe and reliable electrical connectors, electrical switches, USB outlets, GFCI outlets and more.

The Goodwin trial team was led by partners Mark Abate and Calvin Wingfield and included associates Naomi Birbach and Jacqueline Genovese Bova.