IRREVOCABLE TRUST OF ANTHONY J. ANTONIOUS v. NIKE, INC.
REDACTED OPINION. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 6/2/16. (nic, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil Action No. 1 1-cv-06327 (KM)
IRREVOCABLE TRUST of
ANTHONY J. ANTONIOUS,
OPINION [Redacted Version]
MCNULTY, District Judge
The plaintiff says that it invented a better golf club head, and that the
defendant copied its idea. Plaintiff (the “Trust”) represents the interests of
Anthony Antonious, now deceased, an inventor of golf equipment. The Trust
now owns Antonious’s U.S. Patent No. 5,735,754 for an Aerodynamic Wood
Golf Club Head (the” ‘754 Patent”). The Trust alleges that the defendant, Nike,
Inc., has infringed the ‘754 Patent by manufacturing and selling “various
drivers, hybrids and fairways woods sold under the name SQ DYMO, and
principally during the 2008-20 10 period.” Complaint, ECF no. 1
13. I held a Markman’ hearing (ECF no. 52) and, on January 8,
2014, I entered an Order and Opinion construing five disputed terms contained
in Claims 1 and 9 of the ‘754 patent. (ECF nos. 54, 55) Discovery ensued.
Now before the Court is Nike’s motion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 for
summary judgment of noninfringement. (ECF no. 100) The motion focuses on a
single disputed term: “aerodynamic configuration.” For the reasons expressed
herein, I will grant Nike’s motion.
See Markman v. Westuiew Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 976—79 (Fed. Cir.
1995) (en banc), affd, 517 U.S. 370, 116 S. Ct. 1384 (1996).
I write for the parties and so assume familiarity with my Mczrkman
Opinion (ECF no. 54), which discussed at length the claims of the patent, the
prosecution history, and the legal standards governing the construction issues.
I highlight some matters that are particularly pertinent here.
The ‘754 patent is for a golf club head having a “c-shaped aerodynamic
configuration formed in the bottom surface adjacent a rear surface and having
an open end extending forwardly toward the ball striking face” of the club head.
According to the patent, “[t]his aerodynamic surface reduces undesirable air
turbulence which causes aerodynamic drag and creates a smoother, laminar
I have abbreviated the most frequently cited record items thus:
Original ‘754 patent, Complaint Ex. A, also at ECF no. 10 1-1
‘754 Reexamination certificate = January 2010 certificate of reexamination of
‘754 patent, Complaint Ex. B, also at ECF no. 10 1-1.
U.S. patent no. 8,932,149, dated January 13, 2015, Winfield
Deci. Ex. B, ECF no. at 109 at 21
Report dated March 14, 2013, “Test Results from Testing Golf
Clubs in a Wind Tunnel,” ECF no. 10 1-8
Deposition transcript of the Trust’s Rule 30(b)(6) witness, Carol
L. Guerrieri, ECF no. 10 1-6
Deposition transcript of Clayton Long, ECF no. 10 1-5
Long Rbtl. Rpt.
Rebuttal expert report of Clayton Long, ECF no. 101-7
Defendant Nike’s brief in support of summary judgment motion, ECF
Nike Reply Br. = Nike’s reply brief in support of summary judgment motion,
Defendant Nike’s statement of undisputed material facts, ECF no. 1002
Plaintiff the Trust’s brief in response to summary judgment motion,
with attached exhibits, ECF no. 108
Plaintiff the Trust’s response to statement of undisputed material facts,
ECFno. 108 at 22
Declaration, with exhibits, dated June 24, 2015, ECF no. 109
Deposition transcript of Douglas Clay Winfield, ECF no. 101-4.
type air flow around the golf club head,” and “result[s] in a more stable club
head with higher speed for a given application of swing force by the golfer.”
Claim 9, added on reexamination, is the only claim asserted by the Trust.
Claim 9 requires, inter alia, an “aerodynamic configuration
in the form of a
c-shaped slot.” In context, that term reads as follows:
An aerodynamic golf club head including a club head body
having a heel, toe, rear surface, ball striking face, upper surface
and bottom surface, in which the improvement comprises:
an aerodynamic configuration within, and substantially
parallel to, said bottom surface, adjacent said rear surface, in
the form of a c-shaped slot having an open end facing forwardly
toward said ball striking face, said slot offset from, and a
portion thereof passing through, a virtual centerline passing
transversely through a heel-to-toe axis of said club head.
(‘754 Reexamination certificate).
Before the Markman hearing the parties submitted a joint statement
including disputed and undisputed claim terms. (ECF no. 35) The parties
agreed as to the construction of the claim term “aerodynamic configuration”:
Claim Construction Upon Which Parties
aerodjqnamic configuration means an
aerodynamically efficient configuration which
minimizes turbulence, reduces drag, and
increases laminar flow around the club head
(ECF no. 35 at 8 (excerpt from Ex. A, “Construction of Agreed Upon Claim
Terms Pursuant to L. Pat. R. 4.3(a)”))
Fact discovery closed on February 25, 2015. (ECF no. 80) Expert
discovery closed on May 7, 2015. (ECF no. 82)
This Motion & The Trust’s Amended Papers
The parties agreed on the efficacy of an initial summary judgment motion
focused on the single issue of whether NIKE’s accused golf club heads possess
the claimed “aerodynamic configuration.” (ECF nos. 95, 96). The accused clubs
are Nike’s SQ DYMO driver, SQ DYMO Quad Keel fairway wood, SQ DYMO
STR8-Fit driver, SQ DYMO2 driver, SQ DYMO2 Quad Keel fairway wood, and
SQ DYMO2 STR8-F’it driver. (NSMF
The motion was fully briefed. After Nike submitted its reply brief,
however, the Trust belatedly filed an “amended” or “corrected” set of papers.
(EDCF nos. 113, 114, 117) The Trust did not seek leave to file such papers. I will
not consider these submissions, filed without leave and without an opportunity
for Nike to respond. I will entertain a timely, succinct motion for
reconsideration in which the Trust states its reasons for not submitting this
material earlier. Nike will have a fair opportunity to respond, both to that
motion and to any new material in these supplemental papers.
Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment shall be granted “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. p. 56(a); see also Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In determining whether there is a
dispute as to any material fact, “[a]ll inferences must be drawn in favor of the
non-moving party.” Donnelly Corp. v. Gentex Corp., 168 F.3d 1322, (Fed. Cir.
1998) (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
587, 106 S. Ct. 1348, 1356 (1986)).
The moving party bears the burden of establishing that no genuine issue
of material fact remains. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322—23,
106 5. Ct. 2548, 2552—53 (1986). “[Wjith respect to an issue on which the
nonmoving party bears the burden of proof
the burden on the moving party
may be discharged by ‘showing’—that is, pointing out to the district court—that
there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party’s case.” Id. at
325, 106 S. Ct. at 2554. Here, an accused patent infringer seeks summary
judgment of noninfringement. In that context, the movant “may meet its initial
responsibility either by providing evidence that would preclude a finding of
infringement, or by showing that the evidence on file fails to establish a
material issue of fact essential to the patentee’s case.” Novartis Corp. v. Ben
Venue Labs., Inc., 271 F.3d 1043, 1046 (Fed. Cir. 2001).
Once the moving party has met that threshold burden, “the non-movant
must come forward with sufficient evidence to show that, on the non-movants
evidence, the movant is not entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Arkie
Lures, Inc. v. Gene Larew Tackle, Inc., 119 F.3d 953, 955 (Fed. Cir. 1997) (citing
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322—24, 106 5. Ct. at 2552—53). To make that showing, the
non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to material facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586, 106 S.
Ct. at 1356. The non-moving party must present evidence sufficient to create a
genuine issue as to a material fact for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248—49, 106
S. Ct. at 2510—11; see also Fed. R. Civ. p. 56(c) (listing materials to be
Literal infringement, the claim here, requires that the accused product
include “each and every limitation of the claim, and if even one limitation of the
patent claim is missing from the accused product, there is no infringement.”
Mas-Hamilton Grpl. v. LaGard, Inc., 156 F.3d 1206, 1211 (Fed. Cir. 1998). As to
infringement, the ultimate burden of proof is upon the patentee. Medtronic, Inc.
v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC,
134 S. Ct. 843, 849 (2014);
Novartis, 271 F.3d at 1046.
“Consideration of whether a patent claim is infringed involves a two-step
process: First, construing the claim language in dispute, and second,
comparing the construed language to the accused process.” PC Connector
Solution LLC v. SmartDisk Corp., 406 F.3d 1359, 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2005). The
“claim language” at issue is the term “aerodynamic configuration.” As to the
construction of that term, the parties agree: it means a configuration that
minimizes turbulence, [21 reduces drag, and  increases laminar flow around
the club head when swung.” (NSMF
3; Trust Br. at 3)(numbering added).
Thus the task before the Court is to compare that “aerodynamic configuration”
claim language to the six accused Nike golf club heads.
The Trust’s “Competitive” Standard
To refer to minimization of turbulence, reduction of drag, and an
increase of laminar flow, is to beg a fundamental interpretive question:
“minimizes,” “reduces,” and “increases” in relation to what? A club head with
no c-shaped slot at all? A slot shaped like another letter of the alphabet? Prior
art generally? The patent does not say.
To arrive at a standard favorable to its claims, the Trust first attempts to
clear a space in which to maneuver. “Aerodynamic configuration,” says the
Trust, is a “subjective” term. “Turbulence,” “drag,” and “laminar flow” are not
the subject of “accepted standards.” It follows, says the Trust, that the test
should be “whether the DYMO’s ‘aerodynamic configuration’ was better, worse
or comparable to that of its competition.” If better, says the Trust, then Nike’s
accused club heads must possess the “aerodynamic configuration” claimed by
the ‘754 patent. (Trust Br. at 3, 10).
I am dubious of the Trust’s suggested “competitive” standard. I see two
threshold problems with it.
First, the parties long ago agreed on the construction of the term
“aerodynamic configuration.” Any remaining vagueness or lack of “accepted
standards” must fall on the Trust. From the patent holder’s point of view, the
vagueness of a patent is a flaw, not an opportunity for expansion. All parties
engaged in the Markman process in reliance upon the statement of terms
agreed upon. I will not reopen these interpretive issues.
Second, it cannot be correct that every club head with a c-shaped slot
infringes if the club head, as a whole, happens to be aerodynamically superior
to its competitors. Surely many factors, apart from the c-slot, influence the
aerodynamic qualities of a club head. If Nike made a club head 1 millimeter
thick and coated with graphite, it might prove to be aerodynamically superior
(although useless for hitting a golf ball). That would say nothing about the
aerodynamic qualities of the c-slot. In short, the Trust’s “competitive” standard
is overinclusive, and therefore a poor proxy for the aerodynamic configuration
I hold that Claim 9 does not speak to an aerodynamic configuration of
the club head generally; it specifies an “aerodynamic configuration
form of a c-shaped slot.” It is the c-shaped slot, not the club head as a whole,
that must minimize turbulence, reduce drag, and increase laminar flow around
the club head. That interpretation dispels many of the Trust’s proffered issues
of fact—i.e., it renders them immaterial.
Winfield expert opinion testimony
Nike asserts that the Trust introduced no fact testimony on the subject
of the aerodynamic configuration. The Trust does not seem to disagree.
As for expert witnesses, Nike quotes the Trust’s own expert, Douglas
Winfield. In his deposition, Winfield admitted that the accused Nike club heads
do not include an aerodynamic configuration:
Q [counsel for Nikel: I’m asking about aerodynamic configuration
for this one. It’s a different claim term so I’d like to get an answer
to that question and I’ll restate the question. So based on this
agreed definition of aerodynamic configuration do any of the Nike
clubheads that are accused of infringement have that claimed
A [Winfieldj: No.
(Winfield Tr. 128:14—21)
Taking the six accused club heads one by one, Nike’s counsel specifically
questioned Winfield about turbulence, drag, and laminar flow. As to the SQ
DYMO Quad Keel Fairway Wood, for example, the exchange went like this:
Q: Does the slot on Nike’s DYMO Quad Keel club minimize
Q: So you don’t know whether or not the C-shaped slot reduces
A: No, I do not.
Q: And you don’t know whether or not it increases laminar flow?
A: No, I do not.
(Id. at 105:24-406:1; 107:6—11) For each of the other five clubs, the answers
were similar: to questions about the effect on turbulence, drag, and laminar
flow, Winfield either answered no or stated that he did not know. See id. at
59:10—18, 60:6—61:2 (SQ DYMO Driver); id. at 110:22—24, 111:2—7 (SQ DYMO
STR8-Fit driver); id. at 115:17—23, 116:1—3 (SQ DYMO2 driver); id. at 119:7—19
(SQ DYMO2 Quad Keel fairway wood); id. at 122:12—22 (SQ DYMO2 STR8-Fit
Winfield sometimes qualified his admissions, stating that a particular
Nike club head could “potentially” or “possibly” increase laminar flow, or “in
theory” reduce drag. He could make no firm statement, however, because he
had not seen any “aerodynamic data.” (Id. at pp. 59—60, 106) Such generalized
expressions of doubt do not satisfy the Rule 56 standard, described above.
The Trust does not really explain Winfield’s admissions, but attempts to
excuse them. Standards, it says, are lacking (“against what standard or criteria
could the data of even sophisticated testing, whether by NIKE or the Trust, be
applied?”). (Trust Br. at 7) Such hand-waving, particularly by the party with
the burden of proof, is no substitute for evidence sufficient to create a material
A later declaration of Winfield, submitted in response to the summary
judgment motion, contradicts his deposition testimony. Winfield testified
clearly at his deposition that there was no aerodynamic configuration. See
supra. Now, in his declaration, Winfield finds it “obvious the alleged club heads
are ‘aerodynamic’ and have an ‘aerodynamic configuration,’ since they
successfully competed with NIKE’s peers in the industry.” (Winfield Decl.
Winfield’s new opinion comes long after the close of both fact and expert
discovery. (ECF no. 82) Were I to rely on it, in fairness I would have to reopen
discovery. As it happens, however, Winfield’s turnabout makes no substantive
difference. It rests primarily on a rationale (that the club heads “successfully
competed with NIKE’s peers”) that I have rejected. See Section II.A, supra (“The
Trust’s ‘Competitive’ Standard”). The club heads’ favorable competitive results
on aerodynamic tests do not equate to an aerodynamic configuration of the c
The parties agree that “[t]esting or simulation of some type is required to
determine whether the accused clubs include an ‘aerodynamic configuration.”
¶J 5; TSMF ¶ 5) The Trust produced no testing evidence of its own. Its
expert, Winfield, acknowledged that he had not performed any tests of the club
heads’ aerodynamic qualities. (E.g., Winfield Tr. 35: 19—20, 61:3—22) The Trust’s
Rule 30(b)(6) witness similarly acknowledged that the Trust had performed no
such testing. (Guerrieri Tr. at 44:6—25, 46:8—14) The Trust contends, however,
As a result, I do not need to reach the issue of whether this is a “sham
affidavit.” If I did, however, it is likely that I would disregard this affidavit.
A sham affidavit is “a contradictory affidavit solely for the purpose of defeating
summary judgment.” Jiminez v. All Am. Rathskeller, Inc., 503 F.3d 247, 251—53 (3d
Cir. 2007). “A party cannot create an issue of fact by supplying an affidavit
contradicting his prior deposition testimony, without explaining the contradiction or
attempting to resolve the disparity.” Sinskey v. Pharmacia Ophthalmics, Inc., 982 F.2d
494, 498 (Fed. Cir. 1992), abrogated in part on other grounds, Pfaffv. Wells Elecs., 525
U.s. 55, 67—68, 119 S. Ct. 304, (1998). See Cleveland v. Policy Mgmt. Sys. Corp., 526
U.s. 795, 806—07, 119 S. Ct. 1597, 1603—04 (1999) (noting “unanimity” of lower court
cases on the sham affidavit doctrine). In such a case, the deposition testimony, subject
to cross-examination, will be credited, and the affidavit disregarded. See 11 James
Wm. Moore, Moore’s Federal Practice § 56.14[fj, at 56—179 (3d ed. 2004) (“If a
party’s deposition and affidavit are in conflict, the affidavit is to be disregarded unless
a legitimate reason can be given for the discrepancies.”). The trial court may “properly
disregard [a sham] declaration in assessing the existence of a genuine issue of fact.”
Sins key, 982 F.2d at 498. I would have no difficulty extending the doctrine to
encompass a person, not technically a party, who is testifying as a paid expert.
Under the “sham affidavit” doctrine, Winfield’s new opinion would not be
credited absent a plausible explanation for the switch. Winfield explains his turnabout
by stating that, at his deposition, the parties were using an overly narrow definition of
“minimize turbulence.” (Id. at ¶ 9) That explanation does not address the closely
related but distinct subjects of drag or laminar flow. Nor does it bear a discernible
connection to his current rationale: he says that the club heads must have an
aerodynamic configuration because they “successfully competed with NIKE’s peers,”
not that he has discovered something new about their minimization of turbulence. Nor
is Winfield’s explanation very convincing on its own terms (he calls his conclusion
“obvious” but fails to account for his not having noticed it before).
that Nike’s own testing of its club heads supports the Trust’s position. Those
tests, says the Trust, demonstrate that Nike’s accused club heads are superior
to the competition in terms of turbulence, drag, and laminar flow. I consider
that testing evidence in the light most favorable to the Trust as opponent of the
summary judgment motion. I nevertheless find it insufficient to raise a
genuine, material issue of fact as to the aerodynamic configuration term or the
sub-issues of drag, turbulence, and laminar flow.
2009 testing of Nike club heads
The Trust relies on certain tests of the accused club heads in 2009.
On that subject the Trust cites the testimony of Nike’s expert, Clayton
Long, who described those comparison tests in his deposition. (Trust Br.
at 4) The Trust also cites Winfield’s Declaration, discussed above. (Trust
Br. at 8—9)
In his Declaration, the Trust’s expert, Winfield, attempts to highlight
favorable portions of the 2009 testing. (Winfield Deci.
And its relevance rests on the Trust’s
“competitive” standard, which I have rejected. See Section II.A, supra.
2013 Battelle wind tunnel tests
Another set of aerodynamic tests was performed by the Battelle Memorial
Institute in 2013. These tests involved a comparison between the Nike club
heads as-is and with their c-slots filled in with putty. The club heads were
placed in a wind tunnel at various angles, and aerodynamic drag was
measured. (See Battelle Rpt.
The Battelle report concluded that the “groove” (i.e., the c-slot) either had
no effect on drag or actually increased drag:
While it varies depending on the club and the angle of the
club head with respect to the oncoming wind, the overall trend is
that the groove either has no affect [sicJ or increases drag
levels. This trend was consistently documented when the clubs
were placed in position p44 (with the exceptions of the Dymo Quad
and the hybrid clubs). In general, the flow visualizations were
useful in confirming the results derived from the drag
measurements. They typically showed obstructed flow in addition
to separated or stagnated flow. Both of these are indicators of
Further evidence of the general trend was shown when the
clubs were oriented in position p54. In this position, the drag
measurements indicate that there was generally no significant
difference caused by the groove. The exception to this was the
hybrid, which showed that the filling in the groove actually
decreased drag. In general, the flow visualizations showed that
there was minimal difference to the airflow around the club head
while in this orientation. The flow visualizations from the hybrid
did not show any indication that it should have increased or
reduced performance with the addition of the groove, in contrast to
the drag measurements.
5) (emphasis in original). Long, Nike’s expert, considered those
results to be a valid measure of aerodynamic drag (they did not directly
measure turbulence or laminar flow as such). (See, e.g., Long Tr. 26—4 1, 58—60)
Long’s rebuttal report contains his expert opinion that the Battelle wind tunnel
test “confirms the [accused Nike club heads] do not have ‘an aerodynamic
configuration.” (Long Rbtl. Rpt. at 18, 32, 42, 5 1—52, 60, 69—70)
The Trust criticizes the methodology of the Battelle Report. A static wind
tunnel test, says the Trust, does not capture the dynamics of a golf swing. (See
5) Drag, turbulence, and laminar flow, according to the Trust,
“could not be measured by a static test.” (Trust Br. at 6) What Nike should
have done, says the Trust, is perform a test with a “ball hitting machine”
known as “Iron Byron.” (Trust Br. at 5, citing Long Tr. 60:5—12)
The Trust again cites the new Declaration of its expert, Winfield. Winfield
states that sanding the putty could have reduced drag; that the club heads
were tested at only one speed, 90 mph, and in only two orientations; and that
average values should have been supplemented by more sophisticated
statistical analysis. (Winfield Dccl.
None of this advances the Trust’s contention that there is infringement. If
there is a better test or a better form of analysis, presumably the Trust could
have performed it. The Trust cannot prevail on summary judgment by grousing
that its adversary should have done a better job of proving the Trust’s case. Nor
can the Court simply hypothesize that the Trust’s preferred tests would have
produced more favorable results. At best, the Trust could be said to have
undermined aspects of the 2013 Battelle wind tunnel test. That falls short of a
presentation of cognizable evidence in the Trust’s favor.
“Public statements in NIKE patents of which the Court
may take judicial notice”
Finally, the Trust proffers three other Nike patents, “of which the Court
may take judicial notice.” These do not involve the accused clubs, but are said
to be relevant to the aerodynamic configuration issue. (Trust Br. 4—5)
The first, U.S. patent no. 8,932,149 (the” ‘149 patent”) dates from
January 13, 2015. It is for a “Golf club assembly and golf club head with
aerodynamic features.” It refers to “drag-reducing structures.” (Col. 5, in. 35—
43) It states that “laminar flow results in less drag” over the club head. (Col. 6,
in. 10—13) For example, the “Kammback feature, when positioned along the
back 22 of club head 14, is expected to reduce turbulence flow, and therefore
reduce drag due to turbulence, most significantly during the last approximately
20° of the golfer’s downswing
(Col. 9, in. 33—37) The inventor, Andrew
Oldknow, is said to be the inventor of the DYMO clubs as well, and this patent
(although more recent) is apparently offered as evidence of his conception of
I may of course take judicial notice of the existence of a publicly filed
patent. Technical arguments therefrom are another matter, and would
presumably require me to reopen discovery (relief that no one has requested).
Simply saying that the similarities “cannot be ignored” (Trust Br. at 9) does not
advance the discussion. I consider, however, whether this proffered evidence
suggests that discovery should be reopened in the interests of fairness; I find
that it does not.
Winfield states, for example, in conclusory fashion that this club head
has “unmistakable similarities to the DYMO.” (Winfield Deci.
8) In no sense is
that clear to the observer. The diagrams do not look similar; most saliently, the
‘149 club head design does not seem to possess the feature critical to this
motion: a c—slot on the bottom surface, transecting the center line. Instead,
Winfield simply states that the ‘149 club head’s “Kammback feature” has
aerodynamic qualities, and that it is “similar” to the c-slot of the Nike DYMO,
which must therefore also possess such qualities. That simple say-so does not
square with my reading of the patent.
Oldknow’s ‘149 patent defines an aerodynamic Kammback feature that is
quite distinct from the c-slot at issue here. Laminar flow, writes Oldknow,
would be maintained ideally by a club head with a long, tapering
“downstream” end. Where the tapering downstream end is shorter than the
optimum, the flow may be improved by shearing it off. (‘149 patent, Col. 9, ln.
1—15) “It is that relatively abrupt cut off of the downstream tapered end that is
referred to as the Kammback feature.” (‘149 patent, Col. 9, ln. 15) What all of
this has to do with a c-slot on the bottom surface of the club head, transecting
the centerline, is not apparent.
More generally, Nike’s 2015 ‘149 patent simply does not shed much light
on the issue of whether the accused club heads fall within the scope of an
aerodynamic configuration, as that term is used in the 2010 reexamination of
the Trust’s ‘754 patent. The ‘149 patent refers to a different Nike club head (not
one of the accused clubs), and a different feature. That Kammback feature is
said to have aerodynamic qualities. That contention does not elucidate the
issue of whether the c-slots of the accused clubs match the aerodynamic
configuration term of Claim 9 in the Trust’s patent.
This extrinsic patent evidence would, at best, complement direct evidence
of a correspondence between the ‘754 aerodynamic configuration term and the
design of the accused Nike clubs. In the absence of such direct evidence, this
ancillary evidence does not create a genuine material issue of fact.
“Downstream” refers to the direction of air flow. Thus the downstream side of
the club head would be the back, or trailing, side when the club is swung.
The other two patents (Winfield Decl. Exs. C & D, ECF no. 109 at 37, 44) are
design patents, which define only an “ornamental design for a golf club head.” See
EthiconEndo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidiert, Inc., 796 F.3d 1312, 1328 (Fed. Cir.
201 5)(design patent is limited to ornamental features, and excludes features primarily
dictated by function). The Trust does not dwell on them, and neither do 1.
For the foregoing reasons, the defendant’s motion for summary judgment
of noninfringement (ECF no. 100) is GRANTED. An appropriate order
accompanies this Opinion.
Dated: April 20, 2016 [redacted version filed June 2, 2016]
K VIN MCNULTY
United States District Ju
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