Am. Calcar, Inc. v. Am. Honda Motor Co., No. 13-1061 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Calcar’s patents share a common specification, are derived from a priority application filed in 1997, and describe and claim a multimedia system to access vehicle information and control vehicle functions. Calcar accused Honda’s computerized navigation systems of infringement. Calcar claimed that the accused systems included additional infringing features beyond providing travel directions. Honda sought a finding of inequitable conduct, based on the actions of Calcar’s founder, Obradovich. Among coinventors, Obradovich was responsible for the patent application. Honda alleged that he deliberately withheld prior art that was material to patentability; Obradovich disclosed the existence of the 1996 Acura RL navigation system, but did not disclose additional information that would have led the PTO to deny the patent as anticipated or rendered obvious. When that system was introduced, Calcar Published “Quick Tips” booklets with condensed information from a car’s owner’s manual. In developing a guide for the 96RL, Obradovich drove the car and operated the navigation system. Calcar personnel took photographs of the system and owner’s manual. Obradovich acknowledged that the system was the basis of Calcar’s inventions. Honda argued that the operational details that he did not disclose were those that were the claimed in the patents at issue: the use of the system to display the status of vehicle functions and to search for information about the vehicle. The district court granted Honda’s inequitable conduct motion and found the patents unenforceable. The Federal Circuit affirmed.