Advantek Marketing, Inc. v. Shanghai Walk-Long Tools Co., No. 17-1314 (Fed. Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Advantek’s design patent covers a portable animal kennel that Advantek sells with the mark “Pet Gazebo.” Advantek sued its former manufacturer, Shanghai Walk-Long, Advantek’s former vice president, and others for patent infringement, breach of contract, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, alleging that Walk-Long copied the Pet Gazebo and infringed the patent with their “Pet Companion.” The district court granted Walk-Long judgment on the pleadings, holding that prosecution history estoppel bars Advantek from enforcing the patent against the Pet Companion. The parties stipulated to the dismissal of the non-patent counts. The Federal Circuit reversed, concluding that prosecution history estoppel does not preclude enforcement of the patent against the accused kennel. Advantek elected to patent the ornamental design for a kennel with a particular skeletal structure. A competitor who sells a kennel embodying Advantek’s patented structural design infringes the patent, regardless of extra features, such as a cover, that the competitor might add to its kennel. Construed in the light most favorable to Advantek, the complaint can be read to accuse the skeletal structure of Walk-Long’s Pet Companion.