Polara Engineering Inc. v. Campbell Co., No. 17-1974 (Fed. Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Polara entered the accessible pedestrian signal systems (APS market) with an eight-wire system, the Navigator. Because many intersections only have two wires, installation of eight-wire systems could be difficult and labor-intensive. In 2000-2001, Polara engineers began designing a two-wire version of the Navigator, which led to the 476 patent, relating to a two-wire control system for push-button crosswalk stations for a traffic-light-controlled intersection with visual, audible, and tactile accessible signals. The patent discloses using “existing underground wire pairs to transmit power and data signals in order to generate the accessible signal functions for both sighted and visually impaired pedestrians.” Polara filed the application in August 2004. In September 2003, Polara began selling the Navigator-2, a two-wire APS system. In Polara’s infringement suit, the Federal Circuit rejected claims of invalidity and no willful infringement, based on prior public use and prior art, 35 U.S.C. 282. The court vacated an enhanced damages award and remanded for a more complete explanation, including a discussion of the public use defense, for the court’s exercise of its discretion, 35 U.S.C. 284.