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Mere Demonstration At A Trade Show Does Not Constitute Infringing Use


For purposes of establishing personal jurisdiction, mere demonstration of an allegedly infringing device at a trade show does not constitute "use" under the patent laws, a Federal Circuit panel concludes in Medical Solutions, Inc. v. C Change Surgical LLC (No. 2007-1163; September 9, 2008).

Defendant C Change Surgical LLC demonstrated an allegedly infringing medical device at a 5-day trade show in the District of Columbia. Other than conducting the demonstration, C Change Surgical had no contacts with the District of Columbia and did no business there. To obtain personal jurisdiction under DC's long-arm statute, plaintiff Medical Solutions, Inc. attempted to show that C Change's demonstrations at the trade show constituted a "use" under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a). But the evidence failed to reveal that the allegedly infringing device practiced all of the elements of any claim.

Thus, because the allegedly infringing device was not "put into action or service" sufficient to constitute "use" under the patent laws, there was no basis to invoke the District of Columbia's long-arm statute, and therefore the Federal Circuit affirmed the trial court's dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction.

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