Fed. Cir. Reverses ITC in Garage Door Opener Dispute

Written December 27, 2019

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on December 12, 2019, held that a garage door opener patent didn’t cover openers without a motion detector in a wall unit because the detector’s placement in a wall unit constituted the patent’s invention. Techtronic Indus. Co. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, Fed. Cir., No. 2018-2191, 12/12/19.

Chamberlain Group Inc., designers of access solutions and products, owns US Patent No. 7,161,319, covering a garage door opener. Chamberlain brought an action against Techtronic Industries Co. and others at the International Trade Commission for importing garage door openers that infringed the patent, and the ITC subsequently found infringement.

The Federal Circuit reversed, finding that the openers didn’t infringe because Chamberlain had disavowed openers without a detector in a wall unit.