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EMD Millipore Corp. v. AllPure Techs., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

September 29, 2014

EMD MILLIPORE CORPORATION (formerly known as Millipore Corporation), MERCK CHEMICALS AND LIFE SCIENCE AB (formerly known as Millipore AB), AND MILLIPORE SAS, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
ALLPURE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (now known as AllPure Technologies LLC), Defendant-Appellee

Page 1197

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in No. 1:11-CV-10221, Judge Douglas P. Woodlock.

SUSAN G. L. GLOVSKY, Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, P.C., of Boston, Massachusetts, argued for plaintiffs-appellants. With her on the brief was LAWRENCE P. COGSWELL, III.

CRAIG R. SMITH, Lando & Anastasi, LLP, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, argued for defendant-appellee. Of counsel was ERIC P. CARNEVALE.

Before PROST, Chief Judge, O'MALLEY and HUGHES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1198

Prost, Chief Judge.

Plaintiffs-Appellants EMD Millipore Corporation, formerly known as Millipore Corporation; Merck Chemicals and Life Science AB, formerly known as Millipore AB; and Millipore SAS (collectively, " Millipore" ) appeal the grant of summary judgment that Defendant-Appellee AllPure Technologies, Inc., now known as AllPure Technologies LLC, (" AllPure" ) does not infringe the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,032,543 (" '543 patent" ). See EMD Millipore Corp. v. AllPure Techs., Inc., No. 11-10221, 2013 WL 5299372 (D. Mass. Sept. 17, 2013) (" Summary Judgment Order " ). The district court found that AllPure's TAKEONE device neither literally contains the claimed " removable, replaceable transfer member," nor does it provide an infringing equivalent. [WL] at *9. We agree with the district court that the TAKEONE device does not literally infringe. We also conclude that prosecution history estoppel prevents Millipore from asserting the doctrine of equivalents as to this claim limitation. On these grounds, we affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment.

I. Background

Millipore owns the rights to the '543 patent, which discloses a device for introducing or withdrawing a sample from a container holding a fluid without contaminating the fluid. See '543 patent abstract, col. 2 ll. 20-24. As Figure 5 depicts, the claimed device is attached to the side of a container holding a fluid medium. Id. at col. 1 ll. 54-56.

Page 1199

'543 patent, Fig. 5

To avoid contamination problems, the '543 patent uses individual transfer members to maintain a closed system. '543 patent col. 5 ll. 20-23, col. 5 ll. 35-39, col. 6 ll. 23-26. Each transfer member has a needle embedded in a plastic holder and a seal surrounding the needle which attaches to the holder. '543 patent col. 3 ll. 11-35.

The '543 patent contains 14 claims, including 1 independent claim. Independent claim 1 is reproduced below:

1. A device for one of introduction and withdrawal of a medium into a container having an aperture formed therein for receiving ...

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