LitigationPatent

Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Patent Infringement Complaint Under Res Judicata

The Federal Circuit recently affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissing a complaint for patent infringement on the grounds of res judicata. See Sowinski v. Cal. Air Res. Bd., No. 2019-1558, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26616 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 21, 2020) (Before Newman, Lourie, and Schall, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Newman, Circuit Judge). On November 24, 2015, Dr. Richard Sowinski, the owner of Patent No. 6,601,033 (the ’033 patent), sued the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and several individual and corporate defendants for infringement of the ’033 patent. After Dr. Sowinski failed to file a response to several motions to dismiss, the district court dismissed the complaint with prejudice and without leave to amend pursuant to Central District of California Local Rule 7–12. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal, concluding that the Central District of California had considered all of the relevant factors and that there was no clear error of judgment.

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