John Mezzalingua Assocs. Inc. v. Corning Gilbert Inc.
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Judge Gary Sharpe
Doing business as PPC, John Mezzalingua Associates Inc. alleged Corning Gilbert's infringement of two of PPC's coaxial cable connector patents. Following a Markman hearing on 10 disputed terms in the two patents at suit, a magistrate judge recommended constructions for five terms, but found no construction necessary for the remaining five. In fully adopting the magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district court rejected Corning Gilbert's principal objection to the magistrate's determination that no construction should be applied to the terms "cylindrical body member" and " connector body" (collectively "body members"). Adopting an argument analogous to that made in O2 Micro International Limited v. Beyond Innovations Technology Co., Corning Gilbert claimed that given their importance, the failure to construe the terms would force a trier of fact to decide a question of law. Distinguishing O2 Micro, the court found that although Corning Gilbert's proposed construction of the body members implicated scope to the extent it sought to define "body members" as "single, unitary piece[s]" that effort, standing alone, did not depart from the "plain and ordinary meaning" standard articulated by the Federal Circuit.