835 F.2d 870 (Fed. Cir. 1987), 86-1510, Jacuzzi, Inc. v. Kohler Co.

Docket Nº:86-1510, 86-1511.
Citation:835 F.2d 870
Party Name:JACUZZI, INC., d/b/a Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. KOHLER CO., Defendant/Cross-Appellant.
Case Date:November 05, 1987
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
 
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Page 870

835 F.2d 870 (Fed. Cir. 1987)

JACUZZI, INC., d/b/a Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

KOHLER CO., Defendant/Cross-Appellant.

Nos. 86-1510, 86-1511.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

November 5, 1987

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTAF Rule 47.6 and FI CTAF App. V, IOP 9 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

N.D. Cal.

AFFIRMED IN PART, AND VACATED IN PART.

Before MARKEY, Chief Judge, RICH and NIES, Circuit Judges.

NIES, Circuit Judge.

DECISION

This is an appeal and cross-appeal from a final judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, No. C-85-2368 SW (April 15, 1986), entered on a jury verdict, declaring that U.S. Patent No. Des. 265,582 (the '582 patent), owned by Kohler Co., is "valid," but that the accused bathtubs manufactured by Jacuzzi did not infringe the claimed design. We affirm the judgment of noninfringement. We do not address the issue of validity and vacate that part of the judgment.

OPINION

Kohler's '582 patent claims a design for a bathtub. Following receipt of a cease and desist letter asserting that Jacuzzi's ARTISTA model tub infringed the patented design, Jacuzzi filed a declaratory judgment action against Kohler alleging that the '582 patent was invalid and, in any event, was not infringed by Jacuzzi's assertedly different bathtub design. Kohler counterclaimed for infringement seeking damages and an injunction against further infringement. The action was tried before a jury. In answer to specific questions submitted to it by the court, the jury upheld the validity of the patent but found that the accused Jacuzzi tubs did not infringe. Jacuzzi moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) on the validity issues which was denied. Kohler filed no JNOV motion. Both parties appeal.

Kohler Appeal No. 86-1510

Kohler prefaces its arguments on the district court's evidentiary rulings as follows:

The trial court's erroneous exclusion and admission of significant evidence substantially influenced the jury's determination. Rule 103 of the Federal Rules of Evidence provides that a judgment must be reversed where the erroneous admission or exclusion of evidence has affected a substantial right of a party. A substantial...

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