Cases and Deals

Blank Rome Obtains Summary Judgment Ruling for II-VI Incorporated in Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Blank Rome’s IP team successfully represented II-VI Incorporated, a global leader in engineered materials, optoelectronic components, and optical systems, in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Saint-Gobain (“SG”). SG alleged that II-VI infringed SG’s sapphire sheet patents when II-VI began producing sapphire sheets that were used to make windows that Lockheed Martin included in the F-35 fighter.  SG also sought a preliminary injunction. Blank Rome moved to dismiss on behalf of II-VI under 28 USC § 1498 arguing that SG sued the wrong defendant in the wrong court. Since all of the accused sheets are made for the U.S. government and with the government’s authorization and consent, pursuant to FAR 52.227-1, SG’s sole remedy is to sue the U.S. government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ("COFC"). Blank Rome also pointed out that patentees are not entitled to an injunction in the COFC, only monetary damages.  

In a March 26, 2019 opinion, Judge Snyder of the Central District of California agreed with Blank Rome and granted summary judgment in favor of II-VI, finding that II-VI was shielded from liability under 35 USC § 1498 because all of the accused sapphire sheets were made for the U.S. government and with the U.S. government’s authorization and consent through its contract with Lockheed Martin, II-VI’s sole customer for the sheets. The court found that II-VI was “immune from suit” and marked the case “closed.”

The Blank Rome team was led by Amy Joseph Coles, Jayme Butcher, Cheryl Chang, Salvatore Tamburo, and Keith A. Rutherford. The team also included Michael Marcus, James Hall, Greg Herrman, Megan Wood, Arun Paradkar, Cole Duncan, Christine Lee, and Hannah No.