Decision in Ficep Corporation v. Voortman USA Corp.,
No. MJG-13-0429 (D. Md.)
On September 30, 2016, the Court granted in part Ficep's motion for summary judgment, finding no genuine dispute that use of Voortman's machines by at least two of its customers infringes Ficep's patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,974,719). That is, the issue as to whether specific Voortman users have infringed by using Voortman's machine is now resolved by the trial court – they have infringed. In the lawsuit, Ficep is seeking to recover damages from Voortman for participating in that infringement, i.e., "indirect infringement." Issues such as proving that "indirect" infringement by Voortman, patent validity, and damages remain in the case.
Like many companies, we believe that Voortman's customers are using a process that includes automatically identifying and extracting data from a 3D model, with that data providing information about the intersections of the steel components in the 3D model, and then using certain Voortman CNC machines to scribe at least some of that information (such as lines indicating the intersections) onto the steel components. Any future Voortman customers that would use such a process, as set forth in more detail in the patent, would also be infringing Ficep's patent.
To facilitate your understanding of the scope of prohibited activity and the Court's ruling, below you can read a copy of the Ficep patent and the Court's ruling. The Court has indicated that a more detailed Memorandum and Order further explaining its reasoning will issue in the future also..
View Patent Here: http://www.google.com/patents/US7974719
View Case Verdict Here: 1:13-cv-00429-MJG Document 124 Filed 09/30/16 Page 1 of 1