Case: Ball Aerosol & Specialty Container, Inc. v. Limited Brands, Inc., Bath & Body Works, Inc., et al., Fed Cir. No. 2008-1333 (2/9/09)

The One Sentence Summary: Patent claims for a candle which prevented scorching by having feet on the base of the candle holder and having these feet rest on a cover used as a stand were invalid because the invention was obvious.

Federal Circuit Holdings:

  • The district court properly construed the claim language in determining that the “seating” of the candle on the cover did not require locking or engaging.
  • The district court should have found that the claimed invention was obvious in light of prior art disclosing a cover used as a stand and feet on the bottom of the candle to minimize scorching.
  • The district court erred in finding infringement on summary judgment just because the accused object was capable of having the cover used as a stand. Capability to infringe was not enough. The plaintiff failed to show actual infringement by putting the candles in the infringing configuration.