Federal Circuit Affirms Sughrue PTAB Victories for NHK Seating of America, Inc.

The Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit issued a Decision on December 20, 2016, upholding four PTAB rulings (IPRs 2014-01026, 01079, 01101, and 01202) in favor of Sughrue client NHK Seating of America, Inc. In the Decision, the Court affirmed the PTAB’s findings that certain claims in 4 patents owned by Lear Corp. and directed to active head restraint systems for automobiles, were unpatentable. The patents at issue were U.S. Patent Nos. 5,378,043; 6,631,949; 6,655,733; and 6,631,955.

The Decision comes one week after the Oral Hearing, argued by Managing Partner John Rabena. Also on the Briefs were William Mandir, Brian Shelton, and Margaret Welsh. These patents had been asserted by Lear against NHK in a district court litigation in the Eastern District of Michigan (Lear Corp. v. NHK Seating of America, Inc. Case No. 2:13-cv-12937-LJM-RSW), which is currently stayed.