Textile Engineering Expert Witness Advises on Netting Manufacturer’s Patent Infringement Claim

Textile Engineering Expert Witness on NettingA textile engineering expert witness advises on a case involving a manufacture’s patented rolled knitted netting, with unique features, which is used to wrap agricultural products. The defendant sells knitted netting products that the plaintiff alleges are covered by more than one claim of the plaintiff’s patent.

Plaintiff filed claims for patent infringement and unfair competition.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • What would a person of ordinary skill in the art have understood from the patent specification?

Expert Witness Response

A person of ordinary skill in the art would understand from the patent specification and file history record that the knitted netting as described in the patent is adequately and clearly defined by its physical properties and characteristics, without reference to how it was produced.

A person of ordinary skill in the art would understand from the patent specification that the property of a knitted netting possessing an actual lateral ribbon length that is at least 10% greater than a calculated ribbon length is a property which must be measured and determined in the knitted netting after it leaves the knitting machine, and in its condition for or being ready for wrapping or elongation. The fundamental reason is that having a lateral ribbon with a length that is at least 10% greater than a calculated ribbon length must exist at the start of elongation, to achieve the reduced lateral shrinkage described in the patent. A person of ordinary skill in the art would also not look to the knitting machine that produced a netting to determine a distance between longitudinal ribbons of the netting, where the netting itself is available for measurement and where the measurement of the netting itself is consistent with the teachings of the patent specification.

A person of ordinary skill in the art would understand from the patent specification and file history record that a knitted netting of the invention contains a multiple of lateral and longitudinal ribbons, and that by being “knitted” it means that lateral and longitudinal ribbons are connected by loops, each connection involving at least one loop.

A person of ordinary skill in the art would understand the passage reproduced below (‘551, 3/19-29) as describing preferences for uses of the knitted netting of the invention and that the last sentence does not describe to a person of ordinary skill in the art any limitation on the % elongation at break of knitted nettings of the invention.

A person of ordinary skill in the art would understand the description in the patent specification in Column 5 and in Figures 5 and 6 for comparing lateral shrinkage in knitted nettings having a triangle pattern, which differ in their respective actual lateral ribbon lengths. A person of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the technique described in this portion of the patent specification for this comparison is consistent with practices used in the art for determining such physical properties in fabrics, including nettings.

The expert is a professor of knitting technology and advanced materials for engineering.

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