Federal Circuit Limits Domestic Industry Requirement For Licensors

In Mezzalingua Assocs., Inc. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 100 U.S.P.Q.2d 1462 (Fed. Cir. 2011), Mezzalingua d/b/a PPC manufactures cable connectors that are used to connect coaxial cables to electronic devices, such as cable television receivers.  PPC owns design patent, U.S. Patent No. D440,539 (“the ‘539 design patent”), which is for a design of one such connector.  PPC has granted only one license for the ‘539 design patent, which was executed in early 2004 between PPC and Arris International, Inc. at the conclusion of years of litigation.  Other than this license and its enforcement litigation, PPC does not use the ‘539 design patent.