ARCELORMITTAL ATLANTIQUE ET LORRAINE, ARCELORMITTAL, Plaintiffs-Appellants
AK STEEL CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellee
Opinion issued: November 5, 2018
Opinion issued: November 14, 2018 [*]
from the United States District Court for the District of
Delaware in No. 1:13-cv-00685-SLR, Judge Sue L. Robinson.
Constantine L. Trela, Jr., Sidley Austin LLP, Chicago, IL,
argued for plaintiffs-appellants. Also represented by Hugh
Abrams, Shook Hardy & Bacon, LLP, Chicago, IL; Jeffrey B.
Bove, Ratner Prestia, Wilmington, DE.
Christopher Neil Sipes, Covington & Burling LLP,
Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee. Also
represented by Jeffrey Howard Lerner.
Reyna, Wallach, and Hughes, Circuit Judges.
appeal from a grant of summary judgment of non-infringement.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted
summary judgment as a matter of law after concluding
Appellants' infringement action was collaterally
estopped. Because evidence indicates a material difference in
the accused products in this action, collateral estoppel does
not apply and the entry of summary judgment was error. We
vacate and remand.
ArcelorMittal Atlantique et Lorraine and ArcelorMittal and
Plaintiff-Appellants' predecessor in interest,
ArcelorMittal France (collectively "ArcelorMittal")
own U.S. Patent No. 6, 296, 805 (the "'805
patent") and two reissues of the '805 patent, U.S.
Patent Nos. RE44, 153 (the "RE153 patent") and
RE44, 940 (the "RE940 patent"). This appeal
primarily involves the RE940 patent.
Hot-Stamped Boron Sheets
asserted RE940 patent, issued June 10, 2014, relates to boron
steel sheets with an aluminum-based coating that, when
hot-stamped, become highly mechanically resistant. Mechanical
resistance, or ultimate tensile strength ("UTS"),
is measured in megapascals ("MPa").
is a thermal treatment process where steel blanks are rapidly
heated, inserted into a stamping machine that contains
special dies, stamped into a particular shape, and then
rapidly cooled, or quenched. See ArcelorMittal Fr. v. AK
Steel Corp., 700 F.3d 1314, 1317- 18 (Fed. Cir. 2012)
("ArcelorMittal I"). The hot-stamping
process alters the crystalline microstructure of the steel,
and thereby its UTS, by transforming at least a portion of
the steel's microstructure to a form known as martensite.
Id. Steel with a martensitic microstructure is
capable of having a high UTS. See id. The
hot-stamping process gives the steel significantly higher UTS
than its pre-stamped state. Id. Thus, two steel
sheets of the same composition can have significantly
different UTSs depending on whether and how they have been
thermally treated. The high UTS of the hot-stamped steel is
desirable for use in the production of auto parts.
claim 17 of the RE940 patent is representative of the
asserted product-by-process claims and recites:
17. A hot-rolled coated steel sheet comprising a hot-rolled
steel sheet coated with an aluminum or aluminum alloy
coating, wherein said coated steel sheet is in the form of a
delivery coil and the steel in the sheet comprises the
following composition by weight: