Maxwell Technologies has announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District of California held that it must determine the meaning of patent claim limitations in a NessCap patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,724,544) before determining whether NessCap's claim of infringement may proceed to trial. In a written order, the court denied Maxwell's motion for summary judgment, deciding instead to wait until the court considers additional briefing on the issue of patent-claim interpretation.
Maxwell had asked the court for an immediate ruling that four of its BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor products do not infringe this NessCap patent. At an earlier hearing, the court tentatively ruled that Maxwell's ultracapacitors do not infringe the patent. In its written order, issued after the hearing, the court expressly held that its ruling was "without prejudice", and that Maxwell may re-file its motion once the court determines the scope of the claim.