Level Sleep LLC v. Sleep Number Corporation

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Case: 20-1718 Document: 47 Page: 1 Filed: 07/13/2021 NOTE: This disposition is nonprecedential. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ______________________ LEVEL SLEEP LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant v. SLEEP NUMBER CORPORATION, SELECT COMFORT RETAIL CORPORATION, Defendants-Appellees ______________________ 2020-1718 ______________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in No. 2:18-cv-00119-RWS, Judge Robert Schroeder, III. ______________________ Decided: July 13, 2021 ______________________ JAMES L. DAY, JR., Farella Braun & Martel LLP, San Francisco, CA, argued for plaintiff-appellant. Also repre- sented by LAURA PEDERSEN. RUFFIN B. CORDELL, Fish & Richardson P.C., Washing- ton, DC, argued for defendants-appellees. Also repre- sented by ROBERT COURTNEY, CONRAD GOSEN, MATHIAS WETZSTEIN SAMUEL, Minneapolis, MN. ______________________ Case: 20-1718 Document: 47 Page: 2 Filed: 07/13/2021 2 LEVEL SLEEP LLC v. SLEEP NUMBER CORPORATION Before O’MALLEY, TARANTO, and STOLL, Circuit Judges. STOLL, Circuit Judge. Level Sleep LLC appeals the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’s grant of summary judgment of noninfringement of Level Sleep’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,807,698 and 7,036,172. Because we agree with the district court’s construction of “low body pressure,” and the parties agree that the accused products do not infringe un- der that construction, we affirm. BACKGROUND I Level Sleep sued Sleep Number Corporation and Select Comfort Retail Corporation (collectively, “Sleep Number”) for infringement of all claims of the ’698 and ’172 patents (collectively, the “asserted patents”) in March 2018. The ’172 patent is a continuation-in-part of the ’698 patent. 1 The asserted patents relate to “improved mattresses for beds that enhance the quality of sleep.” ’172 patent col. 1 ll. 10–12. The specification explains that “[g]ood sleeping is normally associated with a low number of body shifts during the sleep period[,]” and “[b]ed-induced shifts due to discomfort caused by the bed are a significant cause of poor sleep quality.” Id. at col. 1 ll. 37–40. There are two major causes of bed-induced shifting: (1) “buildup of pressures on parts of the body”; and (2) “poor body alignment.” Id. at col. 1 ll. 49–52. Only the first cause relates to the claim construction issue in this case. Addressing the buildup of pressures on parts of the body, the specification explains that “the pressure tends to be greatest on the body’s protrusions (such as shoulders 1 Because the parties cite to the ’172 patent when referencing the specification, we do the same. Case: 20-1718 Document: 47 Page: 3 Filed: 07/13/2021 LEVEL SLEEP LLC v. SLEEP NUMBER CORPORATION 3 and hips) where body tissues are put in high compression against the mattress.” Id. at col. 1 ll. 54–58. The feeling of discomfort is in part a result of this high compression caus- ing a discontinuance of capillary blood flow. The specifica- tion states that “[t]he amount of pressure [that] causes a discontinuance of capillary blood flow is called the ischemic pressure[,]” and the “ischemic pressure threshold is nor- mally considered to be approximately thirty mmHg.” Id. at col. 1 ll. 60–63. “When parts of the body (usually shoul- ders and …

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