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In re Chicco USA, Inc., No. 2011-m977 (Fed. Cir. July 12, 2011) (Chief Judge Rader, Judges Lourie and O’Malley) (nonprecedential order)

Chicco petitioned for a writ of mandamus, and asked the Federal Circuit to instruct the lower court to vacate its order staying the lawsuit while the PTO was reexamining the patent. Before claim construction, the defendant, Sunshine Kids Juvenile Products, requested that stay. The lower court granted the request before Chicco responded, issuing an order without explaining why it granted the motion to stay. Chicco then moved to lift the stay, but the district court has not ruled on its motion.

The Federal Circuit denied the petition, although it was clearly troubled by the lower court’s failure to explain its stay order. It indicated that a failure to address Chicco’s motion and explain the stay might tip the balance in favor of mandamus if Chicco asks it to reconsider the issue in the future.

The court is unlikely to have the chance to visit this issue again, however, because Chicco filed a notice with the trial court on July 6 that the reexamination has terminated. (The PTO found all the reexamined claims are patentable.)

You can read the court’s opinion here.