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Arason Enterprises, Inc. v. Cabinetbed Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

October 1, 2018

ARASON ENTERPRISES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
CABINETBED INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          PHILIP A. BRIMMER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On June 12, 2018, the Court held a claim construction hearing on the terms identified in the parties' D.C.COLO.LPtR 14 Joint Claim Terms Chart [Docket No. 38]. Both sides filed briefs in support of the respective interpretations of the disputed terms. Docket Nos. 39, 41, 43.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 6, 2016 plaintiff Arason Enterprises, Inc. filed suit against defendant CabinetBed Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio alleging patent infringement. Docket No. 5. On December 6, 2016, the case was transferred to this Court. Docket No. 1. Plaintiff claims that defendant has infringed U.S. Patent No. 6, 851, 139 (issued Feb. 8, 2005) (the “'139 Patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 7, 574, 758 (issued Aug. 18, 2009) (the “'758 Patent”) (collectively, the “patents”). Both patents relate to so-called cabinet beds, wherein a folded mattress is contained inside a piece of furniture and can be deployed as a bed. See '139 Patent, Abstract; '758 Patent, Abstract. Although they use the same terminology to describe the disclosed inventions, the '139 Patent is not a relative of the 758 Patent and they have different specifications.

         A. U.S. Patent No. 6, 851, 139

         The preferred embodiment of the '139 Patent is a cabinet bed that unfolds like a clamshell. See Fig. 3 below. The front (15) and back (18) walls of the cabinet are attached by hinges to the base of the cabinet, allowing the cabinet to unfold and the three pieces together to support the mattress. '139 Patent at col. 4, ll. 3-26. Each side of the cabinet is split into two sidewalls (21-24) that are connected together by a latching mechanism, which can be released to allow the front and back portions of cabinet to separate. Id., ll. 27-31. When the cabinet is opened and the bed laid out, the side panels remain in place forming a frame around the mattress. Id., ll. 46-65. '139 Patent, Fig. 3.

         (Image Omitted)

         In an alternative embodiment of the '139 Patent, the back wall of the cabinet remains fixed in place when the cabinet is opened. '139 Patent at col. 6, ll. 19-21. To replace the support for the mattress provided by the back wall (18) in the preferred embodiment, the alternative embodiment uses an extension panel. Id., ll. 54-65. This extension panel (75) can simply be placed at the end of the front wall (15), or it can be attached to the front wall and fold out or slide out to provide support for the end of the mattress. Id., ll. 29-34, 61-67.

         (Image Omitted)

'139 Patent, Fig. 11.

         Terms that appear in four claims of the '139 Patent are at issue for claim construction: independent claims 1 and 12 as well as dependent claims 19 and 23, which depend from claim 12. See Docket No. 38.[1] Claim 1 of the '139 patent is directed to:

A folding cabinet bed, without a separate mattress platform, said folding cabinet bed comprising:
a base;
a top panel;
a back wall having a first end, a second end, and two longitudinal side edges, hingedly attached at said first end to said base;
first and second spaced-apart sidewalls, wherein
a. said back wall is connected to said first and second sidewalls at said longitudinal side edges;
b. said back wall is connected to said top panel at said second end of said back wall;
c. said first and second sidewalls are connected at a top end to said top panel; and
d. said first and second sidewalls are not connected to said base;
a front wall having a first end, a second end, and two longitudinal side edges, hingedly attached at said first end to said base;
third and fourth spaced-apart sidewalls, wherein
a. said front wall is connected to said third and fourth sidewalls at said longitudinal side edges; and
b. said third and fourth sidewalls are not connected to said base; a futon mattress, wherein
1. said front wall and said back wall are selectively movable between a closed position and an open position;
2. said futon is enclosed within said folding cabinet bed when said front wall and said back wall are in the closed position: and
3. said safety side panels fit between the spaced apart sidewalls attached to said front wall and the snaced [sic] apart sidewalls attached to said back wall when said front wall and said back wall are in the open position.

         Claim 12 is directed to:

A folding cabinet bed, without a separate mattress platform, said folding cabinet bed comprising:
a base;
a top panel;
a back wall having a first end, a second end, and two longitudinal side edges, attached at said first end to said base;
first and second spaced-apart sidewalls, wherein
a. said back wall is connected to said first and second sidewalls at said longitudinal side edges;
b. said back wall is connected to said top panel at said second end of said back wall; and
c. said first and second sidewalls are connected at a bottom end to said base;
a front wall having a first end, a second end, and two longitudinal side edges, hingedly attached at said first end to said base;
third and fourth spaced-apart sidewalls, wherein
a. said front wall is connected to said third and fourth sidewalls at said longitudinal side edges; and
b. said third and fourth sidewalls are not connected to said base;
an extension comprising:
a bottom panel, narrower than said front ...

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