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Arcelormittal v. AK Steel Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 26, 2019

ARCELORMITTAL and ARCELORMITTAL ATLANTIQUE ET LORRAINE, Plaintiffs,
v.
AK STEEL CORPORATION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          MARYELLEN NOREIKA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         At Wilmington this 26th day of July 2019:

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the claim terms of U.S. Reissue Patent No. 44, 940 (“the RE'940 Patent”) with agreed-upon constructions are construed as follows (see D.I. 211 at 10):

1. “thermal treatment” means “additional controlled heating and cooling (i.e., after rolling and coating)”
2. “hot-shaping” means “shaping at elevated temperature”
3. “prevents decarburization” is a non-limiting statement of the purpose or results of other limitations in the claim and, to the extent construction is required, means “prevents removal of carbon from steel sheet”

         Further, as announced at the hearing on July 22, 2019, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the disputed claim terms of the RE'940 Patent are construed as follows:

         1. “wherein said coated steel sheet is in the form of a delivery coil . . . and the steel sheet has a very high mechanical resistance in excess of 1, 500 MPa after thermal treatment” shall be construed in two parts:

(a) “wherein said coated steel sheet is in the form of a delivery coil” means “the coated steel sheet has been formed into a coil after being rolled during its production”
(b) “the steel sheet has a very high mechanical resistance in excess of 1, 500 MPa after thermal treatment” means “the steel sheet has been subjected to additional heating and cooling and has an ultimate tensile strength in excess of 1, 500 MPa”[1]

         2. “that is manufactured by a process comprising providing said hot rolled sheet; and coating said hot rolled sheet with an aluminum coating or aluminum alloy coating” shall be given its plain and ordinary meaning

         3. “subsequent thermal treatment” means “a thermal treatment that occurs after the preparation of the coated steel sheet”

         4. “the steel sheet has a very high mechanical resistance in excess of 1, 500 MPa after a subsequent thermal treatment” means “the steel has an ultimate tensile strength that exceeds 1, 500 MPa after a subsequent thermal treatment” with the term “subsequent thermal treatment” given the construction set forth above.

         The parties briefed the issues (see D.I. 211) and submitted an appendix containing both intrinsic and extrinsic evidence (see D.I. 212), and Plaintiffs ArcelorMittal and ArcelorMittal Atlantique et Lorraine (collectively, “Plaintiff” or “ArcelorMittal”) also provided a tutorial describing the relevant technology (see D.I. 210).[2] The Court carefully reviewed all submissions in connection with the parties' contentions regarding the disputed claim terms, heard oral argument and applied the following legal standards in reaching its decision:

         I.LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Claim ...


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