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P&G Loses Battle in Toothbrush Infringement Case

December 9, 2005

U.S. federal appeals court sent a patent infringement lawsuit against Procter & Gamble back to district court in Oklahoma, passing on a summary judgment in favor of the company.
The plaintiff, Alfred Salazar, holds a patent for a toothbrush that both polishes teeth and stimulates gums, using special rods for each task. He sued P&G for alleged infringement of that patent, according to Reuters. P&G argued that its toothbrushes do not include an elastic feature as claimed in Salazar’s patent.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma granted P&G a summary judgment in 2003, Reuters reported. A summary judgment is a decision made based on statements and evidence presented without a trial. It is used when there is no dispute over the facts of the case, and one party is entitled to judgment. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the district court erred in granting judgment. It remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.
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