Judge Richard Berman

Ottah claimed VeriFone Systems’ fixed mounts for electronic displays in New York City taxis infringed his patent on a removable “book holder.” The court granted VeriFone summary judgment, finding its mount did not literally infringe the patent. Unlike Ottah’s “easily and removably attached” book holder, VeriFone’s fixed mounts are riveted to the taxi’s seat or partition. Nor did the VeriFone mounts contain several of the patent claim’s limitations including, a telescoping arm, and a book support platform pivotally attached thereto and having clamps on a front surface to hold a book. Further, the patent’s prosecution history estopped Ottah from claiming infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. After the Patent and Trademark Office rejected his initial application because his claim was no different from prior art, Ottah narrowed the scope of the patent’s claim, focusing on the “book holder’s” removable—rather than fixed—installation. Because he previously argued that the book holder’s defining characteristic was its “quick removal and attachment without tools” Ottah cannot claim that the VeriFone mounts’ permanent riveted attachments are “equivalent” to the limitations in the patent.