Cal Ripkin Baseball Camps Granted Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

In a patent infringement action brought against baseball camps and clinics of retired Oriole legend Cal Ripkin (“CRJ”), CRJ moved for summary judgment of non-infringement of plaintiff’s two patents directed to a system for dispensing items (e.g., baseballs) to a user.  The claimed system included (1) a readable user-identifier containing data specific to the user, (2) a reader capable of reading the user-identifier, and (3) a processor that “automatically” actuates a dispensing means to dispense an appropriate item to the user based upon the user-specific data.  Chief Judge James K. Bredar first construed the claims, and then granted CRJ’s summary judgment motion.  According to the Court, CRJ’s system did not use player identification information read off the user-identifiers to select or trigger a particular routine or adjust in any way how a ball is launched.  Further, CRJ’s system could not be operated (automatically) without the manual selection of launch parameters performed by the operator on a computer interface.  Zito LLC v. CRJ, Inc., Civil No. JKB-17-1733, 2018 WL 2183828 (D. Md. May 11, 2018).