* Schindler’s Inventio unit had elevator control patents
* Case returned to Delaware court
* Schindler, Thyssen have large elevator businesses
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - Schindler Holding AG (SCHN.S), one of the world’s largest makers of elevators, won a U.S. appeals court ruling that revives its patent infringement lawsuit against German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG (TKAG.DE).
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said on Wednesday a lower court judge erred in voiding two patents by Schindler’s Inventio AG unit relating to elevator controls because they were not specific enough.
According to Wednesday’s ruling, the Inventio patents concern a “modernized” system in which new terminals replace conventional “up” and “down” buttons, and let passengers who want to board input which floor they want to go to at the boarding floor.
Inventio’s patents also discuss back-end technology used to operate the system, the ruling said.
The panel returned the 2-1/2-year-old case to the federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, for further proceedings.
Lawyers for both companies did not immediately return requests for comment.
Schindler generated 8.19 billion Swiss francs (US$9.6 billion) of operating revenue from its elevators and escalators unit last year, according to the Hergiswil, Switzerland-based company’s website.
ThyssenKrupp, based in Essen, Germany, had sales of 5.19 billion euros (US$7.36 billion) from its elevator technology unit in its latest fiscal year, its website shows.
The case is Inventio AG v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas Corp et al, Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 2010-1525. (US$1 = 0.853 Swiss francs) (US$1 = 0.705 euros) (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by John Wallace)