Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge: Summary Judgment Granted - No Willful Infringement Under Seagate Standard
In what is one of the first lengthy discussions on willful infringement from this District since the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in In re Seagate Tech., LLC, 497 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (see our earlier posting on the Seagate opinion here), Magistrate Thynge recently granted summary judgment of no willful infringement. Cordance Corp. v. Amazon.com, Inc., C.A. No. 06-491-MPT, Memo. Order (D. Del. July 27, 2009). Specifically, despite plaintiff's argument that Amazon had notice of its patents based on Amazon's level of activity and knowledge in the field of 1-click technology, the Court found that this was insufficient to demonstrate an objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted infringement of a valid patent. Id. at 10-11. Instead, the Court noted that Cordance's argument relied more on the "negligence standard for willful infringement overruled by Seagate." Id. at 11. Furthermore, the fact that Amazon moved for summary judgment of invalidity and non-infringement of the patents-in-suit demonstrated a "good faith belief in its defenses to Cordance's claims" and Cordance's own brief in support of its own motion for summary judgment states that the case "raises hotly contested issues of fact..." which are "likely to turn ultimately on conflicting expert testimony." Id. at 12. The Court therefore found that Cordance did not present enough evidence under the Seagate standard to demonstrate that Amazon acted despiste an objectively high likelihood that its acts constituted infringement, and granted Amazon's motion for summary judgment of no willful infringement. Id.