In Comcast IP Holdings I, LLC v. Sprint Communications Company L.P., et al., C.A. No. 12-205-RGA (D. Del. Aug. 22, 2014), Judge Richard G. Andrews recently construed a single disputed term (“parsing”) found in U.S. Patent Nos. 7,012,916 and 8,204,046. The Court explained that “[u]ntil recently, the parties had agreed that ‘parsing’ had a plain and ordinary meaning,” but now had submitted competing constructions. Id. at 1. Having heard oral argument on this issue on August 20, the Court did not adopt either party’s construction in full, but its construction (“An automated process of analyzing a string according to a set of rules of a grammar”) was closer to what plaintiff had proposed. Id. at 3.
Judge Andrews recently issued a claim construction opinion in Alltech Associates., Inc. v. Teledyne Instruments, Inc., C.A. No. 13-425-RGA (D. Del. Aug. 25, 2014). The following terms from the plaintiff’s patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,115,930, 8,305,581, 8,305,582, and 8,314,934, were construed by the Court:
- “during a/the/said chromatographic run”
- “collecting the one or more components from the stream in a faction collector during the chromatographic run in response to a change in the composite signal during said chromatographic run”
- “a fraction collector operatively adapted to collect a fraction in response to a change in the composite signal during said chromatographic run”
- “collecting the one or more components from the stream in a fraction collector during the chromatographic run in response to a change in at least one of said signals during said chromatographic run”
- “a fraction collector to collect at least one fraction corresponding to one of said components in response to a change in at least one of said signals during said chromatographic run”
- “composite signal”
- “actively controlling fluid flow”
- “active splitter”
- “actively moving”
The following terms from the defendant’s patents, U.S. Patents Nos. 7,419,598 and 8,414,773, were construed:
- “solvent-level indicating signal”
- “initiating a replenishment process”
- “immersing a solvent compatible portion of a pressure sensor or bubbler for generating the solvent-level indicating signal in the solvent reservoir before the chromatographic run”
- “target time of run resolution”
- “gradient profile”
- “performing chromatography on the sample with the at least one gradient run for samples in which the target resolution and target time of run resolution were met with the at least one gradient run”
- “pilot run”
Judge Sue L. Robinson recently construed several claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,243,004, entitled “Self-configuring controls for heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems. Carrier Corp. v. Goodman Global, Inc., et al., Civ. No. 12-930-SLR (D. Del. Aug. 14, 2014). The following terms were construed:
- “HVAC units”
- “data bus”
- “central control”
- “control algorithms”
- “optimal control strategy”
- “characteristic(s)” and “characteristic information”
- “said control”
- “connectivity kit”
Judge Robinson found that the following terms did not need to be construed by the Court, explaining that in light of the Court’s other claim constructions the jury would understand the limitations based on their plain and ordinary meaning:
- “indoor unit” and “outdoor unit”
- “determining an optimal control strategy for said indoor unit and said outdoor unit”
- “selecting a particular one of said optimal control strategies”
- “selecting one of said plurality of control algorithms”
- “determine optimum control algorithms”
On September 30, 2014 DuPont and Widener University School of Law will sponsor a day-long Intellectual Property CLE Seminar at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware. Click HERE to register. The keynote speakers, Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware and Judge Leonard Davis of the Eastern District of Texas, will discuss the current state of patent litigation. Andrew Byrnes, Chief of Staff of the USPTO, will present on the perspective of the USPTO. Additional plenary and breakout sessions include IP due diligence, non-practicing entities, ethics, patent drafting, and trademark/copyright highlights.
Access the full agenda here: http://www.dupontlegalmodel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014-cle-agenda2.pdf
In Carrier Corp. v. Goodman Global, Inc., C.A. No 12-930-SLR (D. Del. Aug. 14, 2014), Judge Sue L. Robinson considered several motions for summary judgment, and defendants’ motions to strike and exclude certain expert testimony. First, Judge Robinson denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment of non-infringement. Regarding defendants’ argument that they did not practice the “selecting” limitation of the asserted patent, Judge Robinson explained that defendants presented only “attorney argument . . . without explanation from [their] expert or citation to an expert report.” Id. at 9. Judge Robinson also denied defendants’ non-infringement argument that they only sell individual HVAC units, not HVAC systems, as required by the asserted patents. Id. at 10-12. Judge Robinson explained that defendants did not supplement their contentions with this theory until “11:19 p.m. on the last day of fact discovery,” and also “failed to articulate [their] position with any clarity so that [plaintiff] could respond and give the court the opportunity to adjust the schedule to accommodate discovery on an important issue.” Id. at 10-11. Judge Robinson thus concluded that defendants “did not play the rules” and therefore “must suffer the consequences,” and denied their motion for summary judgment in this regard. Id. at 11-12. Judge Robinson also denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment of non-infringement with respect to indirect infringement, finding that there were disputed issues of fact. Id. at 12.
Judge Robinson next addressed the parties’ motions for summary judgment of invalidity. Judge Robinson denied defendants’ motion for summary of indefiniteness as to the term “optimal control strategy,” explaining that “one of ordinary skill in the art is apprised with reasonable certainty that the claims focus on whether a manufacturer has predetermined control strategies that it deems optimal for a given set of HVAC units.” Id. at 13. Judge Robinson also denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment of anticipation, explaining that “[t]he court respectfully disagrees with [defendants’] argument that no expert opinion is needed to support [their] anticipation argument. The present technology involves complex technology, i.e., controlling HVAC systems using algorithms loaded into a central control. The court concludes that attorney argument is not sufficient to meet the burden of persuasion on invalidity at the summary judgment motion stage.” Id. at 16. Judge Robinson also denied plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment of no anticipation, explaining that the Court was “left without the essential analysis (or citation thereto), that is, [plaintiff’s] demonstration of the absence of a genuine issue of material fact regarding [defendants’] anticipation arguments, to determine whether the limitation at issue . . . is . . . not found in the prior art.” Id. at 17. Judge Robinson denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment of obviousness, finding that defendants relied only “on attorney argument.” Id. at 20. Judge Robinson also denied plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment of non-obviousness, finding that there were genuine issues of material fact in view of expert disagreement. Id. at 22-23.
Judge Robinson denied defendants’ motions to strike with one exception. That is, Judge Robinson granted defendants’ motion to strike plaintiff’s expert opinions on secondary considerations to the extent that the experts “attribute commercial success to the ease of installation due to the single data bus, an invention disclosed in the ‘452 patent, not the [asserted patent].” Id. at 24. Judge Robinson also excluded a certain invalidity theory from trial based on a prior art reference that was not asserted by defendants until nine months after the deadline to do so, explaining that it “was not properly vetted through discovery and it is unreasonable at this late stage to require [plaintiff] to respond to such allegation.” Id. at 23-24.
Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg, sitting by designation from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, recently denied plaintiff Transcend Medical, Inc.’s request to modify the stipulated Protective Order governing the exchange of confidential information in this case “to allow one attorney and one expert from each side to participate in certain Patent and Trademark Office (‘PTO’) proceedings or similar proceedings in other countries[.]” Transcend Medical, Inc. v. Glaukos Corp., C.A. No. 13-830-MSG (D. Del. Aug. 12, 2014). Transcend argued that its counsel had “gained extensive knowledge” over the course of representing Transcend and that counsel would not draft claims or use confidential information. Id. at 2. Further, the significant prejudice to Transcend would outweigh any risk of inadvertent disclosure of confidential information. Id. at 2-3. Glaukos objected noting that both parties knew of the potential of PTO proceedings at the time they agreed to the prosecution bar and that it would be “impossible to meaningfully participate in the [PTO] proceedings without advising or opining on the scope of patents, or without inadvertently using confidential materials.” Id. at 3. Judge Goldberg agreed, noting that the parties acknowledged the risks associated with allowing those with access to confidential information to participate in PTO proceedings when they agreed to the prosecution bar less than six months before Transcend requested the modification. Id. at 3-4.
In W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. v. C.R. Bard, Inc. and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc., C.A. No. 11-515-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Aug. 8, 2014), Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke recently issued a Report and Recommendation construing six disputed terms of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,700,285 and 5,735,892, both entitled “Intraluminal Stent Graft.”
The Court construed the following terms:
“tubular, diametrically adjustable stent”/”diametrically adjustable stent”
“multiplicity of openings”
“affixed”/”affixing” and “the first tubular covering of porous expanded polytetrafluoroethylene is affixed to the second tubular covering of porous expanded polytetrafluoroethylene film through openings through the wall of the stent”
“collapsed diameter”/”enlarged diameter”
UPDATE: On September 28, 2015, Chief Judge Stark issued a Memorandum Order adopting Judge Burke’s Report and Recommendation on claim construction and on various summary judgment and Daubert motions, rejecting only one of Judge Burke’s various conclusions. See W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. v. C.R. Bard, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-515-LPS (D. Del. Sept. 28, 2015).
Judge Robinson recently considered motions arising from Mylan’s at risk launch of a generic version of Anesta’s Amrix product. In 2011, Judge Robinson held a bench trial and determined that although the generic products infringed the patents-in-suit, certain asserted claims were obvious. Mylan launched its generic product the next day. A week later, Judge Robinson granted Anesta’s motion for a temporary restraining order and later issued a preliminary injunction pending appeal to the Federal Circuit. A few days later, Mylan filed an emergency motion with the Federal Circuit, seeking to stay the injunction pending briefing. The Federal Circuit granted the motion and Mylan began selling its generic product again. When it reached the merits of the motion shortly over a month later in July 2011, the Federal Circuit denied the motion in part, prohibition sale of Mylan’s product during the appeal, and granted it in part, staying a portion of Judge Robinson’s preliminary injunction that required Mylan to “take all reasonable steps to recall” its product. In April 2012, the Federal Circuit reversed the finding of invalidity and dismissed the appeal of the preliminary injunction. In April 2012, Judge Robinson entered a final judgment and permanent injunction. Against this background, Judge Robinson recently reviewed motions by Mylan for summary judgment of no lost profits and partial summary judgment of no willfulness. Anesta AG, et al. v. Mylan Pharms., Inc., et al., C.A. No. 08-889-SLR, Memo. Or. at 1-2 (D. Del. Aug. 14, 2014).
Her Honor denied the motion as to plaintiff’s claim for lost profits. Mylan’s argument was “that plaintiffs should be precluded from claiming lost profits because their expert . . . failed to consider price elasticity in his lost profits analysis. When asked at his deposition about price elasticity, [plaintiffs’ expert] explained that price elasticity under the circumstances at bar was ‘relatively modest’ and ‘offset’ by other factors.” Id. at 4. Judge Robinson explained that the Federal Circuit’s “demand for a ‘credible economic analysis’ can be met by a variety of evidence – both fact and expert – depending on the facts of the case and the nature of the markets at issue . . . [and] plaintiffs have presented plausible evidence that the case at bar presents an unusually complex set of facts vis a vis calculating lost profits, due in part to the unique nature of the relevant market and due in part to the brevity of the damages period. Having rejected defendants’ proposition that there are rigid standards applicable to every case, I decline to take the issue of lost profits damages away from the jury.” Id. at 6.
Judge Robinson granted Mylan’s motion for summary judgment of no willful infringement, however, stating “I agree with defendants that, although their launch was at risk, it was not illegal when it took place and, absent a directive from the Federal Circuit to recall their generic products, defendants had no legal obligation to do so. Having committed no illegalities vis a vis the launch, and willfulness generally being irrelevant in the context of ANDA cases, I grant defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment” of no willfulness. Id. at 4.
Finally, Judge Robinson denied Mylan’s motion to exclude a Dr. Steiner. Dr. Steiner had been allowed to testify during the liability phase of the bifurcated trial because it was recognized that he possessed clinical expertise regarding the products at issue. Accordingly, this expertise was relevant and admissible in the damages phase of the trial as well. Id. at 7.
Judge Richard G. Andrews recently considered the parties’ dispute over the terms of a Protective Order regarding source code print-outs. Infinite Data LLC v. Intel Corp, et al., C.A. No. 14-391-RGA (D. Del. Aug. 8, 2014). Defendants proposed that source code would be made available on a standalone computer at any of the offices of Defendants’ outside counsel, but that any print-outs be kept only at the office of Plaintiff’s counsel. Id. Alternatively, Defendants proposed that Plaintiff could choose to use an escrow agent, as set forth in the D. Del. Default Standard for Access to Source Code. Plaintiff objected arguing that it would be unfairly burdensome to require its experts to travel to review source code at another location and then travel again to review print-outs. Judge Andrews disagreed finding that Defendants’ proposals would protect confidentiality without “unfairly burdening” Plaintiff. Id. Judge Andrews further held that if Plaintiff chose to use an escrow agent, any associated expenses would be shared by the parties. Id.
In a recent memorandum order, Judge Sue L. Robinson denied a defendant’s motion for reconsideration of an earlier denial of a motion for judgment on the pleadings. Poly-America, L.P. v. API Indus., Inc., Civ. No. 134-693-SLR (D. Del. Aug. 6, 2014). In its earlier motion for judgment on the pleadings, the defendant argued that its household product design was “plainly dissimilar” to the plaintiff’s design such that it could not, as a matter of law, infringe the plaintiff’s design patent. The Court disagreed in a decision discussed here. In its motion for reconsideration, the defendant argued that the “ordinary observer” to whom an accused design may appear “substantially the same” is not an observer of the finished product sold in a store, as the Court believed, but instead is “the industrial purchaser that uses that packaging component to assemble a finished retail product with content.”
The Court disagreed, relying on Supreme Court precedent from 1871 explaining that “ordinary observers of a patented design [are] ‘the principle purchasers of the articles to which designs have given novel appearances,’ i.e., ‘those who buy and use’ the article bearing the design in question.” Id. at 2 (quoting Gorham Mfg. Co. v. White, 81 U.S. 511 (1871)). The Court acknowledged that later cases in the Federal Circuit had not specifically addressed the factual scenario at issue here (where the design patent covers a box containing product that the consumer purchases based at least in part on the design of the retail presentation), but disagreed with the defendant that the previous ruling was erroneous as a matter of law. Id. at 5.