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Judge Andrews Grants Various Summary Judgment Motions of Non-Infringement and Dismissal

This case involves several defendants who are accused of infringing the plaintiff’s patents related to elevator devices and methods. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment requesting dismissal of “improper defendants” and dismissal of all indirect infringement claims.

Judge Andrews found that defendant ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas Corporation (“TKEA”) was merely a holding company and that the plaintiff’s citations to websites to show that it engaged in activities beyond that of a holding company were not sufficient to show that it engaged in conduct establishing direct infringement. Judge Andrews further rejected plaintiff’s alter ego and agency theories that TKEA was liable because plaintiff did not show commingling of assets, dominion or control over subsidiaries, or corporate fraud. Accordingly, Judge Andrews granted summary judgment for dismissal of TKEA. Inventio AG v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas Corp., et al., C.A. No. 08-874-RGA, Memo. Or. at 2-4 (D. Del. Jan. 16, 2014).

Defendant ThyssenKrupp Elevator Manufacturing Incorporated (“TKEM”) was slightly more complicated. TKEM asserted that it was not liable for infringement because it had not performed all of the steps of the asserted method claim or sold a system with all of the elements of the asserted apparatus claims. Because the plaintiff did not provide evidence that every step of the asserted method claim was performed directly by or under the direction of TKEM, Judge Andrews granted summary judgment of non-infringement as to that method claim. Id. at 4-5. With respect to the other claims, the plaintiff was unable to show that TKEM sold the “final part” of the accused device, only that TKEM sold “all of the key components of the infringing system.” Accordingly, Judge Andrews found that the plaintiff could not show that all claim limitations were met and therefore granted summary judgment of non-infringement as to TKEM. Id. at 5-6.

Finally, Judge Andrews considered a motion to preclude untimely indirect infringement claims. The parties disputed whether the plaintiff had timely disclosed theories of indirect infringement. Judge Andrews, however, found this summary judgment motion to be moot because the complaint did not allege indirect infringement and “[d]uring the lengthy lifetime of this case, the Plaintiff has not amended the Complaint” and “the time to amend the complaint has long since passed.” Id. at 7-8.

Inventio AG v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas Corp., et al., C.A. No. 08-874-RGA (D. Del. Jan. 16, 2014).

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