In two recent memorandum opinions issued on the same day, Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled on a host of pretrial motions and construed claim terms of patents relating to the receipt and descrambling of encrypted broadcast signals. British Telecommunications PLC v. Coxcom, Inc., et al., Civ. No. 10-658-SLR (“First Opinion”); 11-843 (D. Del. Jan. 13, 2014) (“Second Opinion”).
In the First Opinion, the following claim limitations were construed by the Court:
Plaintiff’s U.S. Patent No. 6,473,742:
–“means for loading the store with such data”
–“to enable or disable reception [of transmissions] in dependence on the result of the comparison”
–“means for comparing received identifiers with the contents of the store and to enable or disable reception in dependence on the result of the comparison”
–“wherein each of the fixed and removable parts has] means storing a verification number”
Plaintiff’s U.S. Patent No. 6,538,989:
–“flow based packets”
–“packet buffer size”
–“controlling the first packet buffer size”
Plaintiff’s U.S. Patent No. 5,142,532:
–“a bidirectional broadband and telephone network”
–“for information packets to travel without interference to and from a plurality of receiving stations”
–“adjusting the round-trip delay to ensure correct spacing of the information packets during passage through the network”
–“enforcing allocation thereto to ensure each station’s minimum bandwidth requirements is [sic] fulfilled”
–“wherein the requesting step includes … generating a further request if an error is detected”
Plaintiff’s U.S. Patent No. 5,526,350:
Plaintiff’s U.S. Patent No. 5,923,247:
–“ conditions causing unavailability of a system”
Based on the Court’s constructions, the Court denied motions for summary judgment on non-infringement and validity grounds, except for the following:
The Court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of the ‘742 patent, because the defendant’s accused product included a second level decryption that did not meet the requirements of the limitations. First Opinion at 17. The Court also granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement, explaining that the ‘350 patent specification failed to provide sufficient structure to perform the function, such that the term is indefinite. Specifically, the Court explained, “[w]ithout an example or description of a non-voice traffic switching device, the specification does not provide sufficient structure of the means-plus-function claim limitation, which requires two switching means.” For the same reason, the Court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment that the ‘350 patent is invalid as indefinite. Id. at 27-28.
The Court next considered Defendant’s Daubert motion to exclude Plaintiff’s expert. The Court first found that Defendant’s arguments as they related to direct infringement went to the weight of the expert’s testimony, not its admissibility, so the Daubert motion was denied with respect to direct infringement testimony. But the Court reached a different conclusion regarding the expert’s testimony relating to infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. The Court agreed with Defendant that Plaintiff’s expert “presented conclusions for each limitation, he did not articulate how the accused devices would equivalently perform each limitation.” Id. at 38-39. Therefore, the Court granted Defendant’s Daubert motion with respect to doctrine of equivalents testimony.
The Court also granted Plaintiff’s motion to strike an employee’s declaration in support of one of Defendant’s motions for summary judgment, finding that it was undisclosed expert testimony: “As [Defendant] did not identify [the employee] as an expert witness, nor were his opinions vetted through discovery, the court grants [Plaintiff’s] motion to exclude.” Id. at 12.
The Court also granted Defendant’s motion to strike portions of declarations submitted by two of Plaintiff’s expert. Defendant argued that the declarations included opinion testimony that had not been previously disclosed, which the Plaintiff disputed. However, the Court concluded that if the opinions had previously been disclosed in expert reports, “[Plaintiff] should have referenced those documents.” Id. at 12.
In the Court’s Second Opinion, the Court first granted Defendant’s motion to strike portions of Plaintiff’s expert’s declarations, finding that the declarations inappropriately provided “additional examples of non-infringing uses, some conclusory explanations, and comparisons to claim limitations” that were consistent with Plaintiff’s earlier expert disclosures, but had not “been vetted through discovery” and/or were conclusory and therefore not appropriate for review on summary judgment. Second Opinion at 4.
The Court next found, after interpreting under New York law a cross-licensing agreement between Plaintiff and a third party supplier to Defendant, that it could not conclude that Defendant was an “authorized third party” under that agreement, and therefore that it could not find that Defendant was impliedly licensed to use the patents. With respect to another third party supplier license, the Court rejected Defendant’s argument seeking an implied license, because that license specifically precluded the conferring of any implied licenses. Id. at 6-12.
Finally, the Court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment that the patents were unenforceable under the patent exhaustion doctrine as a result of the third party licensee’s sales to Defendant. The Court explained that neither party provided sufficient evidence of non-infringing uses to support the patent exhaustion defense. Id. at 15-19.