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Chief Judge Stark grants motion for summary judgment of no willful infringement

Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark recently considered the parties motions for summary judgment and motions to exclude expert testimony in Vehicle IP, LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, et al., No. 09-1007-LPS (D. Del. Dec. 30, 2016).  Judge Stark denied all the motions except one: defendants’ motion for summary judgment of no willful infringement.  Plaintiff’s willfulness allegations were supported by testimony from one of the inventors of the patent-in-suit who later worked on developing an accused product.  Id. at 17.  Judge Stark held that such evidence was not enough because “a party’s pre-suit knowledge of a patent is not sufficient, by itself, to find ‘willful misconduct’ of the type that may warrant an award of enhanced damages.”  Id. (citing Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923, 1936 (Breyer, J., concurring)).  Judge Stark noted that the type of evidence absent from the record that may support a claim of willful infringement, other than pre-suit knowledge of the patent-in-suit, would include evidence that the inventor in question or defendant “intentionally relied on [the inventor’s] alleged prior knowledge of the patent in developing its products [or that the inventor] was hired because of his knowledge of the [] patent.”  Id.(internal quotations omitted).  Because no reasonable jury could find willful infringement, the Court granted defendants’ motion.

Vehicle IP, LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 09-1007-LPS (D. Del. Dec. 30, 2016)

 

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