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Judge Andrews issues post-trial rulings in L-3 Communications v. Sony

In L-3 Communications Corporation v. Sony Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 10-734-RGA, Judge Richard G. Andrews recently issued rulings on defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law (D. Del. Sept. 12, 2014) (“JMOL Memorandum Opinion,” first document below) and both parties’ motions for entry of judgment (D. Del. Sept. 12, 2014) (“Memorandum (Entry of Judgment) and Final Judgement,” second document below).  The Court found in defendants’ favor as to both sets of motions.

Following a jury verdict in plaintiff’s favor on defendants’ invalidity counterclaims only, defendants renewed their motion for judgment as a matter of law that the asserted patent claims are invalid as obvious.  The Court granted the motion, finding the jury’s verdict legally insufficient.  The only issue presented was whether it would have been obvious to add an “in-pixel amplifier” to a certain prior art reference.  JMOL Memorandum Opinion at 2.  The Court rejected plaintiff’s argument at trial that this reference taught away from adding an amplifier, finding its characterization of the prior art incorrect.  See id. at 7-9.  The Court also considered and rejected a new argument raised by plaintiff for the first time in its post-trial briefing even though this argument was not properly put before the jury.  See id. at 7 n.7 and 9-12.  The Court concluded that defendants had met their burden of proving obviousness, and granted their motion for judgment as a matter of law.

Both parties also moved for entry of judgment related to claims that not been tried because, due to the Court’s claim construction, plaintiff conceded that it could not prove infringement.  The parties disagreed as to the proper language for the judgment, as defendant was “concerned that if it consents to [plaintiff’s] proposed judgment it will be precluded from raising [a challenge to the Court’s claim construction] on appeal.”  Memorandum (Entry of Judgment) at 2.  Plaintiff’s language quoted the Court’s constructions, noting that the accused products did not infringe “because they lack a ‘means for draining stored charge from said charge storage means in response to an element resetting signal,’ a ‘means for randomly accessing said image elements,’ a ‘gain control element interposed between said photoresponsive element and said storage element,’ or a ‘charge drain.’”  Id. at 2.  The Court pointed out that plaintiff’s proposed language had no basis in the record.  Id.  However, it found no reason not to enter judgment in defendants’ favor, and therefore entered judgment with revised language that did not include the above quotes, but instead stated that “under this Court’s Claim Construction Opinion and Order (D.I. 78), L-3 cannot prove that the Accused Products satisfy all elements of the Conceded Claims.”  Final Judgement at 2.


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