Plant Equipment ("Plant") filed a patent infringement action against Intrado over a patent that describes a system and method for routing incoming calls through the use of a central data manager over a wide network to multiple call centers having multiple remote terminals. Intrado provides technology for the 9-1-1 call infrastructure that delivers millions of emergency calls each year throughout the United States. Plant accused Intrado's 9-1-1 network, called the Intelligent Emergency Network of infringing the Plant patent.
Plant served infringement contentions, which it supplemented a few weeks later at Intrado's request. Intrado, still not satisfied with the infringement contentions, filed a motion to compel Plant to produce infringement contentions that comply with the Eastern District of Texas' Local Patent Rule 3-1. Intrado asserted that the Plant contentions merely parroted claim language and used block quotes without specifying components or structures, failed to consistently point to the same structure for one claim limitation ("remote terminal structures") and failed to explain how customized installations could infringe and explain how such infringement occurs.
After stating the requirements of Local Rule 3-1, the district court found that Plant's argument, that its contentions logically step through its theories by quoting only "carefully selected portions" rather than blocked quotes, was correct. "The Court finds that Plant's infringement contentions, in their totality, do indeed logically step through its theories of infringement and provide cites to specific quotes from selected portions of Intrado's documents."
The district court also found that Plant's infringement contentions were sufficient regarding the "remote terminal" limitation. "Intrado argues that because some accused structures are described as a "remote terminal" in one claim but not in others, it cannot decipher whether Plant considers such structures as infringing. . . . Plant argues that the "remote terminal" structures are indeed consistently disclosed, but rather in short-hand or by alternate names."
Finally, regarding the customization argument, the district court found that Plant's contentions were sufficient because its contentions accounted for both the relatively static components of the accused system as well as the points of potential variability. "Intrado argues that because some accused structures are described as a "remote terminal" in one claim but not in others, it cannot decipher whether Plant considers such structures as infringing. . . . Plant argues that the "remote terminal" structures are indeed consistently disclosed, but rather in short-hand or by alternate names."
Accordingly, the district court denied the motion to compel supplemental infringement contentions.
The authors of www.PatentLawyerBlog.com are patent trial lawyers at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP. We represent inventors, patent owners and technology companies in patent licensing and litigation. Whether pursuing patent violations or defending infringement claims, we are aggressive and effective advocates for our clients. For more information contact Stan Gibson at 310.201.3548 or SGibson@jmbm.com.