January 2016 Archives

Evidence of Copying Admissible in Patent Infringement Trial to Prove Nonobviousness

January 29, 2016

Metaswitch moved to exclude evidence of copying from a patent infringement action filed against it by Genband. Genband asserted during the pretrial process that it was seeking to introduce evidence of copying as an indication of nonobviousness.

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District Court Rules Plaintiff Need Not Come Forward with Evidence of Priority Date Earlier than Patent Application Until Defendant Produces Clear and Convincing Evidence of Invalidating Prior Art and Summary Chart Is Not Sufficient

January 26, 2016

Omega Patents, LLC ("Omega") filed a patent infringement action against CalAmp Corp. ("CalAmp") asserting that CalAmp infringes the claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,346,876 ("the '876 Patent"), U.S. Patent No. 6,737,989 ("the '989 Patent"), U.S. Patent No. 6,756,885 ("the '885 Patent"), U.S. Patent No. 7,671,727 ("the '727 Patent"), and U.S. Patent No. 8,032,278 ("the '278 Patent"). The patents relate to control systems for vehicles with a "data communications bus." Omega asserted that CalAmp's devices are used to monitor particular vehicle characteristics and conditions and report vehicle information to an end user, thus infringing on the patents-in-suit. In particular, CalAmp advertises for sale the LMU-3000, LMU-3030, and LMU-3050 (the "Accused Devices") which are described as full-featured tracking systems which "access vehicle diagnostic interface data, track vehicle speed and location, plus detect hard braking, cornering, or acceleration."

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District Court Declines to Stay Action Pending Inter Partes Review ("IPR") Where Claim Construction Briefing Had Already Occurred

January 21, 2016

After the PTAB granted Defendant's petition for IPR on certain of the claims in the patent-in-suit, the defendant filed a motion to stay the action pending the resolution of the IPR. The plaintiffs objected to a stay, but alternatively advocated for a partial stay allowing them to move forward with their causes of action related to Claims 12, 18, 20-22, and 25, which were not being reviewed by the PTAB.

The district court began its analysis by noting that before the court could rule on the motion to say, the claim construction deadlines approached and passed and neither party asked the district court to extend the claim construction deadlines due to the pending motion for a stay. Instead, both parties filed their opening and responsive claim construction briefs.

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District Court Strikes Expert Opinion Testimony on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Under Section 101

January 19, 2016

Defendants Metaswitch Networks Ltd and Metaswitch Networks Corp. ("Metaswitch") filed a motion to strike plaintiff's expert opinions of Mr. Lanning, including his opinions that the patents in suit claim patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

In analyzing the motion to strike, the district court noted that "[t]he ultimate question of patent eligibility under § 101 is an issue of law." BRCA1- & BRCA2-Based Hereditary Cancer Test Patent Litig. v. Ambry Genetics Corp., 774 F.3d 755, 759 (Fed. Cir. 2014). Therefore, the district court stated that "the issue of subject matter eligibility under § 101 will not be tried to the jury in this case. No expert will be permitted to testify to the jury about whether the asserted patents claim eligible subject matter under § 101."

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Expert Patent Valuation Opinion Based on Forward Citation Analysis Survives Daubert Challenge

January 13, 2016

Plaintiff Better Mouse Company's ("Better Mouse") filed a motion to strike portions of the rebuttal expert report and exclude testimony of Richard Eichmann. Better Mouse asserted that the district court should exclude Mr. Eichmann's testimony stating that he determined the value of U.S. Patent No. 7,532,200 (the Asserted Patent or '200 patent) using forward citation analysis. Better Mouse argued that Mr. Eichmann's forward citation analysis is flawed because (1) "he failed to count citations to counterpart patents and applications, which share an identical or very similar disclosure"; and (2) "he failed to account for patent families, which are linked either directly or indirectly by a priority document and thus may also disclose the same idea as the related 'Comparable Patent.'"

Better Mouse asserted that "[t]he Court should strike Mr. Eichmann's forward citation count because it ignores citations to related patents that disclose the same technology, thereby grossly undercounting the number of relevant forward citations." Plaintiff argued that the district court should follow Oracle, where the Northern District of California held "that failing to include citation counts to patents (in that case, predecessors to a reissue patent) that have 'the same specification and drawings' was a fatal flaw in [an] expert's forward citation count." (Dkt. No. 226 at 4 (citing Oracle Am., Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. C 10-03561 WHA, 2012 WL 877125 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 15, 2012).)"

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District Court Denies Request for Contempt Where Defendant Continued to Provide Repairs and Replacement Parts to Enjoined Devices

January 11, 2016

Plaintiff Advanced Transit Dynamics, Inc. ("Plaintiff" or "ATD") filed an ex parte application for a judgment of civil contempt against Defendant Ridge Corporation's ("Defendant" or "Ridge") for allegedly violating of the district court's Modified Preliminary Injunction Order ("Order"). In its ex parte application, ATD asserted that Defendant's repair and support of accused devices sold before the issuance of the Order constitute infringement and violate the Order.

As explained by the district court, before the effective date of the preliminary injunction, Ridge had sold hundreds of GreenTail devices. Ridge claimed that repairs and replacement parts are necessary to maintain the safe use of the devices. Ridge also asserted that it provides only unpatented parts and services and does not charge for them. On October 22, 2015, Ridge notified ATD that it interpreted the Order to permit Ridge to repair and support GreenTail devices sold before September 29, 2015. ATD disagreed with the interpretation and refused to consent to Ridge's repair or support of the GreenTail devices.

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District Court Declines to Delay Transfer of Case Pending Ruling on Claim Construction

January 8, 2016

The plaintiffs, Chrimar Systems, Inc. and Chrimar Holding Company, LLC ("Chrimar"), filed a motion to reconsider the district court's order granting Ruckus Wireless, Inc.'s ("Ruckus") motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of California. In the motion to reconsider, Chrimar requested that the district court modify its transfer order to order transfer effective upon the entry of the district court's claim construction order.

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District Court Denies Motion for Leave to Have Forensic Expert Report Used as Affirmative Evidence

January 7, 2016

The defendants filed a motion for leave to have the forensic expert report of Curtis Rose considered as affirmative evidence. The defendants timely served Rose's expert rebuttal report but sought to use his opinions as affirmative evidence, despite missing the deadline for doing so. According to defendants' motion, the Rose rebuttal report analyzes "the metadata embedded within files provided to Garmin by Mark W. Atherton, which discuss using a downwardly-directed scanning sonar beam to image underwater features." Defendants argued that, with such short notice, they could not meet the deadline but that they were able to produce to plaintiffs the files in their possession.

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