Chief Judge Stark Clarifies His Order Granting Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement

September 1, 2016

Publication| Intellectual Property

In Cronos Technologies LLC v. Expedia Inc., C.A. No. 13-1538-LPS (D. Del. Aug. 15, 2016), Chief Judge Stark clarified the reasoning for his order granting Expedia’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement. The Court initially granted the motion for summary judgment on July 22, 2016, following briefing, oral argument, and supplemental briefing addressing claim construction. In his July 22 Order, Chief Judge Stark construed the terms at issue and then, based upon those constructions, found that Cronos did not have sufficient evidence from which a reasonably jury could find infringement. The Court recognized, however, that it was possible that Cronos could persuade the Court that it should be permitted to present new evidence or theories in light of the Court’s new constructions. Chief Judge Stark ordered the parties to conduct supplemental expert discovery, exchange supplemental expert reports, and submit letter briefs on the application of the Court’s new constructions to the accused products. After that process was completed, he issued the August 15, 2016 Memorandum Order reiterating his grant of summary judgment of non-infringement and stating that, even with the supplemental expert discovery and briefing, “[n]o reasonable jury could find that Defendants’ accused systems infringe the asserted claims of the ’110 patent[.]” He also disposed of Cronos’ doctrine-of-equivalents argument.

Key Points: This opinion shows the Court’s willingness to carefully consider the merits of a case prior to trial. Although the Court ultimately granted summary judgment, disposing of Cronos’ case in full, Chief Judge Stark showed, throughout his opinion, that he drew all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and did not assess expert credibility.

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