Judge Andrews Grants Defendants’ Summary Judgment Motion on Damages but Denies Summary Judgment Motions of Non-Infringement and Invalidity
February 3, 2016
Publication| Intellectual Property
In M2M Solutions LLC v. Motorola Solutions, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 12-33-RGA, (D. Del. Jan. 6, 2016), Judge Andrews granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment related to damages, but denied the defendants’ motions for summary judgment of non-infringement and invalidity. On the issue of infringement, Judge Andrews rejected the defendants’ argument that the patent-in-suit failed to properly claim functional capability. The defendants argued that the patent covered only “structures” not inherently contained within the product and required “method steps” that the plaintiff could not prove occurred. The defendants pointed to the inclusion of language such as “sent from” and “received by” in the processing module limitation of claim 1 as evidence that the claims only covered events that are necessary before claim limitations are met. Nonetheless, Judge Andrews held that the patent covered an apparatus. Additionally, Judge Andrews noted that there were disputed issues of fact regarding the accused functionality of the products as sold and denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment of non-infringement. Similarly, Judge Andrews found disputed issues of fact on whether the patent satisfied the written description requirement.
However, Judge Andrews granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment related to damages. First, Judge Andrews held that the defendants were entitled to judgment of no willful infringement because the plaintiff failed to satisfy the willfulness test established in In re: Seagate Tech LLC, 497 F.3d 1360, 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2007). Specifically, Judge Andrews pointed to the plaintiff’s failure to establish the defendants’ “pre-suit knowledge” or “objective recklessness.” Judge Andrews also agreed with the defendants’ argument that the plaintiff did not present any evidence to prove the amount of products (if any) that were sold abroad and imported into the U.S. Accordingly, Judge Andrews held that the plaintiff provided no basis to include an estimate in its damage calculation for products sold abroad and imported into the U.S. and granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
Analysis: This continues a trend of the Court to carefully evaluate motions for summary judgment and dismiss claims of willful infringement where there is insufficient evidence.