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Apeldyn Corp. v. Sony Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

April 2, 2015

APELDYN CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
SONY CORPORATION, SONY ELECTRONICS, INC., SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO. LTD., and SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Plaintiff: David S. Eagle, Esquire and Sean M. Brennecke, Esquire of Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Jon P. Stride, Esquire and Scott G. Seidman, Esquire of Tonkon Torp, LLP.

For Defendants: John W. Shaw, Esquire and Jeffrey T. Castellano, Esquire of Shaw Keller LLP., Counsel for Defendants Sony Corporation and Sony Electronics, Inc., Michael J. Barta, Esquire, Neil. S. Sirota, Esquire, Eliot D. Williams, Esquire, Christopher R. Patrick, Esquire and Jeremy P. Merling, Esquire of Baker Botts LLP.

For Defendants: Richard L. Horwitz, Esquire, David E. Moore, Esquire, and Bundu A. Palapura, Esquire of Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP. Counsel for Defendants Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and Samsung Electronics America, Michael J. Barta, Esquire, Neil. S. Sirota, Esquire, Eliot D. Williams, Esquire, Christopher R. Patrick, Esquire and Jeremy P. Merling, Esquire of Baker Botts LLP.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION

SUE L. ROBINSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. The Parties

Plaintiff Apeldyn Corporation (" Apeldyn" or " plaintiff') is an Oregon corporation with its principal place of business in Tigard, Oregon. Apeldyn is the owner of the sole patent at issue, United States Patent No. 5,347,382 (" the '382 patent" ).

Defendant Sony Corporation is a Japanese corporation with its principal place of business in Tokyo, Japan. Defendant Sony Electronics, Inc. (collectively with Sony Corporation, " Sony" ) is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in San Diego, California. Sony Corporation is a manufacturer of liquid crystal display (" LCD" ) products, and Sony Electronics, Inc. is a domestic subsidiary and imports LCD's for sale in the United States.

Defendant Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a Korean corporation with its principal place of business in Seoul, South Korea. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. manufactures LCD products. Defendant Samsung Electronics America Inc. (collectively with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., " Samsung" ) is a New York corporation with its principal place of business in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. is a domestic subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and it markets and manufactures Samsung's products throughout the United States.

B. Procedural Background

This is not the first lawsuit in this court regarding infringement of Apeldyn's '382 patent. On September 8, 2008, Apeldyn filed a complaint against AU Optronics Corporation and AU Optronics Corporation America (collectively " AUO" ), Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corporation and Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA Inc. (collectively, " CMO" ) (together with AUO, " the 08-568 defendants" ), Sony, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and Samsung Electronics America Inc. (hereinafter, the " 08-568 case" ). (Civ. No. 08-568, D.I. 1) On September 30, 2009, the court conditionally granted Samsung's motion for disqualification. ( Id., D.I. 155, 156) Samsung was subsequently dismissed from the case. ( Id., D.I. 255) On April 13, 2010, the court received a stipulation of dismissal with respect to

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Sony. ( Id., D.I. 294) After an extensive claim construction and summary judgment practice ( Id., D.I. 627), and the subsequent denial of the parties' motions for reargument ( Id., D.I. 653), the parties stipulated to a form of judgment ( Id., D.I. 665) and Apeldyn appealed the court's decisions to the Federal Circuit ( Id., D.I. 663). On July 17, 2013, the Federal Circuit affirmed this court's summary judgment ruling of noninfringement.

In the present case, Apeldyn filed a complaint alleging infringement of the '382 patent by Sony on May 19, 2011. (D.I. 1) Therein, Apeldyn alleged that Sony infringes the '382 patent and induces infringement of the '382 patent by virtue of its making, selling, and importing " products that are made by a method that infringes one or more claims of the '382 patent," and that Sony's " infringement has been and continues to be willful and deliberate, and will continue unless enjoined by this court," which also renders this case exceptional. ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 26, 29) Sony moved to dismiss Apeldyn's claims of inducement of infringement and willful infringement. (D.I. 5) Apeldyn filed a first amended complaint on July 12, 2011, mooting that motion. (D.I. 11) Thereafter, on July 28, 2011, Sony filed a renewed motion to dismiss plaintiffs inducement and willful infringement claims (D.I. 13) and a motion to stay the proceedings (D.I. 16). On April 4, 2012, the court issued an order denying the motion to dismiss and the motion to stay. On June 14, 2012, the parties stipulated to the consolidation of the present action with Civ. No. 11-581, in which Apeldyn filed a complaint against Samsung (collectively with Sony, " defendants" ) for infringement of the '382 patent.

Presently before the court are: (1) defendants' motion for summary judgment of invalidity (D.I. 150); (2) defendants' motion for summary judgment of non-infringement due to collateral estoppel (D.I. 167); (3) defendants' motion to exclude the infringement testimony of plaintiff's technical expert (D.I. 150); and (4) plaintiff's motion to exclude certain testimony from defendants' expert (D.I. 146). The court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § § 1331 and 1338(a).

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

A. Summary Judgment

" The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 n.10, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). A party asserting that a fact cannot be - or, alternatively, is - genuinely disputed must support the assertion either by citing to " particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for the purposes of the motions only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials," or by " showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A) & (B). If the moving party has carried its burden, the nonmovant must then " come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587 (internal quotation marks omitted). The court will " draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, and it may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence." Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc.,

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530 U.S. 133, 150, 120 S.Ct. 2097, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000).

To defeat a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must " do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586-87; see also Podohnik v. U.S. Postal Service, 409 F.3d 584, 594 (3d Cir. 2005) (stating party opposing summary judgment " must present more than just bare assertions, conclusory allegations or suspicions to show the existence of a genuine issue" ) (internal quotation marks omitted). Although the " mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment," a factual dispute is genuine where " the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). " If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Id. at 249-50 (internal citations omitted); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986) (stating entry of summary judgment is mandated " against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial" ).

B. Infringement

A patent is infringed when a person " without authority makes, uses or sells any patented invention, within the United States ... during the term of the patent." 35 U.S.C. § 271(a). A two-step analysis is employed in making an infringement determination. See Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 976 (Fed. Cir. 1995). First, the court must construe the asserted claims to ascertain their meaning and scope. See id. Construction of the claims is a question of law subject to de novo review. See Cybor Corp. v. FAS Techs., 138 F.3d 1448, 1454 (Fed. Cir. 1998). The trier of fact must then compare the properly construed claims with the accused infringing product. See Markman, 52 F.3d at 976. This second step is a question of fact. See Bai v.L& L Wings, Inc., 160 F.3d 1350, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 1998).

" Direct infringement requires a party to perform each and every step or element of a claimed method or product." BMC Res., Inc. v. Paymentech, LP., 498 F.3d 1373, 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2007), overruled on other grounds by 692 F.3d 1301 (Fed. Cir. 2012). " If any claim limitation is absent from the accused device, there is no literal infringement as a matter of law." Bayer AG v. Elan Pharm. Research Corp., 212 F.3d 1241, 1247 (Fed. Cir. 2000). If an accused product does not infringe an independent claim, it also does not infringe any claim depending thereon. See Wahpeton Canvas Co. v. Frontier, Inc., 870 F.2d 1546, 1553 (Fed. Cir. 1989). However, " [o]ne may infringe an independent claim and not infringe a claim dependent on that claim." Monsanto Co. v. Syngenta Seeds, Inc., 503 F.3d 1352, 1359 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (quoting Wahpeton Canvas, 870 F.2d at 1552) (internal quotations omitted). A product that does not literally infringe a patent claim may still infringe under the doctrine of equivalents if the differences between an individual limitation of the claimed invention and an element of the accused product are insubstantial. See Warner-Jenkinson ...


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