United States District Court, D. Delaware
before the Court is Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment on Intel's Utility Defense and to Strike
Unreliable Expert Testimony on the Question of Utility (D.I.
407) and related briefing (D.I. 408, 502, 528). The Court
heard oral argument on April 12, 2017. For the reasons that
follow, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Plaintiffs Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment and to Strike Unreliable Expert
Testimony on the Question of Utility (D.I. 407) is DENIED.
Motion to Strike Expert Testimony
district court acts as a gatekeeper" to ensure that
expert testimony is reliable and helpful. Schneider v.
Fried, 320 F.3d 396, 404 (3rd Cir. 2003). "The
primary locus of this obligation is [Federal Rule of
Evidence] 702." Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharma.,
Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 589(1993). It reads:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill,
experience, training, or education may testify in the form of
an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702.
702, as amended in 2000, codified the Supreme Court's
holding in Daubert. Daubert imposes a
"trilogy" of requirements: (1) qualification, (2)
reliability, and (3) fit. Schneider, 320 F.3d at
404. My determination that proffered testimony complies with
these prerequisites is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence
104(a). Daubert, 509 U.S. at 592. As such, I must
find Daubert's trilogy of requirements is met by
a preponderance of the evidence. In re Paoli R.R. Yard
PCB Litig., 35 F.3d 717, 744 (3rd Cir. 1994).
one hand, this showing requires the party proffering expert
testimony do more than make & prima facie case
of reliability. Id. at 743. On the other hand, the
"evidentiary requirement of reliability is lower than
the merits standard of correctness." Id. The
proffering party does not "have to prove their case
twice-they do not have to demonstrate to the judge by a
preponderance of the evidence that the assessments of their
experts are correct, they only have to demonstrate
by a preponderance of evidence that their opinions are
reliable." Id. at 744.
objections to Dr. Ivey's testimony fall within the
reliability prong of the Daubert trilogy. Under this
prong, "an expert's testimony is admissible so long
as the process or technique the expert used in formulating
the opinion is reliable." Paoli, 35 F.3d at
742. Reliability does not require certainty,
Daubert, 509 U.S. at 590, but does require
"validity, " Paoli, 35 F.3d at 742. The
Third Circuit has warned, however, that "the reliability
requirement must not be used as a tool by which the court
excludes all questionably reliable evidence."
Id. at 744. An expert's opinion must be founded
on good grounds, not perfect ones. Id. lean conclude
there are good grounds for the opinion even if I
"think there are better grounds for some alternative
conclusion" or that the expert's methodology
"has some flaws such that if they had been corrected,
the scientist would have reached a different result."
Id. The Third Circuit has directed that a
"judge frequently should find an expert's
methodology helpful even when the judge thinks that the
expert's technique has flaws sufficient to render the
conclusions inaccurate." Id. at 744-45.
makes two arguments for striking Dr. Ivey's testimony
related to Defendant's utility defense. First, Plaintiff
complains that Dr. Ivey "did not perform any analytical
analysis showing the benefits or costs in any particular
circuit. (D.I. 408 at 11). Second, Plaintiff characterizes
Dr. Ivey's conclusion that a design engineer would not
practice the invention because the disadvantages outweigh the
benefits as "speculation] without support."
(Id.). In response to the first point, Defendant
points to evidence in the record showing that Dr. Ivey relied
on studies performed by Defendant and simulations performed
by both Plaintiffs infringement expert and Defendant's
noninfringement expert. (D.I. 501 at 14). Defendant responds
to the second argument by pointing to Dr. Ivey's
statements that his opinions were based on his many years of
experience in the industry and his knowledge of circuit
design principles. (Id.).
with Defendant that Plaintiff has not shown that Dr.
Ivey's opinions are unreliable. As to Plaintiffs first
argument, there is no reason an expert cannot rely on
analysis performed by other experts. This, as Defendant
pointed out (a point to which Plaintiff failed to respond),
is precisely what Dr. Ivey did. Furthermore, Plaintiff is not
challenging Dr. Ivey's qualifications. Dr. Ivey, it seems
to me, is qualified to opine on basic circuit design and
whether the invention claimed in the '547 patent provides
a benefit. I would hardly characterize the opinion of an
expert as "speculation without support" simply
because that opinion is based on decades of experience in the
field. If Plaintiff believes Dr. Ivey's testimony is
based on erroneous facts or a flawed analysis, Plaintiff is
free to ...