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AVM Technologies, LLC v. Intel Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

April 29, 2017

AVM TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Plaintiff;
v.
INTEL CORPORATION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Intel's Expert Vivek Subramanian (D.I. 437) and related briefing (D.I. 438, 500, 542), Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Julie Davis (D.I. 435) and related briefing (D.I. 436, 496, 527), Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude Portions of the Expert Opinion of Lorin Hitt, Ph.D. (D.I. 411) and related briefing (D.I. 412, 486, 521), Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Willy Shih and Robert Colwell Regarding the Subjects in Their November 14 Reports (D.I. 413) and related briefing (D.I. 414, 489, 531), and Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony Regarding Intel Patents (D.I. 402) and related briefing (D.I. 403, 498, 522). For the reasons that follow, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Intel's Expert Vivek Subramanian (D.I. 437) is DENIED, Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Julie Davis (D.I. 435) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude Portions of the Expert Opinion of Lorin Hitt, Ph.D. (D.I. 411) is DENIED, Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Willy Shih and Robert Colwell Regarding the Subjects in Their November 14 Reports (D.I. 413) is DENIED, and Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony Regarding Intel Patents (D.I. 402) is DENIED.

         "[T]he 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 methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

Fed. R. Evid. 702.

         Rule 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).

         On the one hand, this showing requires the party proffering expert testimony do more than make a 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.

         Plaintiffs objections to each of these experts' 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.

         A. Dr. Subramanian

         Plaintiff first argues that Dr. Subramanian should be precluded from opining on which circuits are limiting circuits because such testimony would violate Magistrate Judge Thynge's Order during a discovery dispute. (D.I. 438 at 14). I have already addressed this issue. (D.I. 658 at 5). Dr. Subramanian is not precluded from testifying about which circuits are speed-limiting.

         Plaintiff next argues that Dr. Subramanian's supplemental report was untimely and is prejudicial. (D.I. 438 at 18). This is not an appropriate issue for a Daubert motion. Furthermore, it seems that if Plaintiff suffered the severe prejudice it claims to have suffered, it should have brought this issue to my attention at the time the report was filed. The supplemental report addresses a narrow issue, is only six pages long, was served prior to Dr. Subramanian's deposition, and serves as a response to ...


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