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RainDance Technologies, Inc. v. 10X Genomics, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 17, 2017

RAINDANCE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., and THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, Plaintiffs,
v.
10X GENOMICS, INC. Defendant.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld, Esq., MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; Karen Jacobs, Esq., MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; Edward R. Reines, Esq. (argued), WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES LLP, Redwood Shores, CA; Derek C. Walter, Esq., WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES LLP, Redwood Shores, CA. Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Steven J. Balick, Esq., ASHBY & GEDDES, Wilmington, DE; Tiffany Geyer Lydon, Esq., ASHBY & GEDDES, Wilmington, DE; Andrew C. Mayo, Esq., ASHBY & GEDDES, Wilmington, DE; David I. Gindler, Esq. (argued), IRELL & MANELLA LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Andrei Iancu, Esq., IRELL & MANELLA LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Lauren Nicole Drake (argued), Esq., IRELL & MANELLA LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Elizabeth Chenyi Tuan, Esq., IRELL & MANELLA LLP, Los Angeles, CA. Attorneys for Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the Court is the issue of claim construction of a single term in U.S. Patent Nos. 8, 822, 148 ("the '148 patent"), 8, 329, 407 ("the '407 patent"), 8, 304, 193 ("the '193 patent"), 8, 658, 430 ("the '430 patent"), and 8, 889, 083 ("the '083 patent"). The Court has considered the Parties' Joint Claim Construction Brief. (D.I. 93). The Court heard oral argument on December 16, 2016. (D.I. 105). During argument, the Court instructed the parties to provide expert testimony as to the meaning of the disputed term "polymerase chain reaction''/''PCR." (D.I. 105 at 97:24-98:7). The Court issued its claim construction opinion for all other disputed terms on January 26, 2017. (D.I. 116). The Court heard further argument, including expert testimony, on the remaining disputed term on March 6, 2017. (D.I. 169) ("Hr'g Tr.").

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed this action on February 12, 2015, alleging infringement of six patents on behalf of both Plaintiffs. (D.I.I). Plaintiffs refer to these patents as the Ismagilov patents. On April 23, 2015, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint asserting an additional patent, the '430 patent, on behalf of Plaintiff RainDance only. (D.I. 12). On March 25, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint in which they asserted the '430 patent and only five of the Ismagilov patents. (D.I. 32). The'430 patent was dismissed on March 24, 2017. (D.I. 138).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         "It is a bedrock principle of patent law that the claims of a patent define the invention to which the patentee is entitled the right to exclude." Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) (internal quotation marks omitted). '"[T]here is no magic formula or catechism for conducting claim construction.' Instead, the court is free to attach the appropriate weight to appropriate sources 'in light of the statutes and policies that inform patent law.'" Soft View LLC v. Apple Inc, 2013 WL4758195, at *1 (D. Del. Sept. 4, 2013) (quoting Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1324) (alteration in original). When construing patent claims, a court considers the literal language of the claim, the patent specification, and the prosecution history. Markman v. West view Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 977-80 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370 (1996). Of these sources, "the specification is always highly relevant to the claim construction analysis. Usually, it is dispositive; it is the single best guide to the meaning of a disputed term." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1315 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         "[T]he words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning. ... [Which is] the meaning that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art in question at the time of the invention, i.e., as of the effective filing date of the patent application." Id. at 1312-13 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). "[T]he ordinary meaning of a claim term is its meaning to [an] ordinary artisan after reading the entire patent." Id. at 1321 (internal quotation marks omitted). "In some cases, the ordinary meaning of claim language as understood by a person of skill in the art may be readily apparent even to lay judges, and claim construction in such cases involves little more than the application of the widely accepted meaning of commonly understood words." Id. at 1314.

         When a court relies solely upon the intrinsic evidence-the patent claims, the specification, and the prosecution history-the court's construction is a determination of law. See Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 841 (2015). The court may also make factual findings based upon consideration of extrinsic evidence, which "consists of all evidence external to the patent and prosecution history, including expert and inventor testimony, dictionaries, and learned treatises." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317-19 (internal quotation marks omitted). Extrinsic evidence may assist the court in understanding the underlying technology, the meaning of terms to one skilled in the art, and how the invention works. Id. Extrinsic evidence, however, is less reliable and less useful in claim construction than the patent and its prosecution history. Id.

         "A claim construction is persuasive, not because it follows a certain rule, but because it defines terms in the context of the whole patent." Renishaw PLC v. Marposs Societa 'per Azioni, 158 F.3d 1243, 1250 (Fed. Cir. 1998). It follows that "a claim interpretation that would exclude the inventor's device is rarely the correct interpretation." Osram GMBH v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 505 F.3d 1351, 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         III. CONSTRUCTION OF DISPUTED TERM

         The patents-in-suit were described and representative claims provided in the Court's first claim construction opinion. (D.I. 116). ...


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