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Gmbh v. Materia, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 9, 2017

EVONIK DEGUSSA GMBH, Plaintiff,
v.
MATERIA, INC., Defendant.

          REED SMITH LLP By: Eric J. Evain, Esq. Rudolph E. Hutz, Esq. R. Eric Hutz, Esq. Counsel for Plaintiff

          MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP By: Jack B. Blumenfeld, Esq. Thomas C. Grimm, Esq. and NIXON PEABODY LLP By: Jason C. Kravitz, Esq. Gina M. McCreadie, Esq. Leslie Hartford, Esq. and J.A. LINDEMAN & CO., PLLC By: Aaron M. Raphael, Esq. David R. Lipson, Esq. Counsel for Defendant

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Evonik's post-trial Motion for a Permanent Injunction. At trial, the jury awarded Evonik money damages for Defendant Materia's pre-verdict infringement of the ‘528 patent through September 30, 2016.

         Evonik now seeks entry of a permanent injunction against Materia's continued infringement of the ‘528 patent.

         The Court heard oral argument on the motion on June 20, 2017. For the reasons stated herein, the motion will be granted.

         I.

         The Court finds the following facts based on the evidence admitted at trial, Materia's Declaration of Mark Trimmer filed in opposition to Evonik's instant motion, and other undisputed or stipulated facts. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a)(2).

         Evonik undisputedly owns the ‘528 patent, and commercially sells metathesis catalysts covered by that patent. (Trial Transcript, hereafter “TT”, p. 290, 294) Materia also sells metathesis catalysts, and is one of Evonik's competitors in that market. (TT p. 305-06, 1374) Indeed, as Materia elicited from Evonik's witness on cross-examination, Materia is Evonik's “primary competitor for olefin metathesis catalysts.” (TT p. 310) Both companies sell their metathesis catalysts primarily to clients in the pharmaceutical, oleochemical, fine chemical, and polymer industries. (TT p. 295, 1366-67)

         Evonik's business plan has never included licensing the patented technology to its competitors. (TT p. 305) Even further, Evonik has granted a license to practice the ‘528 patent only once. (TT p. 305) That license was not granted to a competitor, but rather to a customer (TT p. 305), and it was granted in connection with the settlement of this lawsuit with one of Materia's co-defendants.

         Evonik is much larger than Materia. Evonik is a multi-billion Euro company, with 30 sites in the United States, and 200 sites worldwide. (TT p. 278-80) Materia has only two locations: a headquarters in California and a manufacturing facility in Texas. (TT p. 1365)

         Materia has not made a profit during any of the years from 2008 through September 2016. (PTX1571.0023; see also TT p. 1370, “Q: Is Materia profitable? A: No we're not.”) However, Mark Trimmer, Materia's Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, states in his declaration, “Materia has sufficient funds to cover the damages awarded by the jury in the amount of $1, 550, 916.95 and further royalty based on the jury's 5.5% reasonable royalty rate . . . along with any pre-judgment interest, if awarded[1], as well as a reasonable ongoing royalty to practice Claims 8-10 of the ‘528 Patent through the two-year remaining life of that patent.” (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 5) Trimmer also testified that Materia's revenues in 2015 and 2016 were “a little over 28 million” dollars. (TT p. 1369-70)

         Trimmer further states that Materia sells at least one other type of catalyst-- the Grubbs I catalysts-- which undisputedly are not covered by the ‘528 patent. (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 3) However, Materia sells “far more” Grubbs II ...


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