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MiiCs & Partners America, Inc. v. Toshiba Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

October 24, 2017

MiiCs & PARTNERS AMERICA, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
TOSHIBA CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. SAMSUNG DISPLAY CO., LTD., Intervenor. MiiCs & PARTNERS AMERICA, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
FUNAI ELECTRIC CO., LTD., et al., Defendants. SAMSUNG DISPLAY CO., LTD., Intervenor.

          Dennis James Butler, Esq., PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP, Wilmington, DE; John David Simmons, Esq., PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP, Wilmington, DE; Stephen E. Murray, Esq., PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Keith A. Jones, Esq., PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Aaron Robert Ettelman, Esq., ICE MILLER LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Frederick Tecce, Esq. (argued), ICE MILLER LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Bryon T. Wasserman, Esq., ICE MILLER LLP, Philadelphia, PA. Attorneys for Plaintiffs

          Robert W. Mallard, Esq., DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP, Wilmington, DE; Clinton L. Conner, Esq. (argued), DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP, .Minneapolis, MN; David Tseng, Esq., DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP, Seattle, WA; Paul T. Meiklejohn (argued), DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP, Seattle, WA.Attorneys for Defendants Toshiba Corporation and Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.

          Benjamin J. Schladweiler, Esq., ROSS ARONSTAM & MORITZ LLP, Wilmington, DE; Nicholas D. Mozal, Esq., ROSS ARONSTAM & MORITZ LLP, Wilmington, DE; Dennies Varughese, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; John C. Rozendaal, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; Michael E. Joffre, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; Jonathan Turminaro, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; Daniel J. Bernard, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; William H. Milliken, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; Stephanie M. Nguyen, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; Zhiwei Zou, Esq., STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C, Washington, DC; Jean Paul Y. Nagashima, Esq., NAGASHIMA & HASHIMOTO, Tokyo, Japan; Takaaki Nagashima, Esq., NAGASHIMA & HASHIMOTO, Tokyo, Japan. Attorneys for Defendants Funai Electric Co., Ltd., Funai Corporation, and P&F USA, Inc.

          Adam Wyatt Poff, Esq., YOUNG, CONAWAY, STARGATT & TAYLOR LLP, Wilmington, DE; Pilar G. Kraman, Esq., YOUNG, CONAWAY, STARGATT & TAYLOR LLP, Wilmington, DE; Kevin B. Collins, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Washington, DC; Jared R. Frisch, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Washington, DC; David A. Garr, Esq. (argued), COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Washington, DC; Christopher Higby, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Washington, DC; Jeffrey H. Lerner, Esq. (argued), COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Washington, DC; Robert T. Halsam, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Redwood Shores, CA; Chang Sik Kim, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Seoul, South Korea; Scott Schrader, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Seoul, South Korea. Attorneys for Intervenor.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the Court is Samsung Display Co., Ltd.'s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment of Non Infringement and Invalidity (D.I. 404) and related briefing (D.I. 407, 458, 509).[1] The Court held oral argument on October 18, 2017. (D.I. 573) ("Tr."). For the reasons that follow, Samsung's motion is granted in part as to noninfringement of asserted claims 10, 11, and 13 of U.S. Pat. No. 7, 460, 190.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed these actions against Defendants Toshiba and Funai on June 24, 2014, alleging infringement of nine patents, including the '190 patent. (D.I. 1). With the Court's permission, Plaintiffs filed First Amended Complaints on March 31, 2015, in which they asserted additional patents. (D.I. 35). On August 11, 2015, this Court stayed these cases pending inter partes review before the PTAB. (D.I. 82). After Plaintiffs agreed to withdraw certain patents on which the PTAB instituted IPRs, the Court lifted the stays on March 23 and 31, 2016, respectively. (D.I. 112; C.A. No. 14-804-RGA, D.I. 117). On June 15, 2016, the Court granted Samsung Display Company's ("SDC") motion to intervene.[2] (D.I. 139). The remaining patents-in-suit generally relate to various liquid crystal display ("LCD") apparatuses and thin film transistors ("TFTs") used therein.

         Asserted claim 13 of the '190 patent reads as follows:

13. A liquid crystal display (LCD) device comprising a thin-film-transistor (TFT) substrate mounting thereon a plurality of TFTs, a counter substrate mounting thereon a black matrix, a liquid crystal layer sandwiched between said TFT substrate and said counter substrate for defining an array of pixels, each of said pixels including one of said TFTs and an associated pixel electrode, and a backlight unit disposed at a rear side of said TFT substrate for irradiating said TFT substrate with backlight, each of said TFTs having a channel in an ohmic contact layer and a semiconductor layer, said channel being aligned, as viewed normal to said substrates, with said black matrix and a light shield layer disposed between said channel and said backlight unit, said channel having a channel length larger at both edge portions of said channel than at a central portion thereof.

('190 patent, claim 13). Asserted claims 10 and 11 also contain the limitation, "each of said TFTs having a channel in an ohmic contact layer and a semiconductor layer." (Id. at claims 10, 11).

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         "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 has the initial burden of proving the absence of a genuinely disputed material fact relative to the claims in question. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). Material facts are those "that could affect the outcome" of the proceeding, and "a dispute about a material fact is 'genuine' if the evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). The burden on the moving party may be discharged by pointing out to the district court that there is an absence of evidence supporting the non-moving party's case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.

         The burden then shifts to the non-movant to demonstrate the existence of a genuine issue for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986); Williams v. Borough of West Chester, Pa.,891 F.2d 458, 460-61 (3d Cir. 1989). A non-moving party asserting that a fact is genuinely disputed must support such an assertion by: "(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . .., admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or (B) ...


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