United States District Court, D. Delaware
LEONARD P. STARK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff Siemens Industry, Inc.'s
("Siemens") Motion for Partial Reconsideration of
Claim Construction Order. (D.I. 173) By its motion, Siemens
asks the Court to reconsider its construction of the terms
"vital" and "safety critical" provided in
its November 6, 2017 Memorandum Opinion and Order. (D.I. 165,
166) Defendants Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies
Corporation (d/b/a Wabtec Corporation) and Wabtec Railway
Electronics, Inc. (collectively, "Wabtec") oppose
the motion. (D.I. 183) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Siemens'
motion is DENIED.
to Local Rule 7.1.5, motions for reconsideration should be
granted only "sparingly." The decision to grant
such a motion lies squarely within the discretion of the
district court. See Dentsply Int'l, Inc. v. Kerr Mfg.
Co., 42 F.Supp.2d 385, 419 (D. Del. 1999); Brambles
USA, Inc. v. Blocker, 735 F.Supp. 1239, 1241 (D. Del.
1990). These types of motions are granted only if the Court
has patently misunderstood a party, made a decision outside
the adversarial issues presented by the parties, or made an
error not of reasoning but of apprehension. See Shering
Corp. v. Amgen, Inc., 25 F.Supp.2d 293, 295 (D. Del.
1998); Brambles, 735 F.Supp. at 1241. "A motion
for reconsideration is not properly grounded on a request
that a court rethink a decision already made." Smith
v. Meyers, 2009 WL 5195928, at *1 (D. Del. Dec. 30,
2009); see also Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough of
Glendon, 836 F.Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993). It is
not an opportunity to "accomplish repetition of
arguments that were or should have been presented to the
court previously." Karr v. Castle, 768 F.Supp.
1087, 1093 (D. Del. 1991).
motion for reconsideration may generally be granted only if
the movant can show at least one of the following: (i) there
has been an intervening change in controlling law; (ii) the
availability of new evidence not available when the court
made its decision; or (iii) there is a need to correct a
clear error of law or fact to prevent manifest injustice.
See Max's Seafood Cafe by Lou-Ann, Inc. v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). However, in
no instance should reconsideration be granted if it would not
result in amendment of an order. See Schering, 25
F.Supp.2d at 295.
briefing and a claim construction hearing, the Court
construed the "vital" terms as "an application
system that has a hazard rate of no more than 10"9 per
operational hour" and the "safety critical"
terms as "an application system that contributes to
safety and, in so doing, has a data failure rate less than
10"4 per operational hour." (D.I. 165 at 18-20)
Siemens argues that "reconsideration is required to
correct certain factual and legal errors in the Court's
interpretation of the intrinsic and extrinsic evidence of
record that resulted in erroneous constructions." (D.I.
173 at 1)
first argues that the Court erroneously concluded that there
is an industry standard required by railway operators and
government regulators that a vital system have a hazard rate
of no more than 10"9 per operational hour. (See
Id. at 2) While Siemens is correct that one portion of
the specification of the '494 patent states only that
there is "often" such a
standard, several lines down the specification also states
that prior art consumer and commercial personal computers
have a data failure rate that "is insufficient to meet
railway systems required hazard
rates of no more than 10"9 per operational hour."
('494 patent at 1:30-32, 1:54-59) (emphasis added)
Similarly, with respect to "safety critical, " the
specification of the '698 patent provides that safety
critical systems must have a failure rate that is less than
10~4 per operational hour. (See '698 patent at
1:54-60) Although the published standards may not always
state the hazard rates with such specificity, the extrinsic
evidence cited by Wabtec persuades the Court that the terms
"vital" and "safety critical" have
specific meanings in the industry that require certain hazard
rates. (See D.I. 183 at 6) Moreover, as these
arguments were previously presented to the Court, they do not
provide a basis to grant the motion. See Karr, 768
F.Supp. at 1093. The Court further does not find that
Siemens' alternative proposed constructions (see
D.I. 173 at 7) should be adopted due to the statements made
in the patents' specifications discussed above.
also argues that when the Court's constructions are
substituted for "vital" and "safety
critical" in the claims, the claims no longer make
grammatical sense because the terms were construed as nouns
while the terms themselves are adjectives. (See Id.
at 5-6) Wabtec counters that a person of ordinary skill in
the art would understand the meaning. (See D.I. 183
at 8) The Court agrees with Wabtec. Still, in the interests
of avoiding unnecessary disputes as this case proceeds, the
Court clarifies that it was construing the full
"vital" and "safety critical" terms
(i.e., inclusive of the noun being modified by
"vital" or "safety critical"). Since the
"vital" terms and "safety critical" terms
that were construed always use the word "vital" or
"safety critical" as an adjective to modify a noun,
the construction of "vital [noun]" would be
"[noun] that has a hazard rate of no more than 10"9
per operational hour" and, similarly, the construction
of "safety critical [noun]" would be "[noun]
that contributes to safety and, in so doing, has a data
failure rate less than 10"4 per operational hour."
The nouns in the terms that were construed are