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Alarm.com, Inc. v. Securenet Technologies LLC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

January 8, 2019

ALARM.COM, INC. and ICN ACQUISITION, LLC, Plaintiffs;
v.
SECURENET TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Defendant.

          Mary B. Matterer and Kenneth L. Dorsney, MORRIS JAMES LLP, Wilmington, DE; Ian R. Liston, WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, P.C., Wilmington, DE; James C. Yoon, Ryan R. Smith (argued), Christopher D. Mays, and Mary A. Procaccio-Flowers, WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, Palo Alto, CA, attorneys for Plaintiffs.

          Jack B. Bhimenfeld and Stephen J. Kraftschik, MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; Erik B. Milch and Frank Pietrantonio, COOLEY LLP, Reston, VA; Rose Whelan (argued), and Naina Soni, COOLEY LLP, Washington, DC, attorneys for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Currently pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Exclude Opinions of Brett Reed. (D.I. 173). The parties have fully briefed the issues. (D.I. 174, 187, 197). The Court heard oral argument on December 3, 2018. (D.I. 208). After considering the parties' briefing and argument, the Court GRANTS-IN-PART and DENIES-IN-PART Defendant's Motion.

         I. Background

         Plaintiffs' predecessor-in-interest iControl Networks, Inc. filed this suit against Defendant SecureNet Technologies LLC on September 11, 2015. (D.I. 1). The suit asserted United States Patent Nos. 7, 855, 635 ("the '635 patent"), 8, 473, 619 ("the '619 patent"), 8, 478, 844 ("the '844 patent"), and 8, 073, 931 ("the '931 patent"). (D.I. 1 ¶¶ 3-7). The patents-in-suit are generally related to integrating an alarm system with an external security network and other interfaces. ('635 patent, abstract; '619 patent, abstract; '844 patent, abstract; '931 patent, abstract).

         On June 23, 2016, Plaintiffs Alarm.com and ICN Acquisition (collectively "Plaintiffs") entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with iControl Networks to purchase the patents-in-suit. (D.I. 177 at 209). Plaintiff ICN is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Plaintiff Alarm.com. (D.I. 186 ¶ 2). On March 8, 2017, Plaintiff ICN completed its acquisition of the patents-in-suit. (D.I. 177 at 209, 255). On March 29, 2017, the Court substituted Alarm.com and ICN for iControl as Plaintiffs in this action. (D.I. 28). Defendant filed a Motion to Exclude Opinions of Brett Reed on October 30, 2018. (D.I. 173).

         II. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Evidence 702 sets out the requirements for expert witness testimony and states:

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. The Third Circuit has explained:

Rule 702 embodies a trilogy of restrictions on expert testimony: qualification, reliability and fit. Qualification refers to the requirement that the witness possess specialized expertise. We have interpreted this requirement liberally, holding that a broad range of knowledge, skills, and training qualify an expert. Secondly, the testimony must be reliable; it must be based on the "methods and procedures of science" rather than on "subjective belief or unsupported speculation"; the expert must have "good grounds" for his or her belief. In sum, Daubert holds that an inquiry into the reliability of scientific evidence under Rule 702 requires a determination as to its scientific validity. Finally, Rule 702 requires that the expert testimony must fit the issues in the case. In other words, the expert's testimony must be relevant for the purposes of the case arid must assist the trier of fact. The Supreme Court explained in Daubert that Rule 702's "helpfulness" standard requires a valid scientific connection to the pertinent inquiry as a precondition to admissibility.
By means of a so-called "Daubert hearing," the district court acts as a gatekeeper, preventing opinion testimony that does not meet the requirements of qualification, reliability and fit from reaching the jury. See Daubert ("Faced with a proffer of expert scientific testimony, . then, the trial judge must determine at the outset, pursuant to Rule 104(a) of the Federal Rules of Evidence whether the expert is proposing to testify to (1) scientific ...

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