United States District Court, D. Delaware
CONNOLLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
single filing (D.I. 169), Plaintiffs have asked the Court to
grant six motions for summary judgment. Having reviewed the
briefing filed by the parties in support and opposition to
D.I. 169 and heard oral argument, and mindful of the
fast-approaching trial date, I will address in this
Memorandum Order Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment
on the issue of direct infringement by Defendants Hamilton
Beach Brands, Inc. and Hershey Creamery Company of claim 21
of U.S. Patent No. 7, 520, 662 (the "#662 patent").
(I will endeavor to issue expeditiously rulings on the
remaining pending summary judgment motions.) For the reasons
discussed below, I will grant Plaintiffs' motion.
Plaintiffs seek summary judgment of direct infringement of
claim 21 of the #662 patent based on (1) Hamilton Beach's
own use and demonstrations of four accused milkshake blenders
(the MIC2000, BIC2000, IMI2000, and BIC3000-DQ); and (2)
Hershey's own use and demonstrations of the accused
MIC2000 blender. D.I. 170 at 16.
is undisputed that, except for one claim term, the operation
of the four accused blenders reads on every element of claim
21 of the #662 patent. The parties dispute only whether the
operation of the blenders involves "directing rinsing
fluid onto the splash shield using the nozzle while
isolating the vessel from the rinsing fluid."
See D.I. 170 at 21-22; D.I. 195 at 8 (emphasis
Judge Sleet, who originally presided over this case, ruled
after claim construction briefing and oral argument that
"while isolating the vessel from the rinsing fluid"
is to be given its plain and ordinary meaning. D.I. 82 at 3.
It is undisputed that the plain and ordinary meaning of
"while" is "at the same time." 4. The
parties agree that the rinsing of the splash shield occurs
after the vessel (i.e., the cup) is removed from the blender.
They also agree that the removal of the vessel results in the
vessel being isolated from the blender; in other words, the
removal of the vessel achieves the isolation of the vessel.
See, e.g., D.I. 170 at 17 ("After [a user]
removed the cup, and thereby isolated it"); id.
at 22 ("manually removing the cup from the four accused
Hamilton blenders isolates the cup from the rinsing
fluid"); D.I. 195 at 10 ("the action of
isolating' is performed by removing the vessel from the
parties disagree about when the isolating of the vessel ends.
Plaintiffs' position is that the vessel continues to be
isolated from the blender in perpetuity once it is removed
from the blender (unless, of course, the vessel were returned
to its original position in the blender, in which case it
would no longer be isolated). Defendants' position is
that the isolating of the vessel is completed upon the
vessel's removal from the blender, and that therefore,
since the rinsing occurs after the vessel's removal, the
rinsing does not occur "while isolating the vessel"
(i.e., at the same time the vessel is isolated). See
D.I. 195 at 10.
my view, Defendants' proffered interpretation of
"isolating" is unreasonably narrow and is
inconsistent with the plain and ordinary meaning of the word.
Although the isolating of the vessel begins with the
vessel's removal from the blender, the isolating and
removing of the vessel are not temporally coextensive.
Applying the plain and ordinary meaning of
"isolating," the isolating of the vessel begins
with the vessel's removal from the blender and continues
as long as the vessel is separated from the blender-i.e.,
unless and until the vessel is reunited with the blender.
See Isolate, MERRIAM WEBSTER DICTIONARY (online ed.
2019) ("to set apart from others").
there is no dispute that, in the operation of the accused
blenders, the "directing rinsing fluid onto the splash
shield using the nozzle" occurs after the removal of the
vessel and while the vessel is separated from the blender,
the "directing rinsing fluid onto the splash shield
using the nozzle" necessarily occurs while isolating the
vessel from the rinsing fluid. Accordingly, there is no
dispute of material fact and I will enter summary judgment in
Plaintiffs' favor. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a)
("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."); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323 (1986) ("[T]he party moving for summary judgment...
bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of any genuine
issues of material fact."); Gen. Mills, Inc. v.
Hunt-Wesson, Inc., 103 F.3d 978, 983 (Fed. Cir. 1997)
("Where the parties do not dispute any relevant facts
regarding the accused product, ... but disagree over possible
claim interpretations, the question of literal infringement
collapses into claim construction and is amenable to summary
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs' motion for summary
judgment of direct infringement of claim 21 of the #662
patent based on (1) Hamilton Beach's own use and
demonstrations of four accused milkshake blenders (the
MIC2000, BIC2000, IMI2000, and BIC3000-DQ) and (2)