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Siemens Mobility, Inc. v. Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 18, 2019

SIEMENS MOBILITY, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
WESTINGHOUSE AIR BRAKE TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION d/b/a WABTEC CORPORATION and WABTEC RAILWAY ELECTRONICS, INC., Defendants. OBU Patents BOS Patents EOT Patents

          Jack B. Blumenfeld, Karen Jacobs, and Stephen J. Kraftschik, MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE

          Mark Supko, Kathryn L. Clune, Vincent J. Galluzzo, Joshua M. Rychlinski, and Ali Hossein Khan Tehxani, CROWELL & MORING LLP, Washington, DC

          Jacob Z. Zambrzycki and Scott L. Bittman, CROWELL & MORING LLP, New York, NY Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Steven L. Caponi, K&L GATES LLP, Wilmington, DE

          Alan L. Barry, Jason A. Engel, Benjamin E. Weed, Devon C. Beane, Katherine L. Allor, Erik J. Halverson, Gina A. Jenero, and Jacob C. Vannette, K&L GATES LLP, Chicago, IL Attorneys for Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court are the parties' post-trial motions as well as briefing regarding Westinghouse's ensnarement defense. On January 23, 2019, during a two-week jury trial, Plaintiff Siemens Mobility, Inc. ("Siemens") filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law ("JMOL") (D.I. 444). Following trial, Siemens filed a Motion for Enhanced Damages, Attorneys' Fees, Supplemental Damages, and Pre-judgment and Post-Judgment Interest (D.I. 479) while Defendants Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (d/b/a Wabtec Corporation) and Wabtec Railway Electronics, Inc. ("Westinghouse" or "Wabtec") filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and a New Trial (D.I. 483). Briefing on the post-trial motions was completed on May 6, 2019. (D.I. 481, 485, 512, 513, 522, 523) Briefing on Westinghouse's ensnarement defense was completed on May 3, 2019. (D.I. 476, 504, 514, 519) The Court heard oral argument on May 28, 2019. (D.I. 531 ("Tr."))[1] The Court has also considered the parties' supplemental letters. (D.I. 532, 533)

         For the reasons stated below, the Court will deny as moot Siemens' initial JMOL, grant in part and deny in part Siemens' post-trial motion, and deny Westinghouse's post-trial motion. The Court also rejects Westinghouse's ensnarement defense.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Siemens filed this patent infringement case against Westinghouse in April 2016. While many patents and claims were asserted throughout the litigation, Siemens ultimately presented eight claims from eight different patents (grouped into three different technologies) to the jury. The asserted patents are U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 996, 461, 7, 236, 860, 7, 079, 926, and 6, 824, 110 (collectively, the "OBU patents"), U.S. Patent Nos. 8, 714, 494 and 9, 233, 698 (collectively, the "BOS patents"), and U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 467, 032 and 7, 742, 850 (collectively, the "EOT patents"). Siemens accused Westinghouse of directly and indirectly infringing, literally and by the doctrine of equivalents, the asserted claims, while Westinghouse argued that all eight patent claims were invalid. Siemens sought reasonable royalty damages for the OBU and BOS patents and lost profits or reasonable royalty damages for the EOT patents. Siemens also argued that Westinghouse's infringement of the EOT patents was willful.

         After a two-week trial in January 2019, the jury returned the following verdict (D.I. 447):[2]

OBU Patents
BOS Patents
EOT Patents
'461
'860
'926
'110
'494
'698
'032
'850
Direct
DOE
DOE
DOE
Literal
DOE
Literal
Literal
Indirect -Induced
No
No
No
No
No
No
Literal
Literal
Indirect -Contributory
DOE
DOE
DOE
Literal
DOE
Literal
Literal
Literal
Invalid
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Willful
Yes
Yes
Damages
$5, 598, 600
$1, 062, 841

         The Court entered judgment on the jury verdict on February 25, 2019. (D.I. 460)

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Judgment as a Matter of Law

         Judgment as a matter of law is appropriate if "the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for [a] party" on an issue. Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(a)(1). "Entry of judgment as a matter of law is a sparingly invoked remedy," one "granted only if, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and giving it the advantage of every fair and reasonable inference, there is insufficient evidence from which a jury reasonably could find liability." Marra v. Phila. Horn. Auth., 497 F.3d 286, 300 (3d Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks omitted).[3]

         To prevail on a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law following a jury trial, the moving party "must show that the jury's findings, presumed or express, are not supported by substantial evidence or, if they were, that the legal conclusions implied [by] the jury's verdict cannot in law be supported by those findings." Pannu v. Iolab Corp., 155 F.3d 1344, 1348 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (internal quotation marks omitted). "'Substantial' evidence is such relevant evidence from the record taken as a whole as might be accepted by a reasonable mind as adequate to support the finding under review." Perkin-Elmer Corp. v. Computervision Corp., 732 F.2d 888, 893 (Fed. Cir. 1984).

         In assessing the sufficiency of the evidence, the Court must give the non-moving party, "as [the] verdict winner, the benefit of all logical inferences that could be drawn from the evidence presented, resolve all conflicts in the evidence in his favor, and in general, view the record in the light most favorable to him." Williamson v. Consol. Rail Corp., 926 F.2d 1344, 1348 (3d Cir. 1991); see also Perkin-Elmer Corp., 732 F.2d at 893. The Court may not assess the credibility of witnesses nor "substitute its choice for that of the jury between conflicting elements of the evidence." Perkin-Elmer Corp., 732 F.2d at 893. Rather, the Court must determine whether the evidence reasonably supports the jury's verdict. See Dawn Equip. Co. v. Ky Farms Inc., 140 F.3d 1009, 1014 (Fed. Cir. 1998); Gomez v. Allegheny Health Servs. Inc., 71 F.3d 1079, 1083 (3d Cir. 1995) (describing standard as "whether there is evidence upon which a reasonable jury could properly have found its verdict"); 9B Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2524 (3d ed. 2008) ("The question is not whether there is literally no evidence supporting the party against whom the motion is directed but whether there is evidence upon which the jury properly could find a verdict for that party.").

         B. New Trial

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(a) provides in pertinent part, "[t]he court may, on motion, grant a new trial on all or some of the issues - and to any party - as follows: . . . after a jury trial, for any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in an action at law in federal court." New trials are commonly granted where "the jury's verdict is against the clear weight of the evidence, and a new trial must be granted to prevent a miscarriage of justice," where "newly-discovered evidence exists that would likely alter the outcome of the trial," where "improper conduct by an attorney or the court unfairly influenced the verdict," or where the jury's verdict was "facially inconsistent." Zarow-Smith v. N.J. Transit Rail Operations, 953 F.Supp. 581, 584-85 (D. N.J. 1997) (internal citations omitted).

         The decision to grant or deny a new trial is committed to the sound discretion of the district court. See Allied Chem. Corp. v. Daiflon, Inc., 449 U.S. 33, 36 (1980); Olefins Trading, Inc. v. Han Yang Chem Corp., 9 F.3d 282, 289 (3d Cir. 1993) (reviewing "district court's grant or denial of a new trial motion" under "abuse of discretion" standard). Although the standard for granting a new trial is less rigorous than the standard for granting judgment as a matter of law, in that the Court need not view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, ordinarily a new trial should only be granted "where a miscarriage of justice would result if the verdict were to stand," the verdict "cries out to be overturned," or the verdict "shocks [the] conscience." Williamson, 926 F.2d at 1352-53.

         C. Enhanced Damages

         When damages resulting from patent infringement are found, "the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed." 35 U.S.C. § 284 (emphasis added). In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 136 S.Ct. 1923, 1932 (2016), the Supreme Court explained that § 284 means "[d]istrict courts enjoy discretion in deciding whether to award enhanced damages, and in what amount." See also Id. at 1934 ("Section 284 gives district courts discretion in meting out enhanced damages.").

         Halo further explains that "enhanced damages are generally appropriate under § 284 only in egregious cases." Id. at 1932 (emphasis added) They are ''not to be meted out in a typical infringement case." Id. (emphasis added). Halo continues: "The sort of conduct warranting enhanced damages has been variously described in our cases as willful, wanton, malicious, bad-faith, deliberate, consciously wrongful, flagrant, or - indeed - characteristic of a pirate." Id. "[N]one of this is to say that enhanced damages must follow a finding of egregious misconduct. As with any exercise of discretion, courts should continue to take into account the particular circumstances of each case in deciding whether to award damages, and in what amount." Id. at 1933 (emphasis added). The party seeking enhanced damages has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that they should be awarded. See Id. at 1934.

         D. Attorneys' Fees

         In "exceptional" patent cases, a Court may award "reasonable attorney fees" to the "prevailing party." 35 U.S.C. § 285. A case is "exceptional" under § 285 if it is "simply one that stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a party's litigating position (considering both the governing law and the facts of the case) or the unreasonable manner in which the case was litigated." Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 1749, 1756 (2014). Ultimately, the Court must make a discretionary decision based on the totality of circumstances, which may include factors such as "frivolousness, motivation, objective unreasonableness (both in the factual and legal components of the case) and the need in particular circumstances to advance considerations of compensation and deterrence." Id. at 1756 & n.6. A party moving for attorneys' fees must demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a case is "exceptional." Id. at 1758.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Westinghouse's Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law That It Does Not Infringe the '926 Patent

         Westinghouse contends that insufficient evidence was presented to support the jury's finding that claim 4 of the '926 patent is infringed under the doctrine of equivalents ("DOE"). The claim element at issue is: "preventing the train from moving from a current location if the current location is not within a boundary for an accepted authorization." ('926 patent, cl. 4) The Court adopted the parties' agreed-upon construction that the term "preventing the train from moving from a current location" means "ensuring that the train does not move." (D.I. 131 at 11; D.I. 165 at 5 n.2)

         Siemens' theory of infringement, as presented by its expert, Dr. Ghaly, and confirmed by Westinghouse's engineer, Mr. Kernwein, was that the accused I-ETMS functions such that if it senses any movement greater than 0.1 miles per hour when the train is not authorized to move, then it will react by stopping the train as quickly as practically possible. (See Trial Tr. at 653-54, 711-12, 1299-1300) Westinghouse's expert, Dr. Zarembski, confirmed that I-ETMS is designed to stop the train when it detects movement over 0.1 miles per hour. (See Id. at 1491-92, 1511-12) This testimonial evidence and supporting documentation presented to the jury, [4] taken in the light most favorable to Siemens as the verdict winner, sufficiently supports the jury's finding of DOE infringement. While the jury may reasonably have determined that the I-ETMS system did not literally "prevent[] the train from moving," I-ETMS did perform substantially the same function (i.e., braking as soon as practicable when there was no authorization to move) in substantially the same way (i.e., braking when slight movement is detected) to achieve substantially the same result (i.e., a full stop). (See Tr. at 101)

         The Court is not persuaded by Westinghouse that Siemens' infringement theory conflates the "preventing" step with the "stopping" step. (See D.I. 485 at 4) Instead, Siemens has consistently - with respect to infringement and validity, in this Court and at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB") - taken the view that the "preventing" step requires preventing a stationary (or substantially stationary) train from moving, while the "stopping" step requires stopping a moving train. (See D.I. 512 at 7) Siemens' DOE theory also does not vitiate the "preventing" step: the antithesis of preventing movement would be allowing the train to move freely, whereas I-ETMS merely allows the train to move at 0.1 miles per hour. (See Id. at 6)

         Additionally, while the patent's specification does discuss the prevention of any train movement (see D.I. 485 at 3-4), the claim itself "is silent as to how the train is prevented from moving" (D.I. 512 at 7). It was reasonable for the jury implicitly to have found, based on the evidence presented, that "applying the brakes as soon as the train attempts to move is one (equivalent) way of doing so." (Id.)

         Finally, the Court agrees with Siemens that Dr. Ghaly sufficiently addressed the remainder of the claim element - that the prevention of movement occurs when the train is located outside the bounds of an "accepted authorization." (See Trial Tr. at 648-49, 652-53)

         As the Court concludes that the evidence is sufficient to support the jury's finding, Westinghouse's JMOL will be denied.

         B. Westinghouse's Motion for a New Liability Trial

         Westinghouse seeks a new trial on numerous grounds. The Court discusses each below. In no instance has Westinghouse demonstrated that the jury's verdict is against the clear weight of the evidence or that a new trial must be granted to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

         1. Siemens' Positions Concerning the "Interrogation Message"

         Westinghouse's argument that Siemens' infringement and validity arguments were inconsistent throughout trial, and that the Court should have clarified the claim ...


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