United States District Court, D. Delaware
LIQWD, INC. and OLAPLEX LLC, Plaintiffs,
L'ORÉAL USA, INC., L'ORÉAL USA PRODUCTS, INC., L'ORÉAL USA S/D, INC. and REDKEN 5TH AVENUE NYC, LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. Bataillon Senior United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on defendants' motion for
judgment as a matter of law, D.I. 1051, and defendants'
supplemental motion for judgment as a matter of law
(“JMOL”), D.I. 1055. Plaintiffs objected to and
responded to this motion. D.I. 1052. The Court tried this case to
a jury, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the
plaintiffs. D.I. 1059. The defendants have now asked this
Court to find in their favor pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(a).
Rule of Civil Procedure 50(a) provides for the grant of JMOL
at the close of a plaintiff's case of a “reasonable
jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to
find” for the plaintiff. In the Third Circuit, when
determining whether to grant to JMOL motion “[t]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 could properly
find a verdict for that party.” Lightning Lube,
Inc. v. Witco Corp., 4 F.3d 1153, 1166 (3d Cir. 1993)
(citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
“Although judgement as a matter of law should be
granted sparingly, ” it is granted “where the
record is critically deficient of the minimum quantum of
evidence” necessary to support a jury verdict.
Eshelman v. Agere Sys. Inc., 554 F.3d 426, 433 (3d
Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).
as a matter of law is appropriate only 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, 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. Hous. Auth., 497 F.3d 286, 300 (3d
Cir. 2007) (citation omitted).
move for judgment as a matter of law on the issues of trade
secret misappropriation, breach of contract, patent
invalidity, and damages. Defendants contend that plaintiff has
failed to present evidence so that a jury could identify a
trade secret; failed to show that any such information
qualifies as a trade secret; failed to adduce evidence of a
misappropriation; failed to establish evidence of a breach of
contract; and failed to establish evidence of willfulness.
With regard to the damages for patent infringement,
defendants contend that plaintiffs failed to show
defendants' direct infringement that there is no evidence
to prove that the induced infringement caused lost-profit
damages. Any claim to lost profit damages and royalty
damages, argues defendants, is speculative. Further,
defendants argue that are entitled to JMOL on the issue of
independent development, contending that they put on
considerable evidence showing that they independently
developed their products. The Court disagrees with the
defendants and will deny the JMOL. The plaintiffs submitted
specific evidence on each of these claims. The evidence was
sufficient to submit the matter to the jury.
also contend that the plaintiffs abandoned their argument on
future damages during trial. The Court agrees that for
purposes of this case and during the time periods in
question, the plaintiffs abandoned this claim for future
damages. The Court need not grant JMOL on this issue, but it
does determine that future damages were not a part of this
trial. No. judgment in favor of future damages will be
entered in this case on behalf of the plaintiffs.
also allege that this Court erred in collectively combining
the defendants in this case. Defendants contend that
plaintiffs failed to prove that any specific defendant
induced infringement or the resulting damages. The Court
finds this argument, again, is without merit. The Court
listened to argument from the defendants in this regard and
determined the claims are without merit. In short, the
offered instruction was improper; and more importantly, the
request is so belated as to be prejudicial to the plaintiffs
in all respects. All phases of this case from discovery
forward have been treated as to the defendants' liability
collectively. No. legitimate evidence was offered that would
support the defendants' arguments. If this issue were so
important to defendants, it should have been raised earlier
in this case. No. end-runs will be permitted in this regard.
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
1. Defendants' joint stipulation to extend time, D.I.
1011, is denied as moot.
2. Defendants' motions for JMOL and supplemental motion,
D.I.'s 1051 ...