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TQ Delta LLC v. Adtran Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 15, 2019

TQ DELTA, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
ADTRAN, INC., Defendant. ADTRAN, INC., Plaintiff and Counterclaim Defendant,
v.
TQ DELTA, LLC, Defendant and Counterclaim Plaintiff.

          Brian E. Farnan and Michael J. Farnan, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE; Peter J. McAndrews (argued), Timothy J. Malloy, Thomas J. Wimbiscus, Sharon A. Hwang, Paul W. McAndrews, and Anna M. Targowska, MCANDREWS, HELD & MALLOY, LTD., Chicago, IL, attorneys for Plaintiff TQ Delta LLC.

          Kenneth L. Dorsney, MORRIS JAMES LLP, Wilmington, DE; Garland Stephens (argued), Melissa L. Hotze, Justin L. Constant and Rene E. Mai, WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES LLP, Houston, TX, attorneys for Defendant Adtran, Inc.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Currently pending before the Court are Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on License of the Disputed Patents (D.I. 518)[1] and Plaintiffs Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment on the License Issue. (D.I. 526). The parties have fully briefed the issues. (D.I. 519, 527, 536, 546). I heard oral argument on June 14, 2019. (D.I. 617). After clarifying my construction of the License, I asked the parties to provide letters addressing the effect of the clarified construction on the remaining summary judgment issues. (D.I. 674, 675). The parties have submitted their letters. (D.I. 688, 689, 709, 715).

         I. BACKGROUND

         The motions arise from an ongoing dispute between the parties as to ten of the Patents-In-Suit (the "Disputed Patents").[2] I summarized the relevant background in my May 21, 2018 and July 23, 2019 memorandum opinions on the license issue and incorporate that background here. (D.I. 398 at 1-2; D.I. 674 at 2-4).

         In my July 23, 2019 Memorandum Opinion, I clarified my construction of the license, stating,

any patent that falls within the scope of the positive license grant that is used for or could be used in conjunction with one of the seven listed xDSL standards is licensed. Any patent that cannot be used for or in conjunction with one of the seven listed xDSL standards is unlicensed. Any patent within the scope of the positive license grant that is used for or can be used in conjunction with both listed and unlisted xDSL standards is licensed.

(D.I. 674 at 11). The parties have now responded to this construction and addressed its impact on the remaining summary judgment issues, including whether the Disputed Patents are licensed under the License Agreement.

         The Disputed Patents can be subdivided into two groups based on which ITU-T standard, if complied with, is alleged to require infringement. The G.bond patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 453, 881, 7, 809, 028, 8, 422, 511, and 7, 978, 706. (D.I. 689 at 2). The G.inp patents-in-suit are U.S Patent Nos. 7, 796, 705, 8, 468, 411, 8, 595, 577, 8, 407, 546, 8, 645, 784, and 8, 335, 956. (Id. at 3).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         "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." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the initial burden of proving the absence of a genuinely disputed material fact relative to the claims in question. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). Material facts are those "that could affect the outcome" of the proceeding, and "a dispute about a material fact is 'genuine' if the evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). When determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Wishkin v. Potter, 476 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. G.bond ...


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