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Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals L.P. v. Powder Springs Logistics, LLC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 29, 2019

SUNOCO PARTNERS MARKETING & TERMINALS L.P., Plaintiff,
v.
POWDER SPRINGS LOGISTICS, LLC, AND MAGELLAN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS, L.P., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CHRISTOPHER J. BURKE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         In this action filed by Plaintiff Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals L.P ("Sunoco" or "Plaintiff) against Powder Springs Logistics, LLC ("Powder Springs") and Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. ("Magellan" and collectively with Powder Springs, "Defendants"), Sunoco alleges infringement of United States Patent Nos. 6, 679, 302 (the "'302 patent"), 7, 032, 629 (the "'629 patent"), 9, 207, 686 (the '"686 patent"), 9, 494, 948 (the "'948 patent") and 9, 606, 548 (the "'548 patent" and collectively with the other patents, "the asserted patents").[1] Presently before the Court is the matter of claim construction. The Court recommends that the District Court adopt the construction set forth below.

         I. BACKGROUND AND STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court hereby incorporates by reference the summary of the background of this matter set out in its July 26, 2019 Report and Recommendation ("July 26 R&R"). (D.I. 321 at 1- 2) It additionally incorporates by reference the legal principles regarding claim construction set out in the July 26, 2019 R&R. (Id. at 2-5)

         II. DISCUSSION

         The parties had claim construction disputes regarding five terms or sets of terms (hereinafter, "terms"). The Court has addressed four of these terms in previously-issued Report and Recommendations. (D.I. 321; D.I. 331) The Court addresses the remaining term ("gasoline"), which presented the most challenging claim construction dispute, herein.

         The claim term "gasoline" appears in all asserted claims of the patents-in-suit. The use of the disputed term in claim 1 of the '302 patent and claim 1 of the '548 patent is representative. (See Defendants' Markman Presentation, Slides DDX-104-05) Accordingly, these claims are reproduced below, with the disputed term highlighted:

1. A system for blending gasoline and butane at a tank farm comprising:
a) a tank of gasoline;
b) a tank of butane;
c) a blending unit, at the tank farm, downstream of and in fluid connection with the tank of gasoline and the tank of butane;
d) a dispensing unit downstream of and in fluid connection with the blending unit; and
e) a rack, wherein the dispensing unit is located at the rack and is adapted to dispense gasoline to gasoline transport vehicles.

('302 patent, col. 13:12-23 (emphasis added))

1. A system for blending butane with a gasoline stream having a gasoline flow rate, comprising:
an injection device injecting the butane into the gasoline stream at a butane flow rate;
a volatility measurement device in communication with the gasoline stream, the volatility measurement device configured to output data representative of a volatility measurement; and
a processor in connection with the injection device and the volatility measurement device, the processor configured to:
receive the volatility measurement, receive a target volatility value;
determine an adjustment to the butane flow rate based on the volatility measurement and the ...

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