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Wi-Lan Inc. v. Sharp Electronics Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

September 12, 2019

WI-LAN INC., Plaintiff,
v.
SHARP ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, Defendant. WI-LAN INC., Plaintiff,
v.
VIZIO, INC., Defendant.

          Brian E. Farnan and Michael J. Farnan, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE Monte M. Bond, Jeffrey R. Bragalone, Patrick J. Conroy, and Terry Saad, BRAGALONE CONROY P.C., Dallas, TX Attorneys for Wi-LAN Inc.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld and Stephen J. Kraftschik, MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE Gianni Cutri, Joel Merkin, and Rajat Khanna, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, Chicago, IL Michael W. De Vries, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, Los Angeles, CA Adam R. Alper and James Beard, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, San Francisco, CA Attorneys for Sharp Electronics Corporation.

          Pilar Gabrielle Kraman, YOUNG, CONAWAY, STARGATT & TAYLOR, LLP, Wilmington, DE Rex Hwang, Stanley M. Gibson, and Jessica Newman, JEFFER MANGELS BUTLER & MITCHELL LLP, Los Angeles, CA Attorneys for Vizio, Inc.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court are Wi-LAN Inc.'s ("Wi-LAN" or "Plaintiff') motion for entry of final judgment of noninfringement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) (D.I. 502) and Defendants Sharp Electronics Corporation ("SEC") and Vizio, Inc.'s ("Vizio" and, collectively with SEC, "Defendants") motion for judgment of noninfringement of U.S. Patent No. 6, 490, 250, or in the alternative, to dismiss Wi-LAN's infringement claim (D.I. 499).[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         While initially a three-patent case, there are no longer any viable infringement claims in this action.

         In November 2017, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed U.S. Patent No. 5, 847, 774. (D.I. 216)

         On February 14, 2019, the Court granted summary judgment of noninfringement of U.S. Patent No. 6, 359, 654 (the "'654 patent"). (See D.I. 487, 488)

         In the meantime, after the Court issued its claim construction opinion and order on April 27, 2018 (D.I. 280, 281), Plaintiff on May 15, 2018 indicated to Defendants its willingness to stipulate to noninfringement of U.S. Patent No. 6, 490, 250 (the '"250 patent"). (See D.I. 503 Ex. A) Although the parties soon thereafter stopped actively litigating the '250 patent, the parties were never able to agree on how to terminate the case with respect to the '250 patent. On March 6, 2019, Plaintiff unilaterally filed a proposed stipulation of noninfringement ("Stipulation"). (See D.I. 496) The next day, Defendants wrote to advise the Court they did not agree with the Stipulation, which in their view contained "inaccurate information" and '"undisputed facts' that are not agreed to by the parties." (D.I. 497) The Court then directed the parties to file "any motions for judgment or dismissal with respect to the '250 patent" (D.I. 498), which they subsequently did. Those motions are now fully briefed (see, e.g., D.I. 500, 502, 506-07, 509-10) and ripe for resolution.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiffs Rule 54(b) Motion for Entry of Final Judgment

         Plaintiff "agrees, based on the Court's Memorandum Opinion on Claim Construction and the current record, that it cannot prove that the accused products meet certain limitations of [the '250 patent]." (D.I. 502 at 1) Plaintiff, thus, requests that the Court enter final judgment on Plaintiffs claims for infringement of the '654 and '250 patents and Defendants' counterclaims of noninfringement, and dismiss without prejudice Defendants' counterclaims for invalidity of the '654 and '250 patents. (Id. at 1-2) Defendants contend that Plaintiffs motion is procedurally improper, factually inaccurate, and legally unsupportable. (See generally D.I. 507)

         The Court may grant a Rule 54(b) motion if (1) there is a "final judgment" or "an ultimate disposition of an individual claim entered in the course of a multiple claims action," and (2) "there are no just reasons to delay the appeal of individual final judgments." Curtiss-Wri ...


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