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Choon's Design Inc. v. Tristar Products, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

August 15, 2017

CHOON'S DESIGN INC., Plaintiff,
v.
TRISTAR PRODUCTS, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF NON-INFRINGEMENT AND INVALIDITY [Doc. 97]

          Victoria A. Roberts, Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         In its Third Amended Complaint, Plaintiff Choon's Design Inc. (“Choon's”) alleges the following causes of action against Defendant Tristar Products, Inc.'s (“Tristar”):

Count I - Direct Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8, 485, 565 (“the ‘565 patent”);
Count II - Contributory Infringement of the ‘565 patent;
Count III - Induced Infringement of the ‘565 patent;
Count IV - Direct Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8, 684, 420 (“the ‘420 patent”);
Count V - Contributory Infringement of the ‘420 patent;
Count VI - Induced Infringement of the ‘420 patent;
Count VII - Direct Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8, 622, 441 (“the ‘441 patent”);
Count VIII - Contributory Infringement of the ‘441 patent;
Count IX - Induced Infringement of the ‘441 patent;
Count X - Direct Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8, 936, 283 (“the ‘283 patent”);
Count XI - Contributory Infringement of the ‘283 patent; and
Count XII - Induced Infringement of the ‘283 patent.

[Doc. 45]. Tristar filed an eight-count Counterclaim; it seeks a declaration of non-infringement and declaration of invalidity for each of Choon's four patents. [Doc. 47].

         The parties stipulated to the dismissal of all claims and counterclaims related to the ‘283 patent - i.e., Counts X, XI and XII of the Third Amended Complaint and counterclaims seven and eight. [Doc. 99].

         This matter is now before the Court on Tristar's Motion for Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement and Invalidity. [Doc. 97]. The motion is fully briefed (including a sur-reply), and the Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary to decide the issues presented.

         For the reasons stated, Tristar's Motion for Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement and Invalidity [Doc. 97] is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, as set forth in the Conclusion.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

         A patent is infringed when a person “without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States . . . during the term of the patent.” 35 U.S.C. § 271(a).

         Consideration of a patent infringement claim entails two prongs. The first step is “claim construction to determine the scope of the claims, followed by . . . determination of whether the properly construed claim encompasses the accused device.” Bai v. L & L Wings, Inc., 160 F.3d 1350, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 1998).

         The first step - claim construction - requires the Court to determine the scope and meaning of the asserted claims as a matter of law. See Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 517 U.S. 370, 372-74 (1996). The Court did this in its Order on Claim Construction dated April 21, 2016. [Doc. 68].

         The second step, the determination of infringement, “is assessed by comparing the accused device to the claims; the accused device infringes if it incorporates every limitation of a claim, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.” MicroStrategy Inc. v. Bus. Objects, S.A., 429 F.3d 1344, 1352 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (citation and internal brackets omitted). If any claim limitation is missing or not met, “there is no literal infringement as a matter of law.” Amgen Inc. v. F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., 580 F.3d 1340, 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2009).

         The patent owner has the burden to prove infringement and must do so by a preponderance of the evidence. Id. “Infringement, either literal or under the doctrine of equivalents, is a question of fact.” Brilliant Instruments, Inc. v. GuideTech, LLC, 707 F.3d 1342, 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

         Summary judgment of non-infringement is appropriate “if, after viewing the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the non-movant, there is no genuine issue whether the accused device is encompassed by the [patent] claims, ” and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Pitney Bowes, Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 182 F.3d 1298, 1304 (Fed. Cir. 1999); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). If any reasonable juror could find infringement, summary judgment must be denied. Brilliant Instruments, 707 F.3d at 1344; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         III. ...


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