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

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan

July 13, 2018

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

          ORDER: (1) GRANTING TRISTAR'S MOTION TO STAY [ECF No. 179]; (2) DENYING AS MOOT TRISTAR'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF No. 176]; AND (3) ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE PENDING APPEAL IN IDEA VILLAGE

          Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are Defendant Tristar Products, Inc.'s (“Tristar”) motion for leave to file a motion for partial summary judgment and motion to stay litigation. Plaintiff Choon's Design Inc. (“Choon's”) opposes both motions.

         As set forth below, the Court GRANTS Tristar's motion to stay and ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSES this case pending the Federal Circuit appeal in Idea Village.

         Tristar's motion for leave to file a motion for partial summary judgment is DENIED as moot.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Choon's filed this case in February 2014. The Court entered an order on claim construction in April 2016, ruled on cross motions for summary judgment in August 2017, and entered a second order on claim construction in January 2018. The Court has also resolved several discovery disputes and other issues throughout this case, including Choon's motion to strike supplemental invalidity contentions in May 2018.

         In the order on Choon's motion to strike, the Court set a status conference for May 31, 2018, to discuss next steps. Before the conference, Tristar moved for leave to file a motion for partial summary judgment.

         On May 31, 2018, the Court held an in-person status conference. During the conference, the Court and counsel for the parties discussed how Choon's appeal to the Federal Circuit in a parallel infringement action, Choon's v. Idea Village Prods. Corp., No. 13-13568 (E.D. Mich.) (Michelson, J.) (“Idea Village”), affects this case, and whether the Court should stay proceedings pending the outcome in Idea Village.

         The cases have similarities and differences. Like this case, Choon's alleges Idea Village sold a single-piece loom that infringed the ‘565 and '420 patents. However, the patent claims were construed differently in the two cases, leading to different summary judgment rulings.

         In Idea Village, District Judge Laurie J. Michelson granted the defendant summary judgment on the ‘565 patent, finding that a single-piece loom cannot infringe claims 9 and 14 of the ‘565 patent either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. Choon's claim alleging infringement of the ‘420 patent survived summary judgment in Idea Village. However, Choon's and Idea Village settled that claim before trial, and the case was closed. Choon's filed a notice of appeal to the Federal Circuit. In its appeal, Choon's challenges Judge Michelson's claim construction for the ‘565 patent and her summary judgment decision. Based on Federal Circuit statistics, a final decision is expected around June 2019.

         In this case, the Court construed several claim limitations for the ‘420 patent consistently with the limitations for the ‘565 patent. At summary judgment, the Court found that a question of fact existed regarding whether a single-piece loom could infringe the ‘565 and ‘420 patents under the doctrine of equivalents. Choon's also has a claim for infringement of the ‘441 patent in this case, which was not at issue in Idea Village.

         Following the status conference, Tristar filed a motion to stay litigation pending the appeal in Idea Village. The motion is fully briefed.

         III. ...


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