United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
WEBASTO THERMO & COMFORT NORTH AMERICA, INC. and WEBASTO-EDSCHA CABRIO USA, INC Plaintiffs/Counter-Defendants,
BESTOP, INC., Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff.
STEVEN WHALEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE EXPERT TESTIMONY
OF MARK A. ROBINSON (ECF NO. 168)
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
action involves Plaintiffs Webasto Thermo & Comfort North
America, Inc. and Webasto-Edscha Cabrio USA, Inc.'s
(collectively “Webasto”) claim that Defendant
Bestop, Inc. (“BesTop”) infringes Webasto's
U.S. Patent No. 9, 346, 342 (“the '342
Patent”), entitled “Vehicle Roof and Roof Opening
Mechanism.” Webasto claims that BesTop's Accused
Product, the Sunrider for Hardtop (“the
Sunrider”), infringes Webasto's ‘342 patent
as embodied in Webasto's Black Forest ThrowBack top
(“ThrowBack”). BesTop responds that the Sunrider
does not infringe and that the claims of the '342 Patent
were disclosed in prior art and are therefore unpatentable.
The Court has issued claim construction and summary judgment
rulings and the parties have filed
Daubert and in limine motions. Now before
the Court is Webasto's Motion to Exclude the Expert
Testimony of BesTop's Expert, Mark A. Robinson (ECF No.
168.) The matter has been fully briefed and the Court held a
hearing on June 6, 2019. For the reasons that follow,
Webasto's motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED PART.
background facts of this litigation are set forth in multiple
prior Orders of this Court and the reader's knowledge of
those facts is presumed. Particular facts, as specifically
relevant to the issues in this motion, will be discussed
of expert testimony is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence
702 and informed by the seminal case applying Rule 702,
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469
(1993).” In re Southeastern Milk Antitrust
Litigation, 739 F.3d 262, 267 (6th Cir. 2014).
Fed.R.Evid. 702 provides:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill,
experience, training, or education may testify in the form of
an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702.
rules of evidence - especially Rule 702 - do assign to the
trial judge the task of ensuring that an expert's
testimony both rests on a reliable foundation and is relevant
to the task at hand.” Daubert v. Merrell Dow
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 597 (1993). The
trial court's “gatekeeping” task with respect
to expert testimony applies not just to scientific evidence,
as was at issue in Daubert, but to all types of
specialized knowledge presented through an expert witness.
Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137,
148-49 (1999). “”[T]he relevant reliability
concern may focus upon personal knowledge or experience . . .
[as] there are many ...