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Fujitsu Limited v. Tellabs, Inc.

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

May 24, 2013

FUJITSU LIMITED, Plaintiff,
v.
TELLABS, INC., TELLABS OPERATIONS, INC., and TELLABS NORTH AMERICA, INC., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING TELLABS' MOTION TO RENEW [955] IN ITS ENTIRETY AND GRANTING TELLABS' RENEWED MOTION TO STRIKE [568] IN PART

JAMES F. HOLDERMAN, Chief District Judge.

Remaining at issue in this case are U.S. Patent No. 5, 521, 737 (the "737 Patent") and U.S. Patent No. 5, 526, 163 (the "163 Patent"), which are owned by plaintiff Fujitsu Limited and allegedly infringed by defendants Tellabs, Inc., Tellabs Operations, Inc., and Tellabs North America, Inc. ("Tellabs").[1]

In Tellabs' renewed "Motion to Strike Portions of Fujitsu's Expert Reports and to Preclude Reliance by Fujitsu on Theories, Evidence, or Analyses Precluded Under the Court's Order of March 21, 2012" (Dkt. No. 568 ("Renewed Motion")), it argues that portions of Fujitsu Limited's expert reports should be stricken because they improperly exceed the scope of Fujitsu Limited's 2008 Infringement Contentions. For the reasons set forth below, Tellabs' Renewed Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

BACKGROUND

Because Tellabs' pending motions require a familiarity with the procedural history of this case, the court will review the pertinent history of this litigation that explains the motions and court orders preceding the filing of Tellabs' Renewed Motion.

Northern District of Illinois case number 09 C 4530, referred to as the "Texas Action, " was originally filed on January 29, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. (Dkt. No. 1.) On July 28, 2008, while the case was pending before then District Judge, now Chief Judge Leonard Davis, [2] Fujitsu Limited served its infringement contentions on Tellabs ("2008 Infringement Contentions"). ( See Dkt. No. 552 ("3/21/12 Order") at 3.) On June 12, 2009, Fujitsu Limited first moved for leave to amend its infringement contentions. (Dkt. No. 89.) Judge Davis denied Fujitsu Limited's motion without prejudice and granted Tellabs' motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of Illinois. (Dkt. No. 118.) The Texas Action was then transferred on July 29, 2009, and reassigned to this court on September 16, 2009, as related to case number 08 C 3379 (the "2008 Case"). (Dkt. Nos. 119, 145.)

Almost two years after the Texas Action was transferred to the Northern District of Illinois, on May 6, 2011, Fujitsu Limited moved to file an amended complaint. (Dkt. No. 318.) At a status hearing on June 21, 2011, Tellabs entered an oral motion objecting to the filing of an amended complaint and to the filing of any related amended infringement contentions. (Dkt. No. 327.) In ruling on both motions, this court noted that Fujitsu Limited's 2008 Infringement Contentions were deemed "final" at the time they were served on Tellabs, pursuant to the then-governing Eastern District of Texas Local Patent Rules, and that Fujitsu Limited had not shown good cause to amend its 2008 Infringement Contentions under the Northern District of Illinois's Local Patent Rules "which are now the controlling local patent rules for this case as it proceeds forward." (Dkt. No. 377 ("9/29/11 Order") at 2.)

Fujitsu Limited thereafter filed a "Motion to Set a Schedule to Serve Final Contentions and in the Alternative to File Amended Final Infringement Contentions." (Dkt. No. 397.) Noting that this motion was, "in some respects, a motion to reconsider this court's Sept. 29, 2011, ruling, " the court denied Fujitsu Limited's motion. (3/21/12 Order at 2.) Specifically, the court denied Fujitsu Limited leave amend its 2008 Infringement Contentions to include "new versions" of Tellabs' accused products and to include new theories of indirect infringement and infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, while "assuming" that the proposed new theories "differ from those presented in Fujitsu's 2008 infringement contentions." (3/21/12 Order at 16.)

On April 16, 2012, Tellabs filed its original "Motion to Strike Portions of Fujitsu's Expert Reports and to Preclude Reliance by Fujitsu on Theories, Evidence, or Analyses Precluded Under the Court's Order of March 21, 2012." (Dkt. No. 568.) While the parties were briefing this motion, the parties and the court agreed to proceed to trial on one patent, U.S. Patent No. 7, 227, 681 (the "681 Patent"), at issue in the related 2008 Case. Accordingly, the court denied Tellabs' motion without prejudice as moot with respect to the portions of the motion that involved the 737 Patent and the 163 Patent.[3] (Dkt. No. 736 ("7/23/12 Order") at 2-3.)

After a temporary shift of focus during the trial of the 681 Patent, Tellabs filed a motion to renew its earlier motion to strike. (Dkt. No. 955.) Fujitsu Limited did not object to this motion, and the court therefore grants Tellabs' motion to renew its previously-filed motion to strike. With this procedural history now having been described, the court turns its attention to Tellabs' Renewed Motion as it pertains to the 737 Patent and the 163 Patent.

ANALYSIS

Pursuant to the Eastern District of Texas's Local Patent Rules, which governed at the time Fujitsu Limited served its 2008 Infringement Contentions, Fujitsu Limited's 2008 Infringement Contentions were required to contain the following information:

(b) Separately for each asserted claim, each accused apparatus, product, device, process, method, act, or other instrumentality ("Accused Instrumentality") of each opposing party of which the party is aware. This identification shall be as specific as possible. Each product, device, and apparatus must be identified by name or model number, if known. Each method or process must be identified by name, if known, or by any product, device, or apparatus which, when used, allegedly results in the practice of the claimed method or process;
(c) A chart identifying specifically where each element of each asserted claim is found within each Accused Instrumentality, including for each element that such party contends is governed by 35 U.S.C. ยง 112(6), the identity of the structure(s), act(s), or ...

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