Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Peerless Industries, Inc. v. Crimson AV, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

May 23, 2018

PEERLESS INDUSTRIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
CRIMSON AV, LLC, and VLADIMIR GLEYZER, Defendants.

          Susan Cox, Magistrate Judge

          DEFENDANT'S RENEWED RULE 50 MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS AMATTER OF LAW

          Honorable Joan H. Lefkow, Judge.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................ 1

         II. STANDARD FOR JUDGMENT UNDER FRCP50 ...................................................... 2

         III. ARGUMENT ...................................................................................................................... 2

         A. Materiality .............................................................................................................. 4

         1. But-For Materiality: The Broadest Reasonable Construction of the Claims .......................................................................................................... 5

         2. But-For Materiality-Plaintiff's Omissions to the PTO ........................... 5

         a. Sanus VMPL2 Brackets ............................................................... 5, 6

         b. AL-101 Brackets .............................................................................. 7

         c. Peerless Gennady/ECN 6102 Brackets ............................................ 7

         d. Peerless DFPF-220/320 Brackets .................................................... 8

         3. But-For Materiality: Plaintiff's Misrepresentations to the PTO .......... 9

         a. Misrepresentation to PTO of Function of Bridge Plate .................. 9

         b. Misrepresentation to PTO that Gennady Brackets depicted in Prior Art Had No. Ramps bridge Plate or Safety Screw .......................... 10

         c. Misrepresentation to the PTO of the Best Mode ........................... 11

         4. Egregious Misconduct Before the PTO During Prosecution of '850 ..12

         B. Knowledge and Intent .......................................................................................... 15

         1. Intent to Deceive Inferred from Withheld References and Misrepresentations in Prosecution of '850 Patent ................................ 16

         2. Egregious Litigation Misconduct Supports Inference to Deceive ......... 24

         IV. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................ 39

         AUTHORITIES

         Advanced Magnetic Closures, Inc. v. Rome Fastener Corp., 607 F.3d 817, 829 (Fed. Cir. 2010) .......................................................................................... 3

         Brasseler, U.S.A. I., L.P. v. Stryker Sales Corp., 267 F.3d 1370, 1383 (Fed. Cir. 2001) ............................................................................................ 23

         DS Smith Plastics Ltd. v. Plascon Packaging, Inc., No. 15 C 5760, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1167, at *8 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 6, 2016) ........................... 3

         Elk Corp. of Dallas v. GAF Bldg. Materials Corp., 168 F.3d 28, 32 (Fed. Cir. 1999) .................................................................................................... 15

         Energy Heating, LLC v Heat On-the-Fly, LLC, 2016-1559 (Fed. Cir. May 4, 2018) ......................................................................................... 13, 18

         In re Sulfuric Acid Litigation, 231 F.R.D. 351, 363 (N.D. Ill. 2005) ............................................................................................. 30

         Intellect Wireless, Inc. v. Sharp Corp., 45 F.Supp.3d 839, 851 (N.D. Ill. 2014) ....................................................................................... 23

         Lumen View Tech, LLC v. Findthebest.com, Inc., 811. F.3d 471, 483 (Fed. Cir. 2016) ........................................................................................ 23-24

         Ohio Willow Wood Co. v. Alps South, LLC., 735 F.3d 1333, 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2013) .......................................................................... 12, 13, 15, 24

         Orenshteyn v. Citrix Systems, Inc., 341 F.Appx. 621 (Fed. Cir. 2004) ................................................................................................. 23

         Outside the Box Innovations, LLC v. Travel Caddy, Inc., 695 D.3d 1285, 1294 (Fed.Cir. 2012) ..................................................................................... 12, 13

         Phillips Petroleum Co. v. U.S. Steel Corp., 673 F.Supp. 1278, 1336 (D. Del. 1987), aff'd, 865 F.2d 1247, 9 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1461 (Fed. Cir. 1989) .......................................... 2

         Precision Instrument Mfg. Co. v. Automotive Maintenance Machinery Co., 324 U.S. 806, 818 (1945) .......................................................................................................... 2

         Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., 530 U.S. 133, 149 (2000) ................................................................................................................. 2

         Regeneron Pharm., Inc. v. Merus N.V., 864 F.3d 1343, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2017) .................................................................................... 3, 4, 24

         Rohm & Haas Co. v. Crystal Chem. Co., 722 F.2d 1556, 1571 (Fed. Cir. 1983) ............................................................................................ 13

         Tart v. Ill. Power Co., 366 F.3d 461, 464 (7th Cir. 2004) ................................................................................................... 2

         Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 649 F.3d 1276, 1285 (Fed. Cir. 2011) ...................................................................... 3, 4, 13, 24

         OTHER

         37 CFR 1.56 ............................................................................................................................... 2

         18 U.S.C. § 1001 ............................................................................................................................ 21

         DEFENDANT'S RENEWED RULE 50 MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS AMATTER OFLAW

         Defendant, CRIMSON AV, LLC (“Crimson”), by and through undersigned counsel, hereby moves this Honorable Court pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 50 for a judgment as a matter of law on a finding of Inequitable Conduct (“IEC”) against Peerless in prosecuting U.S. Patent 7, 823, 850 (“'850 Patent”, or “'850”). In support of its motion, Crimson states:

         I. BACKGROUND

         The '850 Patent discloses a mounting bracket that affixes to the back of flat panel televisions. The bracket allegedly provides a guiding surface claimed to indicate when a bracket is not correctly aligned, i.e., “misaligned, ” with a wall mount from which the bracket is to be hung. (Trial Exh. D-1/90, attached as Exhibit A, p. 2.)

         A jury trial was held in this case from June 13 through 24, 2016. During trial, Crimson presented evidence in support of its position that the '850 Patent was invalid and also unenforceable due to Plaintiff's inequitable conduct. During trial, Crimson filed a Rule 50 Motion on Plaintiff's inequitable conduct. (Dkt. #589.) At the end of trial, the jury found the '850 Patent invalid, and the Court did not rule on Crimson's Rule 50 motion. (Trial Tr. pp. 1522- Matter of Law, holding that the evidence did not support the jury's verdict finding the '850 Patent invalid for obviousness and best-mode. (Dkt. #672, pp. 9-16.) The parties agreed to $40, 000 in damages and entered a stipulation of final judgment. (Dkt. #749.) Crimson now renews its Rule 50 motion seeking a judgment that Peerless' '850 Patent is unenforceable due to Plaintiff's inequitable conduct.

         II. STANDARD FOR JUDGMENT UNDER FRCP 50

         A judgment as a matter of law should be entered against the non-movant when a party has been fully heard on an issue, and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable fact finder to find for the non-moving party on that issue. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., 530 U.S. 133, 149 (2000). “Once the jury has spoken, the court is obliged to construe the facts in favor of the party who prevailed under the verdict.” Tart v. Ill. Power Co., 366 F.3d 461, 464 (7th Cir. 2004). “[T]he standard for granting summary judgment ‘mirrors' the standard for judgment as a matter of law, such that ‘the inquiry under each is the same.” Reeves, 530 U.S. at 150. “It therefore follows that, in entertaining a motion for judgment as a matter of law, the court should review all of the evidence in the record.” Id.

         III. ARGUMENT

         Presenting a patent application before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) requires the applicant to exercise the “highest duty of candor.” Phillips Petroleum Co. v. U.S. Steel Corp., 673 F.Supp. 1278, 1336 (D. Del. 1987), aff'd, 865 F.2d 1247, 9 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1461 (Fed. Cir. 1989). This duty of candor is “an uncompromising duty to report to [the PTO] all facts concerning possible fraud or inequitableness underlying the applications in issue.” Precision Instrument Mfg. Co. v. Automotive Maintenance Machinery Co., 324 U.S. 806, 818 (1945). See also 37 CFR 1.56. This duty extends to “each individual “information known to that individual to be material to patentability.” DS Smith Plastics Ltd. v. Plascon Packaging, Inc., No. 15 C 5760, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1167, at *8 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 6, 2016)(citing Advanced Magnetic Closures, Inc. v. Rome Fastener Corp., 607 F.3d 817, 829 (Fed. Cir. 2010).).

         To ensure compliance with this duty, the Supreme Court created the equitable defense of inequitable conduct. Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 649 F.3d 1276, 1285 (Fed. Cir. 2011). A patentee has committed inequitable conduct when it: (1) misrepresented or omitted information material to patentability; and (2) did so with specific intent to deceive the Patent Office. Regeneron Pharm., Inc. v. Merus N.V., 864 F.3d 1343, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2017). Once inequitable conduct is established as to a single claim, the entire patent is unenforceable. Id.

         Peerless committed inequitable conduct by deliberately withholding the following four prior art references (hereinafter the “Withheld References”) from the PTO during the prosecution of the '850 Patent:

(1) Sanus's VMPL2 bracket;
(2) AL-101 bracket;
(3) Peerless's Gennady/ECN 6102 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.