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Lucent Technologies Inc. v. Gateway

January 12, 2007

LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC., PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERCLAIM-DEFENDANT,
v.
GATEWAY, INC. AND GATEWAY COUNTRY STORES LLC, GATEWAY COMPANIES, INC., GATEWAY MANUFACTURING LLC AND COWABUNGA ENTERPRISES, INC., DEFENDANTS AND COUNTER-CLAIMANTS, AND MICROSOFT CORPORATION, INTERVENOR AND COUNTER-CLAIMANT, MICROSOFT CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERCLAIM-DEFENDANT,
v.
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC., DEFENDANT AND COUNTER-CLAIMANT
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
DELL, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Rudi M. Brewster United States Senior District Judge

ORDER ON LUCENT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATIONS REGARDING U.S. PATENT NO. 4,701,954

I. INTRODUCTION

Lucent moves the Court for summary adjudication on a multitude of issues with respect to U.S. Patent No. 4,701,954 ("the '954 patent"). The issues were fully briefed by the parties and oral argument was heard on January 8, 2007. The Court now rules on these issues as explained herein.

II. BACKGROUND

Lucent sued Dell and Gateway in 2002. The case was originally filed in the Eastern District of Virginia and then transferred to the Southern District of California. Microsoft filed a declaratory judgment action against Lucent in 2003. The cases were eventually consolidated and then the issues separated into "groups" of technologies for trial. The instant Group 3 concerns the speech coding patent U.S. Patent No. 4,701,954 ("the '954 patent"). This patent describes and claims methods related to digital speech codecs which transform speech signals into electrical pulses. Lucent, the patentee, has accused Dell, Gateway and Microsoft of infringing this patent. Claims 1, 2 and 6, all methods claims, are at issue.

III. ANALYSIS

A. STANDARD OF LAW

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that summary judgment is appropriate if the "pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." In considering the motion, the court must examine all the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 257 (1986). If the Court is unable to render summary judgment upon an entire case and finds that a trial is necessary, it shall if practicable grant summary adjudication for any issues as to which, standing alone, summary judgment would be appropriate. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d).

When the moving party does not bear the burden of proof, summary judgment is warranted where the moving part demonstrates an absence of facts to support the non-moving party's case and where the non-moving party responding to the motion fails "to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 325 (1986).

B. Issues for Summary Adjudication

Lucent moves the Court for summary adjudication on the following issues regarding U.S. Patent No. 4,701,954 ("the '954 patent"): no invalidity for anticipation; no invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 102(f) for failure to name inventors; and no invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 112 for lack of written description and enablement. Lucent also moves for summary adjudication that Defendants'*fn1 affirmative defenses of laches, equitable estoppel/implied license/waiver, patent misuse and unclean hands lack evidentiary support. Finally, Lucent moves the Court for summary adjudication regarding the date of actual notice to Microsoft.

1. Unopposed Issues

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if an adverse party does not respond to a motion for summary adjudication, the Court may enter judgment against the adverse party if it is appropriate. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) (West 2006). Here, Defendants have chosen not to respond or not to oppose a number of issues presented by Lucent for summary adjudication.

Having considered these unopposed motions, the Court finds it appropriate and GRANTS summary adjudication in ...


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