The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Rudi M. Brewster United States Senior District Judge
ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF NO INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT No. 5,347,295
Dell moves the Court for summary judgment*fn1 that Dells' Axim(r) line of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) do not infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,347,295 ("the '295 patent"). Microsoft joins this motion and asserts that if there is no direct infringement, Microsoft cannot be liable for indirect infringement. For the reasons herein, the Court GRANTS Dell's and Microsoft's motions.
Lucent has asserted the '295 patent against Defendant Dell, accusing Dell's Axim(r) line of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) of literal infringement and infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. Lucent has also accused Microsoft of indirectly infringing the patent by selling Windows Mobile and Pocket PC operating software that is included in Dell's PDAs.
The '295 patent is directed to a notebook computer that is controlled by a stylus. Using the stylus, the user can enter commands. The computer and stylus contain complementary circuitry to detect proximity with, contact and movement of the stylus on the computer screen
The claims at issue in the '295 patent are apparatus claims drafted in means-plus-function language. At issue in this motion is "the first detecting means." The Court construed this term to have the function of "detecting a stroke of the stylus tip in contact with the screen." The corresponding structure was designated as Pen position digitizer 20, as shown in figures 2 and 3 of the patent, and as described in the specification at col. 6 on lines 21-22 and lines 53-58.
Dell now moves for summary judgment that its products do not infringe because they lack an identical or corresponding structure to this first detecting means. Microsoft joins the motion, contending that if there is no direct infringement by Dell, there can be no indirect infringement by Microsoft. Additionally, Dell and Microsoft contend that there can be no contributory infringement because Dell's use of Microsoft's software is a substantial non-infringing use. The motion was heard on March 2, 2007.
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." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) (West 2006). A dispute about a material fact is genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In considering the motion, the court must examine all the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and "all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 257 (1986).
When the moving party does not bear the burden of proof, summary judgment is warranted by demonstration of an absence of facts to support the non-moving party's case." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). Summary judgment must be granted if the 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." Id. at 323.
1. Means Plus Function ...