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Wordtech Systems, Inc. v. Integrated Network Solutions

May 22, 2009

WORDTECH SYSTEMS, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION PLAINTIFF,
v.
INTEGRATED NETWORK SOLUTIONS, INC., DBA INTEGRATED NETWORK SOLUTIONS, CORP. AKA INTEGRATED NETWORK SOLUTIONS AKA INTEGRATED SYSTEMS AKA INTEGRATED NETWORK STORAGE COMPANY AKA INSC; ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Wordtech Systems, Inc. ("Plaintiff"), filed the instant action on September 22, 2004, alleging that Defendants infringed on various of its patents. On November 17, 2008, a jury unanimously found for Plaintiff, determined the infringement was willful, and awarded Plaintiff $250,000. The Court subsequently awarded treble damages, attorneys' fees, interest and costs.

Presently before the Court are Defendants' Post-Verdict Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and Motion for New Trial, both filed March 26, 2009, as well as Defendants' First Amended Motions for New Trial and to Amend the Judgment, both filed April 20, 2009. For the following reasons, each of Defendants' Motions is denied.*fn1

ANALYSIS

1. Defendants' Post-Verdict Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law

The court entered Judgment in favor of Plaintiff on March 16, 2009, and Defendants filed a Motion for Post-Verdict Judgment as a Matter of Law ("JMOL") (Docket No. 270) on March 26, 2009. The Court then entered an Amended Judgment on April 13, 2009, and Defendants subsequently filed a First Amended Motion to Amend the Judgment (Docket No. 275) that appears intended to amend the original JMOL Motion to incorporate the Court's Amended Judgment. Accordingly, Defendants' initial Motion is hereby denied as moot.

2. Defendants' Motion for New Trial

As above, Defendants originally filed the instant Motion for New Trial (Docket No. 271) on March 26, 2009, and then, after the Court entered its Amended Judgment, filed a First Amended Motion for New Trial on April 20, 2009. Accordingly, like the prior Motion, this Motion is also denied as moot.

3. Defendants' First Amended Motion to Amend the Judgment

Defendants' First Amended Motion to Amend the Judgment (Docket No. 275) is actually a First Amended Motion for Post-Verdict JMOL. Via this Motion, Defendants make multiple arguments, each of which is addressed in turn.

Rule 50(b), by its terms, allows a party, after trial, to "renew" a motion for judgment as a matter of law "made at the close of all the evidence." A party cannot raise arguments in its post-trial Rule 50(b) motion that it did not raise beforehand in a Rule 50(a) motion offered during trial itself. Freund v. Nycomed Amersham, 347 F.3d 752, 761 (9th Cir. 2003).

Like a pre-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(a), a post-verdict Rule 50(b) motion tests the sufficiency of the evidence offered in support of a party's claims. Keenan v. Computer Assocs. Int'l, 13 F.3d 1266, 1268-69 (8th Cir. 1994). Judgment as a matter of law is proper if "the evidence, construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, permits only one reasonable conclusion, and that conclusion is contrary to that of the jury."

White v. Ford Motor Co., 312 F.3d 998, 1010 (9th Cir. 2002). A motion for judgment as a matter of law should be granted only if the facts and inferences point so strongly and overwhelmingly in favor of one party that a decision in that party's favor is mandated. See Seven-Up Co. v. Coca-Cola Co., 86 F.3d 1379, 1387 (5th Cir. 1996), quoting Boeing v. Shipman, 411 F.2d 365, 374 (5th Cir. 1969).

Defendants first argue that because there was no possible infringement of the '932 patent, the jury improperly returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff as to that patent. According to Defendants, Plaintiff introduced no evidence that any sales relevant to the '932 patent occurred post-issuance. However, Defendants never raised this argument in a pre-verdict Motion, and, as such, have not preserved their instant ...


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