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Presidio Components, Inc. v. American Technical Ceramics Corp.

October 26, 2010

PRESIDIO COMPONENTS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
AMERICAN TECHNICAL CERAMICS CORP., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

Order Denying Defendant ATC's Motion to Amend Judgment or for New Trial [Doc. No 369]

Defendant American Technical Ceramics Corp. ("ATC") moves the Court under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) and Civ. L.R. 7.1(i)(2) to amend that portion of its April 13, 2010 order denying ATC's motion for JMOL, or for a new trial, with respect to anticipation and obviousness of the '356 patent. Plaintiff Presidio Components, Inc. ("Presidio") filed an opposition and ATC filed a reply. Thereafter, Presidio submitted additional evidence relating to the motion and ATC submitted a supplemental reply.

The Court found ATC's motion appropriate for submission on the papers and without oral argument, and previously vacated the hearing. For the reasons explained herein, ATC's motion is DENIED.

Background

The case was tried to a jury in December 2009, resulting in a verdict finding all of the Plaintiff's asserted patent claims to be valid and infringed. The jury found ATC failed to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that any of the claims of the '356 patent were anticipated or obvious.*fn1

In its post-trial motions, ATC sought judgment as a matter of law that certain prior art anticipated the claims of the '356 patent and that the asserted claims of the '356 patent were obvious to a person of ordinary skill in light of the prior art. The Court denied ATC's motion by order filed on April 13, 2010. [Doc. No. 348, pp. 18.]

ATC now moves the Court for an order vacating that portion of its April 13, 2010 order denying ATC's post-trial motions on anticipation and obviousness, or in the alternative for a new trial on such issues. ATC argues there is newly discovered evidence, of which Presidio knew but failed to disclose the evidence during trial. ATC argues the new evidence shows as a matter of law that the claims of the '356 patent were anticipated by, and made obvious in light of, prior art.

The new evidence upon which ATC relies is the "Sprague publication." [Fabricius, J.H. and Olsen, A.G., Monolithic Structure -- A New Concept for Ceramic Capacitors, Sprague Technical Paper No. 58-6 "Wescon" Western Electric Show and Convention, Los Angeles, California, August 21, 1958, attached as Exhibit 1 to ATC's motion.] Presidio learned of the Sprague publication during trial, when a Presidio employee obtained it through a third party. ATC learned of the Sprague publication in May of 2010 when Presidio cited it to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the ongoing reexamination proceedings.

Discussion

ATC argues it is entitled to relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(2) or (3). Rule 60(b)(2) provides for relief from judgment based upon newly discovered evidence. Rule 60(b)(3) provides for relief from a judgment based upon "fraud, ... misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party." While Rule 60(b)(2) is aimed at correcting judgments which are factually incorrect, Rule 60(b)(3) is aimed at judgments which were unfairly obtained. Bunch v. United States, 680 F.2d 1271, 1283 (9th Cir. 1982).

A. Rule 60(b)(2)

The court may grant relief under Rule 60(b)(2) where (1) the moving party can show the evidence relied on in fact constitutes "newly discovered evidence" within the meaning of Rule 60(b); (2) the moving party exercised due diligence to discover this evidence; and (3) the newly discovered evidence [is] of "such magnitude that production of it earlier would have been likely to change the disposition of the case."

Feature Realty, Inc. v. City of Spokane, 331 F.3d 1082, 1093 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Coastal Transfer Co. v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., 833 F.2d 208, 211 (9th Cir. 1987)). ATC argues the Sprague publication is newly discovered, which could not have been discovered ...


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