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Multimedia Patent Trust v. Directtv

November 10, 2011

MULTIMEDIA PATENT TRUST,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DIRECTTV, INC., ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marilyn L. Huff, District Judge United States District Court

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON PATENT NON-INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 5,227,878.

On October 7, 2011, Vizio, Inc. ("Vizio") filed its motion for summary judgment of patent non-infringement. (Doc. No. 551.) On October 24, 2011, Defendant Media Patent Trust ("MPT") filed its response in opposition. (Doc. No. 597.) On October 31, 2011, Vizio filed a reply in support of the motion. (Doc. No. 607.) On November 4, 2011, the Court held a hearing on this matter. Nathan Cummings and Justin Wilcox appeared for MPT. Kevin McBride and David Cochran appeared for Vizio.

For the following reasons, the Court denies Defendants' motion for summary judgment on non-infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,227,878.

Background

On February 13, 2010, MPT filed a complaint alleging that Vizio's accused products infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,227,878 ("the '878 patent"). (Doc. No. 1 at 14-15.) In response, Vizio filed its answer with a number of affirmative defenses, including patent non-infringement. (Doc. No. 46 at 12.) The Court issued a claim construction order on August 18, 2011. (Doc. No. 454.) The matter is set for trial on January 10, 2012.

The '878 patent was filed on November 15, 1991, and issued on July 13, 1993. (The '878 patent.) The patent relates generally to the adaptive coding and decoding of digital video signals, which helps to transmit high resolution images without loss of quality. (Id.) Claim 13 is the only claim asserted against Defendant. The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") issued a certificate of correction regarding claim 13 on October 25, 2005, resulting in the following claim language:

An apparatus for decoding a compressed digital video signal, comprising: a means for receiving a compressed digital video bit stream; and a means responsive to a motion compensation type signal for selectively and adaptively performing motion compensated decoding of frames of the compressed digital video bit stream and fields of the compressed video bit stream. (Id.)

The accused products are devices that are capable of decoding compressed video signals, including televisions and Blu-ray players. (Doc. No. 597, Ex. A to the Richardson Declaration at 13-22.) The devices use video decoder processors that include integrated circuits and are programmed to decode the video signals. (Id. at 23-31.)

I. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure if the moving party demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986). A fact is material when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986); Freeman v. Arpaio, 125 F.3d 732 (9th Cir.1997). A dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

A party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. The moving party can present evidence that negates an essential element of the nonmoving party's case or demonstrate that the nonmoving party failed to establish an essential element of the nonmoving party's case on which the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving at trial. Id. at 322-23. Once the moving party establishes the absence of genuine issues of material fact, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to set forth facts showing that a genuine issue of disputed fact remains. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. The nonmoving party cannot oppose a properly supported summary judgment motion by "rest[ing] on mere allegations or denials of his pleadings." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256.

In a motion for summary judgment of non-infringement, "[t]he movant bears the burden of demonstrating absence of all genuine issues of material fact, the district court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the non-movant and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor, and must resolve all doubt over factual issues in favor of the party opposing summary judgment." SRI Int'l. v. Matsushita Elec. Corp., 775 F.2d 1107, 1116 (Fed. Cir. 1985).

II. Discussion

A. Literal ...


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