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Intouch Techs., Inc. v. Vgo Commc'ns

January 5, 2013

INTOUCH TECHS., INC.
v.
VGO COMMC'NS, INC.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Percy Anderson, United States District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Present: The Honorable PERCY ANDERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Paul Songco Not Reported N/A

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter Tape No.

Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: None None

Proceedings: COURT'S FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AFTER JURY VERDICT

Before the Court is a Proposed Final Judgment After Jury Verdict filed by defendant VGo Communications, Inc. ("Defendant"). [Docket No. 231.] Plaintiff InTouch Technologies, Inc. has filed Objections to Request for Judgment After Jury Verdict.

Factual & Procedural Background

Plaintiff designs and sells remote presence robot systems that enable a user at one location to remotely control a robot with two-way audio and video capability at a second location in order to establish a remote presence of the user at the second location. Defendant makes and sells similar remote presence robot systems throughout the United States.

On November 4, 2011, Plaintiff filed its initial Complaint. On April 27, 2012, by stipulation of the parties and with the Court's permission, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). The FAC alleges that Defendant's products infringe five of Plaintiff's patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 6,925,357 ("the '357 Patent"), 6,346,962 ("the '962 Patent"), 7,289,883 ("the '883 Patent"), 7,310,570 ("the '570 Patent") and 7,593,030 ("the '030 Patent"). Defendant filed an Answer and Counterclaim on May 21, 2012. On July 03, 2012, the Court granted the parties' stipulation to dismiss a number of Defendant's counterclaims and affirmative defenses, as well as Plaintiff's infringement claims as to the '883 Patent and the '570 Patent.

Of the three remaining patents-in-suit, the '357 Patent and the '030 Patent relate to a remote-controlled robot system that allows users at multiple remote stations to access and control the robot. The patents disclose an arbitration system to determine which remote user can control the robot at any given time. The '357 Patent also describes a call-back mechanism that notifies a user who was previously denied access to the robot that the robot has become available. Together, these features enable the robot systems to be shared effectively among multiple potential users.

The technology claimed by the '962 Patent was developed and patented by IBM in 1997. Plaintiff purchased the '962 Patent in 2009. The '962 Patent discloses and claims a way to directly control a camera at a different location in a videoconferencing system using a pointing device such as a computer mouse. By moving the mouse, the user can directly control the movement of the remote camera. The '962 patent thus enables users to directly control the camera in "real time." The '962 patent also claims a timer that stops the motion of the camera if the timer expires without receiving additional movement data from the pointing device. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant's robots infringed various claims of each of these patents.

On September 10, 2012, the Court denied Defendant's motion for summary judgment. After conducting claim construction, the parties proceeded to trial. After a five day jury trial, the jury found that Plaintiff failed to prove that Defendant's technology infringed Claim 79 of the '357 Patent, Claim 1 of the '030 Patent, Claim 1 of the '962 Patent or Claim 8 of the '962 Patent. The jury also found that Defendant had proven by clear and convincing evidence that Claim 79 of the '257 Patent and Claim 1 of the '030 Patent were invalid on the grounds of obviousness. (See Jury Verdict Form (Redacted), entered on November 29, 2012 (Docket No. 230).)

Defendant then submitted its Proposed Final Judgment on December 04, 2012. The Court has considered Defendant's Proposed Final Judgment, Plaintiff's Objections, and ...


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