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Hydrodynamic Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Green Max Distribs., Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 9, 2014

HYDRODYNAMIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
GREEN MAX DISTRIBUTORS, INC., Defendants

Page 1075

For Hydrodynamic Industrial Co Ltd, a Hong Kong corporation, Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Yuri Mikulka, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sarah S Brooks, Stradling Yocca Carlson and Rauth, Newport Beach, CA.

For Green Max Distributors Inc, a Washington corporation, Defendant, Counter Claimant: Dariush G Adli, Adli Law Group PC, Los Angeles, CA; Rasheed McWilliams, Beverly Hills, CA.

For Alexander S. Polsky, Mediator (ADR Panel): Alexander S Polsky, JAMS Inc, Orange, CA.

OPINION

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Page 1076

ORDER DENYING GREEN MAX'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF LAW [144]

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is Defendant Green Max Distributors, Inc.'s motion for judgment as a matter of law on the issue of obviousness of the '385 Patent. For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES Green Max's Motion, and directs the Clerk to enter Judgment on the Jury Verdict.[1]

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On June 11, 2012, Hydrodynamic Industrial Company, Ltd. filed suit against Green Max alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,848,385 (" the '385 Patent" ). (ECF No. 1.) The '385 Patent relates to an underwater motive device known as a sea scooter. On November 5, 2013, the parties proceeded to a jury trial. After a four-day trial, the jury rendered a verdict that Green Max willfully infringed the '385 Patent, assessed damages of an ongoing royalty payment of $45,567.00, and declined to hold the '385 Patent invalid for obviousness. (ECF No. 132.) After trial, Green Max moved for Judgment as a Matter of Law on the issue of obviousness of the '385 Patent. (ECF No. 131.)

Underwater motive devices such as the sea scooter, as described by the '385 patent, have been around since the 1950s. ('385 Patent 1:13-14.) But earlier sea scooters had a variety of problems: they were heavy, unsafe, difficult to ballast weight, and difficult to recharge and service. ( Id. 1:44-46.)

All claims of the '385 Patent require (1) a rear main housing; (2) a motor; (3) manual supports; (4) a front cone removable from the rear main housing; (5) a switch to operate the motor; (6) a battery and battery compartment; (7) a removable water ballast; (8) a sealing structure between the rear main housing and the front cone and (9) a pressure fitting. ( Id. 4:14-36.) In addition, claim 5 which depends on

Page 1077

claim 1 adds the following additional elements: (1) starting the motor propeller slowly before reaching full speed; and/or (2) shutting down motor based on monitoring the current; and/or (3) shutting down motor based on voltage level of battery; and/or (4) shutting down motor based on temperature of motor; ...


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