United States District Court, S.D. California
ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS, INC. DBA WYNN'S, a Delaware corporation, Plaintiff,
MOC PRODUCTS COMPANY, INC., a California corporation, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL (ECF No. 422)
JANIS L. SAMMARTINO, District Judge.
Presently before the Court is Defendant MOC Products Company, Inc.'s ("MOC") Motion for New Trial. (Mot. for New Trial, ECF No. 422.) Also before the Court is Plaintiff Illinois Tool Works d/b/a Wynn's ("ITW") response in opposition, (Resp. in Opp'n, ECF No. 434), and MOC's reply in support. (Reply in Supp., ECF No. 436.) The motion hearing that was set for January 23, 2014 was vacated and the matter taken under submission without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Having considered the parties' arguments and the law, the Court DENIES the motion.
The factual and procedural history of this patent infringement suit has been set forth in previous opinions. ( See, e.g., Order on Summ. J., Mar. 6, 2012, ECF No. 219; Order on Post-Trial Matters, Jun. 24, 2013, ECF No. 383; Order on Enhanced Damages, Prejudgment Interest, and Attorneys' Fees, Oct. 23, 2013, ECF No. 410.) This order incorporates by reference the background material set forth in those prior decisions.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(a)(1) provides, in pertinent part:
(1) Grounds for New Trial. The court may, on motion, grant a new trial on all or some of the issues-and to any party-as follows:
(A) after a jury trial, for any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in an action at law in federal court; or
(B) after a nonjury trial, for any reason for which a rehearing has heretofore been granted in a suit in equity in federal court.
Whether to grant a new trial is a matter of the trial court's discretion. City Solutions, Inc. v. Clear Channel Commc'ns, 365 F.3d 835, 843 (9th Cir. 2004). The court may grant a new trial if "the verdict is contrary to the clear weight of the evidence, or is based upon evidence which is false, or to prevent, in the sound discretion of the trial court, a miscarriage of justice." United States v. 4.0 Acres of Land, 175 F.3d 1133, 1139 (9th Cir. 1999) (quoting Oltz v. St. Peter's Cmty. Hosp., 861 F.2d 1440, 1452 (9th Cir. 1988)).
MOC moves for a new trial with respect to invalidity and damages on the grounds that (1) ITW improperly raised limitations of the 638 patent at trial that had already been resolved at the summary judgment stage; and, (2) ITW's damages expert Christopher Barry was allowed to present speculative and unsupported testimony at trial regarding lost profits. The Court addresses each argument in turn.
1. Did ITW Improperly Contest Elements At Trial That Were Decided at Summary Judgment?
According to MOC, ITW made arguments at trial regarding the 638 patent's validity that were expressly or impliedly resolved at summary judgment. The Court finds MOC's reasoning unpersuasive, however, because (1) the summary judgment proceedings did not address whether the prior art embodied the limitations of the 638 patent's dependent claims, such that ITW was free to raise those matters at trial, and, (2) even if ITW was foreclosed from arguing that the prior art lacked those limitations, a new trial on invalidity is unwarranted because the ...