United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE
; GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT ; DENYING AS MOOT
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS ; AND DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STAY 
D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
suit involves cross-claims for patent infringement, with both
Plaintiff-Coutnerdefendant Johnson Safety, Inc.
(“JSI”) and Defendant-Counterclaimants Voxx
International Corporation, Voxx Electronics Corporation, and
Invision Automotive Ssytems Inc. (collectively,
“Voxx”) owning patent portfolios. There are four
motions currently pending before the Court. JSI moves for
partial summary judgment (ECF No. 134) and a stay of
Voxx's counterclaims (ECF No. 117), while Voxx moves to
dismiss one of JSI's claims (ECF No. 119) and to
consolidate this case with a related one (ECF No. 122). All
four motions are fully briefed and ready for
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
patents in this case describe video systems and monitors that
can be affixed to or temporarily placed inside the interior
of a passenger vehicle. (See Compl. ¶¶ 7-
23, ECF No. 1; Countercompl. ¶¶ 17-36, ECF No. 42.)
For brevity's sake, a more thorough discussion of each
patent and the relevant claims of infringement will be
discussed will be reserved for the analysis of each
October 28, 2016, the Court held a claim construction hearing
on fifteen total terms, with five of the terms coming from
JSI's patents and ten coming from Voxx's.
(See ECF No. 90.) On November 16, 2016, the Court
issued its Order construing the terms. (ECF No. 95.)
VOXX'S MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE
preliminary matter, the Court disagrees with Voxx's
argument that this case should be consolidated with related
case Voxx International Corporation et al. v. Johnson
Safety Inc., styled as 2:17-cv-00358-ODW-DTB (“the
contends that the Transferred Case, originally filed in the
Southern District of Indiana and transferred to this Court,
is sufficiently related to the instant action to warrant
consolidation. (See Mot. to Consolidate.) In the
Transferred Case, Voxx asserts infringement of five of its
patents against JSI. (See Id. at 1.) None of the
patents at issue in the Transferred Case are the same as the
patents at issue in this case, but Voxx says that the patents
are related because they are “in the same family”
as the patents in this suit and/or that they “share
similar claim language” with a patent asserted as
invalidating art in the instant action. (Id. at
2-3.) Voxx does not dispute that consolidating the two cases
would delay trial, now less than 50 days away, but it
suggests that the overall efficiencies gained through
consolidation outweigh any such delay. (See Reply to
Mot. to Consolidate 1, ECF No. 133.)
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42, a district court may
consolidate cases that involve common questions of law or
fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a)(2); Inv'rs Research Co. v.
U.S. Dist. Court for the Cent. Dist. of Cal., 877 F.2d
777, 777 (9th Cir. 1989). “To determine whether to
consolidate, a court weighs the interest of judicial
convenience against the potential for delay, confusion, and
prejudice caused by consolidation.” Id.
benefits of consolidation do not outweigh the potential for
delay in this instance. The present action was filed years
before the Transferred Case, and extensive discovery, a claim
construction hearing, and motion practice have already taken
place. The Transferred Case, on the other hand, is still in
its infancy, with little discovery and no claim construction
to speak of. To make matters worse, none of the patents in
the Transferred Case overlap directly with the patents at
issue here; in essence the Court would be left to start
entirely from scratch. As such, the benefits of consolidation
would be minimal. In contrast, the burden and delay would be
great: the case at bar is on the eve of trial, and the
parties have not alerted the Court to any reason they will
not be ready for trial next month on May 30, 2017.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES Voxx's
Motion to Consolidate.
JSI'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT
asks the Court to find that it is not liable for infringement
of Voxx's asserted patents as a matter of law, either
because the patents are invalid or because JSI's products
are not infringing. (Mot. for Partial Summ. J.
(“MPSJ”) 3.) The Court finds that JSI is entitled
to summary judgment on some, but not all, of Voxx's
patent infringement claims.
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 56(a). A party seeking summary judgment
bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis
for its motion and identifying those portions of the
pleadings and discovery responses that demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Where the
moving party will have the burden of proof on an issue at
trial, the movant must affirmatively demonstrate that no
reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving
party. See Id. On an issue as to which the nonmoving
party will have the burden of proof, however, the movant can
prevail merely by pointing out that there is an absence of
evidence to support the nonmoving party's case. See
Id. If the moving party meets its initial burden, the
nonmoving party must set forth, by affidavit or as otherwise
provided in Rule 56, “specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986).
evaluating the evidence presented in support of or in
opposition to summary judgment, the court does not make
credibility determinations or weigh conflicting evidence.
Rather, it draws all inferences in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party. See T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v.
Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630- 31
(9th Cir. 1987). However, conclusory or speculative testimony
is insufficient to meet this burden or to raise genuine
issues of fact defeating summary judgment. See Nelson v.
Pima Cmty. Coll., 83 F.3d 1075, 1081-82 (9th Cir. 1996).
patent infringement summary judgment motion, there are two
major standards by which the moving party may argue they are
entitled to summary judgment: either non-infringement or
invalidity of the nonmoving party's patents. See
Absolute Software, Inc. v. Stealth Signal, Inc., 659
F.3d 1121, 1129-30 (Fed. Cir. 2011); Schering Corp. v.
Geneva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 339 F.3d 1373, 1377 (Fed.
Cir. 2003). Infringement is a question of fact; in order to
enter summary judgment against the patentee on the issue, a
court must resolve factual inferences in favor of the
patentee and determine that no reasonable jury could find
that the moving party infringed. Absolute Software,
Inc., 659 F.3d at 1129-30. Infringement is determined
where the claim has been properly construed and then compared
to the accused device or process. Id. at 1129.
Invalidity forecloses the infringement question because the
underlying patent is unenforceable, due to either
anticipation by prior art or a deficiency with the
application. Schering Corp., 339 F.3d at 1377.
asserts five patents in this suit: No. 5, 775, 762
(“the '762 Patent”); No. 7, 245, 274
(“the '274 Patent”); No. 7, 839, 355
(“the '355 Patent”); No. 7, 050, 124
(“the '124 Patent”); and No. 6, 678, 892
(“the '892 Patent”). JSI argues that it is
not liable for infringement of any of them.
The '762 Patent
Court finds that JSI is not entitled to summary judgment as
to the '762 Patent.