United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER ON DAUBERT MOTIONS [RE: ECF 480, 484]
LAB SON FREEMAN United States District Judge.
parties to this action are Plaintiff Space Data Corporation
(“Space Data”) and Defendants Alphabet Inc.,
Google LLC, and Loon LLC (collectively,
“Google”). Space Data alleges that Google
infringes Space Data's patents and unlawfully uses Space
Data's confidential information and trade secrets.
See generally 5AC, ECF 434. In preparation for trial
which is set to begin on August 5, 2019, each side submitted
a Daubert motion to exclude two of the opposing
side's experts. See ECF 480; ECF 484. The Court
held a Daubert hearing (“the Hearing”)
on May 31, 2019. With respect to each side's
Daubert motions, the Court rules as follows, for the
reasons below and as stated on the record at the Hearing.
Rule of Evidence 702 provides that a qualified expert may
testify if “(a) the expert's scientific, technical,
or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; (b)
the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (c) the
testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods;
and (d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.” Fed.R.Evid. 702. In
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509
U.S. 579, 589 (1993), the Supreme Court held that Rule 702
requires the district court to act as a gatekeeper to
“ensure that any and all scientific testimony or
evidence admitted is not only relevant, but reliable.”
In Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137,
147 (1999), the Supreme Court clarified that the “basic
gatekeeping obligation” articulated in Daubert
applies not only to scientific testimony but to all expert
testimony. The Supreme Court also made clear that the
reliability inquiry is a flexible one, and “whether
Daubert's specific factors are, or are not,
reasonable measures of reliability in a particular case is a
matter that the law grants the trial judge broad latitude to
determine.” Id. at 153; see also Micro
Chem., Inc. v. Lextron, Inc., 317 F.3d 1387, 1391 (Fed.
and Rule 702 are safeguards against unreliable or irrelevant
opinions, not guarantees of correctness.” i4i Ltd.
P'ship v. Microsoft Corp., 598 F.3d 831, 854 (Fed.
Cir. 2010) aff'd, 131 S.Ct. 2238 (2011). So long
as an expert's methodology is sound and her opinions
satisfy the requirements of Rule 702, underlying factual
disputes and how much weight to accord the expert's
opinion are questions for the jury. Micro Chem., 317
F.3d at 1392; Primiano v. Cook, 598 F.3d 558, 565
(9th Cir. 2010).
Google's Daubert Motion (ECF 484)
moves to exclude certain opinions of Space Data's damages
expert Dr. Christine Meyer and Space Data's technical
expert Dr. Sam Pullen. See Google's Motion at 1,
ECF 484. The challenged opinions concern U.S. Patent No. 9,
678, 193 (“the '193 patent”) and U.S. Patent
No. 9, 643, 706 (“the '706 patent”). See
generally Id. However, on May 9, 2019, the Court granted
Google's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement
of the '193 patent. See Summary Judgment Order
at 21, ECF 524 (572). In addition, Space Data's
opposition affirmatively moots issues raised in Google's
Daubert motion with respect to the '706 patent.
See Space Data's Opp'n at 10, ECF 506. At
the Hearing, Google confirmed that its Daubert
motion contains no live issues. See Hearing Tr. at
2:24-3:1, ECF 548. Accordingly, Google's Daubert
motion is hereby TERMINATED AS MOOT.
Space Data's Daubert Motion (ECF 480)
Data moves to exclude certain opinions and testimony of
Google's trade secret and patent infringement expert Dr.
John Hansman and Google's damages expert Dr. Daniel
Ingberman. See Space Data's Motion at 1-2, ECF
479-18. For each expert, Space Data challenges both trade
secret opinions and opinions pertaining to the '193
patent. For the reasons previously discussed, Space
Data's motion with respect to opinions pertaining to the
'193 patent is hereby TERMINATED AS MOOT. Thus, the
remaining issues concern only trade secret opinions. The
Court addresses each expert in turn.
Data challenges two categories of Dr. Hansman's opinions:
(1) Dr. Hansman's “rebuttal” of Dr.
Meyer's liability assumptions concerning trade secret
misappropriation; and (2) Dr. Hansman's opinions
regarding Loon's independent development. See
Space Data's Motion at 5, 8. Each category of challenged
opinions is discussed in turn.
Dr. Hansman's Rebuttal to Dr. Meyer's Liability
Meyer is Space Data's damages expert. As part of her
report on damages for trade secret misappropriation, Dr.
Meyer assumed liability as a predicate to her damages
analysis. See Space Data's Motion at 5; see
also Meyer Damages Report, Ex. 4 to Kamber Decl., ECF
497-5. Space Data points out that Dr. Meyer qualified her
description of trade secret misappropriation with phrases
such as “I understand, ” Space Data
“contends, ” and Space Data
“alleges.” See, e.g., Meyer Damages
Report ¶ 57. Space Data argues that because Dr. Meyer
“assumed liability” and did “not opine on
liability, ” Dr. Hansman's “technical
rebuttal report” of Dr. Meyer's liability
assumptions concerning trade secret misappropriation is
improper and should be excluded. See Space
Data's Motion at 5-6. More specifically, Space ...