Apledyn Corporation v. Sony Corporation, et alC.A. No. 11-440-SLR, April 2, 2015

Robinson, J.  Defendant’s motions for summary judgment of non-infringement due to collateral estoppel and for invalidity are granted.  The parties’  motions to exclude opposing expert  testimony are denied as moot.

The disputed technology relates to liquid crystal cell retarder systems. The parties do not dispute that the same patent, claim, and products accused in this case were at issue in a previously litigated case where the patent was found to be invalid. Defendant claims plaintiff is collaterally estopped from pursuing the present action, and the court agrees.  The points of contention are whether the issue was actually litigated, and whether plaintiff was deprived for crucial evidence preventing it from having a full and fair chance to litigate the question.  Plaintiff’s argument that the issue was not actually litigated because of the difference between a method claim and a “means plus function” claim, however the court notes that both were considered in the prior briefing and opinion.  Evidence plaintiff now relies on recently discovered after “much trial and error”  does not change the result. The expert could have been performed in the earlier litigation, and the court is not convinced plaintiff was deprived of crucial evidence. The court further grants defendant’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity.