Defendants obtained another favorable decision on summary judgment for AT&T in a patent infringement case against Adaptix. Magistrate Judge Craven issued proposed findings and recommendations granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment that Adaptix is precluded from asserting method claims of the ’212 patent against essentially the same handsets that were litigated by Adaptix in a case in California. In the Northern District of California, Judge Grewal previously found that the defendants did not directly infringe the asserted claims.  

The defendants in this case include AT&T and Verizon (the “carrier defendants”), and LG and Pantech (the “manufacturer defendants”). All defendants argued on summary judgment that issue preclusion bars Adaptix from arguing that defendants directly infringe the method claims of the ’212 patent by (1) selling LTE devices or (2) by controlling the use their respective customers’ LTE devices. The defendants argued that these issues were already litigated in the California cases. Judge Craven agreed and recommended that issue preclusion bar Adaptix from making these arguments. 

The carrier defendants also asserted that Adaptix’s claims are independently barred by claim preclusion and theKessler Doctrine. Defendants argued Adaptix should not be able to make the same argument that the accused 4G LTE devices, which are “essentially the same” as the devices at issue in the California cases, infringe the same patents based on the same LTE industry standard. Adaptix argued that the causes of action are different because the California actions involved Apple and HTC devices, while the present case involves LG and Pantech products. Judge Craven reasoned that both cases involve the same patent and that Adaptix’s infringement theory based on the LTE industry standard is the same in both sets of cases. Judge Craven explained that although the accused devices do not completely overlap, based on Adaptix’s infringement contentions, the accused devices are materially identical to those in the California case. The court also noted that any causes of action that arose after Judge Grewal’s decision are also barred by claim preclusion. 

Judge Craven likewise found that Adaptix’s claims against the carrier defendants were barred by the Kessler doctrine because the defendants had already obtained the status of a noninfringer based on the California case. 

Finally, Judge Craven recommended that the manufacturer defendant’s summary judgment of no contributory infringement should be granted because based on the claim preclusion and Kessler doctrine findings, there is no underlying direct infringement.

Adaptix, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, et al., C. A. No. 6:12-cv-17, Doc. No. 363 (E.D. Tex. May 12, 2015).