Digest of Summit 6, LLC v. Samsung Elecs. Co., Nos. 2013-1648, 2013-1651 (Fed. Cir. Sep. 21, 2015) (precedential). On appeal from N.D. Tex. Before Prost, Reyna and Hughes.
Procedural Posture: Defendants/accused infringers appealed a denial of motion for a new trial based on an improper claim construction and denials of JMOL of invalidity, no infringement, exclusion of expert testimony and lack of evidentiary support for the jury’s damages verdict. Plaintiff cross-appealed district court’s determination that the verdict represented a lump-sum award. CAFC affirmed all judgments and determinations.
- Claim construction: The district court properly rejected the defendants’ argument that the claim term “being provided to” is used as a verb that requires that the “pre-processing parameters” are provided to a client device during operation of the claimed method. Instead, “being provided to” is part of a phrase that describes the properties of the pre-processing parameters. It is not a step of the method, nor does it require ongoing activity. The district court did not err in declining to construe the claim term further as its plain and ordinary meaning was clear.
- Infringement: Applying Fifth Circuit law, the Federal Circuit upheld the jury’s verdict of infringement because the record contained a legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find infringement. The plaintiff had adduced testimony to show that the defendants’ devices perform the methods of the asserted claims.
- Invalidity: Applying Fifth Circuit law, the Federal Circuit found the jury verdict was supported by substantial evidence, namely that the cited prior art did not disclose every limitation of the asserted claim.
- Admissibility of Expert Testimony: The district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting testimony by the plaintiff’s damages expert. The expert’s methodology, and in particular his underlying premise that an infringing feature’s use by end users is proportional to its value, was sufficiently reliable and tied to the facts of the case, even if not all Daubert factors, such as a peer-reviewed publication, were present. The expert properly relied on survey data regarding customer use under Fed. R. Evid. 703.
- Damages: The Federal Circuit found the jury’s damages verdict was supported by substantial evidence, including the testimony of the plaintiff’s damages expert.
- Damages—Reasonable Royalty: The district court did not abuse its broad discretion in interpreting the verdict form as awarding a lump sum for both past and future infringement, where trial testimony supported such a lump sum verdict and the jury wrote “lump sum” on the verdict form.