Defendants led by NineStar, the Chinese manufacturer of ink jet cartridges compatible with Epson printers, fired off a series of summary judgment motions attacking several of the Epson patents. Most of these motions pertain to claim construction whereby NineStar is seeking to have claim terms interpreted narrowly so that their cartridge designs may be found to not fall within the scope of the claims. NineStar also filed motions for summary judgment of invalidity and motions for inequitable conduct seeking to get the entirety of the Epson patents held unenforceable.
Epson countered with its own motions for summary judgment for infringement. In these motions, Epson seeks to have certain claims interpreted in the same fashion as it obtained in a prior ITC action against NineStar where Epson pretty much had its way with the proceedings. It is noted that the decisions and findings (e.g., claim interpretations) in the ITC proceedings are not given preclusive effect in the District Court, but Judge Anna Brown can nonetheless be persuaded by the prior ruling, giving it some weight in her analysis/decision.
Opposition briefs have been filed along with a raft of expert declarations. The arguments are varied and complex, with some of the statements from counsel being somewhat "chippy" at times. It should be noted that the NineStar motion for inequitable conduct could be impacted by the recent Federal Appeals Court decision in Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co. where the Federal Circuit redefined the requirements for both the materiality and intent.
In any event, given the massive amount of papers filed in this case, it looks like Epson should recoup at least some of its litigation costs just by the amount of inkjet cartridges it will sell from printing the volume of papers filed here.