Multimedia Patent Trust V. Apple: Motion To Strike Expert's Equivalence Analysis Denied Where Defendants Were Merely Disagreeing With Expert On The Underlying Facts

In December 2010, plaintiff Multimedia Patent Trust ("MPT") filed a complaint for patent infringement against several defendants, including Apple, LG and Canon. The complaint accused the defendants of infringing several patents pertaining to video compression technology. The district court subsequently granted Canon's motion for summary judgment based on exhaustion. Prior to trial, the remaining defendants filed a motion to exclude MPT's infringement expert's analysis under the doctrine of equivalents.

After reviewing the standard for a Daubert motion to exclude expert testimony, the district court turned to the specific standard for infringement of means-plus-function claims. "A patent infringement analysis proceeds in two steps. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 976 (Fed. Cir. 1995), aff'd 517 U.S. 370. In the first step, the court construes the asserted claims as a matter of law. See id. In the second step, the factfinder compares the claimed invention to the accused device. Id.; see also Verizon Servs. Corp. v. Cox Fibernet Va., Inc., 602 F.3d 1325, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2010) ("A determination of infringement is a question of fact . . . ."). "To prove literal infringement, the patentee must show that the accused device contains every limitation in the asserted claims. If even one limitation is missing or not met as claimed, there is no literal infringement." Riles v. Shell Exploration & Prod. Co., 298 F.3d 1302, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (quoting Mas-Hamilton Group v. LaGard, Inc., 156 F.3d 1206, 1211 (Fed. Cir. 1998))."

The district court then discussed the specific requirements of a means-plus-function claim. "Literal infringement of a means-plus-function claim "requires that the relevant structure in the accused device perform the identical function recited in the claim and be identical or equivalent to the corresponding structure in the specification." Odetics, Inc. v. Storage Tech. Corp., 185 F.3d 1259, 1267 (Fed. Cir. 1999). An accused structure is equivalent if it "performs the claimed function in substantially the same way to achieve substantially the same result." Id. at 1267; see also Chiuminatta Concrete Concepts, Inc. v. Cardinal Indus., Inc., 145 F.3d 1303, 1309 (Fed. Cir. 1998) ("The proper test is whether the differences between the structure in the accused device and any disclosed in the specification are insubstantial."). In addition, for literal infringement to be met, the accused "structural equivalent under...

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