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Eidos Display, LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Tyler Division

April 1, 2017

EIDOS DISPLAY, LLC, EIDOS III, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
CHI MEI INNOLUX CORPORATION, CHI MEI OPTOELECTRONICS USA, INC., CHUNGHWA PICTURE TUBES, LTD., HANNSTAR DISPLAY CORPORATION, HANNSPREE NORTH AMERICA, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN D. LOVE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs Eidos Display, LLC and Eidos III, LLC (collectively “Plaintiffs” or “Eidos”) Motion to preclude Defendants' experts Jerzy Kanicki and Roger Stewart from testifying on opinions presented in their expert reports (Doc. No. 679). Defendants have filed responses (Doc. Nos. 700, 701), Plaintiffs have filed reply (Doc. No. 710) and Defendants have filed a sur-reply (Doc. No. 714). Upon, consideration, Plaintiffs' Motion (Doc. No. 679) is GRANTED-IN-PART and DENIED-IN-PART as set forth herein.

         BACKGROUND

         On April 12, 2013, this Court issued its claim construction opinion construing the disputed terms of U.S. Patent No. 5, 879, 958 (“the '958 Patent”). (Doc. No. 184.) During the original claim construction hearing, the Court previously had proposed a construction for the term “gate wiring” as “a patterned, electrically conductive material that conveys gate signals to gate electrodes.” (Doc. No. 184, at 12.) However, for reasons explained during the claim construction hearing, the Court declined to construe the term “gate wiring” in its original claim construction opinion. (Doc. No. 184, at 12.) Defendants then asked the Court to construe the term “gate wiring” to resolve a dispute amongst the experts regarding the interpretation of “gate wiring.” (Doc. Nos. 520, 521.) The Court held another claim construction hearing at which both sides' experts testified regarding this dispute, and the Court rejected Defendants' proposal and adopted the following as the meaning of “gate wiring”: “a patterned, electrically conductive material that conveys gate signals.” (Doc. Nos. 580, 604.)

         In construing this term, and taking in testimony, the Court found the experts ultimately dispute “whether the wire continuing beyond the terminal electrode conveys gate signals.” (Doc. No. 580, at 11 citing Tr. at 61:3-62:1.) The Court further stated that this “factual dispute between the experts is one the Court cannot resolve as a matter of law from the intrinsic record” because “[n]othing in the intrinsic record provides any support to resolve the dispute regarding where the gate signal is conveyed.” Id. However, the Court held as a matter of law that Defendants' proposal of “a patterned electrically-conductive material that connects and conveys gate signals from a gate wiring connection terminal to a gate electrode” is too limiting because it excluded a preferred embodiment. Id. at 12. It was for this reason, the Court rejected Defendants' proposal and construed the term “gate wiring” to mean “a patterned, electrically conductive material that conveys gate signals.” Id.

         In its original claim construction opinion, the Court also construed the term “metal film” to mean “a thickness of one or more layers of metal.” (Doc. No. 184, at 15; Doc. No. 208.) Defendants later asked the Court to reconsider its construction of “metal film.” (Doc. No. 502.)

         The Court denied Defendants' motion for reconsideration. (Doc. Nos. 540, 566.) In doing so, the Court also rejected Defendants' contention that the term was indefinite, stating:

[I]t must be well understood that the Court's construction of “metal film” is not unlimited with regard to the number of layers and types of metal that can be used to satisfy claim 1. Rather, a person of ordinary skill in the art when reading the '958 Patent would understand that the claimed “metal film” may consist of one or more layers of metal and that each layer may further be comprised of a variety of metal that is consistent with the disclosures in the '958 Patent, but not necessarily limited to those specific examples. It would be illogical to turn this conclusion on its head to say that any unlimited number of layers and combination of metals could be used, and that is not what this Court's construction contemplates.

(Doc. No. 540, at 6.)

         Defendants, however, did not drop this argument, and came back to the Court seeking to belatedly supplement their invalidity contentions to add this theory. (Doc. No. 619.) Again, the Court explained that to the extent its “prior rulings were not sufficiently clear, the construction of ‘metal film' to mean ‘a thickness of one or more layers of metal' does not render claim 1 indefinite.” (Doc. No. 641, at 3.) The Court again explained that while the '958 Patent discloses that the term “metal film” can be made of certain metals, it does not limit the term those specific metals. Id. at 3-4.

         Eidos brings the instant motion arguing that both Dr. Kanicki and Mr. Stewart improperly replace the Court's constructions of “metal film” and “gate wiring” with their own narrow interpretations that have been rejected by the Court. (Doc. No. 679, at 4.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 702 provides that an expert witness may offer opinion testimony if: (a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; (b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (c)

         the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and ...


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