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Imperium IP Holdings (Cayman), Ltd. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

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

April 27, 2017




         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Judgment and for Pre-Judgment and Post-Judgment Interest (Dkt. #335). After reviewing the relevant pleadings, the Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff's motion.


         On June 9, 2014, Plaintiff filed the instant action against Defendants, alleging infringement of United States Patent Nos. 6, 271, 884 (the “'884 Patent), 7, 092, 029 (the “'029 Patent”), and 6, 836, 290 (the “'290 Patent”). On February 8, 2016, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff. Particularly, the jury found the following: (1) Defendants infringed Claims 1, 5, 14, and 17 of the '884 Patent; (2) Defendants infringed Claims 1, 6, and 7 of the '029 Patent; (3) Defendants willfully infringed the patents-in-suit; and (4) Claim 10 of the '290 Patent was invalid for obviousness (Dkt. #253). The jury awarded $4, 840, 772 in damages for infringement of the '884 Patent and $2, 129, 608.50 in damages for infringement of the '029 Patent (Dkt. #253). On August 24, 2016, the Court awarded enhanced damages for willful infringement and entered final judgment (Dkt. #329; Dkt. #330).

         On September 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed its motion to amend (Dkt. #335). On October 11, 2016, Defendants filed a response (Dkt. #340). On October 24, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply (Dkt. #344). On November 3, 2016, Defendants filed a sur-reply (Dkt. #347).


         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not specifically provide for motions for reconsideration. Shepherd v. Int'l Paper Co., 372 F.3d 326, 328 n.1 (5th Cir. 2004). Depending on when a party files such a motion, the Court may construe it under Rule 59(e) as a motion to alter or amend a judgment or under Rule 60(b) as a motion for relief from a final judgment. Id.; Williams v. Thaler, 602 F.3d 291, 303 (5th Cir. 2010) (“When a litigant files a motion seeking a change in judgment, courts typically determine the appropriate motion based on whether the litigant filed the motion within Rule 59(e)'s time limit.”). If a party files a motion within than twenty-eight days from the judgment or order of which the party complains, it is considered a Rule 59(e) motion; otherwise, it is treated as a Rule 60(b) motion. See Hamilton Rothschilds v. Williams Rothschilds, 147 F.3d 367, 371 n.19 (5th Cir. 1998). Here, Plaintiff filed its motion within twenty-eight days of the Court entering final judgment. The Court will construe Plaintiff's motion as a motion to amend the judgment under Rule 59(e).

         A Rule 59(e) motion “calls into question the correctness of a judgment.” Templet v. HydroChem Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting In Re Transtexas Gas. Corp., 303 F.3d 571, 581 (5th Cir. 2002)). “Reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy that should be used sparingly.” Id. at 479 (citing Clancy v. Emp'rs Health Ins. Co., 101 F.Supp.2d 463, 465 (E.D. La. 2000)). In the Fifth Circuit, Rule 59(e) standards “favor the denial of motions to alter or amend a judgment.” S. Constructors Grp., Inc. v. Dynalectric Co., 2 F.3d 606, 611 (5th Cir. 1993) (citations omitted). Under Rule 59(e), amending a judgment is appropriate (1) where there has been an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) where the movant presents newly discovered evidence that was previously unavailable; or (3) where there has been a manifest error of law or fact. Demahy v. Schwarz Pharma, Inc., 702 F.3d 177, 182 (5th Cir. 2012) (citing Schiller v. Physicians Res. Grp. Inc., 342 F.3d 563, 567 (5th Cir. 2003)). A motion under Rule 59 cannot be used to raise arguments or claims “that could, and should, have been made before the judgment issued.” Id. (citing Marseilles Homeowners Condo. Ass'n v. Fid. Nat. Ins. Co., 542 F.3d 1053, 1058 (5th Cir. 2008)).


         Amendment of the Judgment

         Plaintiff seeks under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) to amend the judgment to reflect Defendants' sales through trial.

         The jury awarded $6, 970, 380.50 to Plaintiff for damages incurred through the date of the verdict-$4, 840, 772 for infringement of the '884 Patent and $2, 129, 608.50 for infringement of '029 Patent. These damages figures relate to half of the amounts that Plaintiff's damages expert put forth at trial. See Dkt. #318, Feb. 3, 2016 P.M. Trial Tr. at 35:8-13 (calculating damages for infringement of the '884 Patent as $9, 681, 544 and $4, 259, 217 for the '029 Patent). Plaintiff claims-and Defendants do not contest-that the jury implicitly found that Defendants owed Plaintiff a royalty of four cents and two cents per accused product for the '884 and '029 Patents, respectively. See Dkt. #318, Feb. 3, 2016 P.M. Trial Tr. at 32:19-23 (showing Plaintiff's expert calculated a royalty rate of eight cents for the '884 Patent (anti-flicker) and a royalty rate of four cents for the '029 Patent (preflash)). Following the trial, Defendants produced sales data for the accused products through the first quarter of 2016. Plaintiff's expert applied the jury's four-cent and two-cent rates to Defendants' updated sales data and adjusted the data to accrue only through the date of the verdict. The updated damages figure results in a total of $6, 412, 399.64 in damages for infringement. Enhancing this updated damages figure results in a judgment totaling $19, 237, 198.92. While maintaining the positions set forth in their Rule 50 motion, Defendants do not dispute the updated damages figure or the new judgment amount.

         To correct the error in the damages award, the Court therefore amends the judgment to reflect the updated damages figure and the award of enhanced damages. As such, Plaintiff is entitled to $6, 412, 399.64 as damages for infringement of the '884 Patent and the '029 Patent. When such damages are enhanced, Plaintiff is entitled to $19, 237, 198.92 as a final judgment. The Court adopts and incorporates its prior opinions setting forth why enhanced damages are proper (Dkt. #329; Dkt. #361). Imposition of an Ongoing Royalty Plaintiff also seeks an ongoing royalty against Defendants for infringing sales that have occurred and continue to occur after the jury rendered its verdict. Defendants respond that Plaintiff fails to prove the need for an ongoing royalty. Specifically, Defendants contend that Plaintiff has not proved that any new products introduced by Defendants are colorable variations of infringing products. Defendants further contend that Plaintiff has not shown that an ongoing royalty is necessary to effectuate a remedy.

         Under 35 U.S.C. § 284, a successful patentee shall be awarded damages “adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court.” The Federal Circuit has interpreted this provision to permit a court to award “‘an ongoing royalty for patent infringement in lieu of an injunction' barring the infringing conduct.” Prism Techs. LLCv. Sprint Spectrum L.P., No. 2016-1456, 2017 WL 877221, at *12 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 6, 2017) (quoting Paice LLC v. Toyota Motor Corp., 504 F.3d 1293, 1314 (Fed. Cir. ...

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