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Evicam International, Inc. v. Enforcement Video, LLC

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

June 5, 2017




         Pending before the Court is Enforcement Video, LLC d/b/a WatchGuard Video's (“WatchGuard”) Motion for Summary Judgment for Invalidity of U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 211, 907 and 6, 950, 013 for Un-Patentable Subject Matter Under Mayo/Alice (Dkt. #73). After considering the relevant pleadings, the Court denies WatchGuard's motion.


         Evicam International, Inc. (“Evicam”) filed its complaint against WatchGuard, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 211, 907 (the “'907 Patent”) and 6, 950, 013 (the “'013 Patent”) (collectively, the “patents-in-suit”). Evicam asserts Claims 3, 8, 13, 18, 19, 22, 24, and 27 of the '907 Patent and Claims 8 and 11 of the '013 Patent.

         On February 10, 2017, WatchGuard filed the present motion (Dkt. #73). On March 24, 2017, Evicam filed a response (Dkt. #109). On April 3, 2017, WatchGuard filed a reply (Dkt. #118). On April 11, 2017, Evicam filed a sur-reply (Dkt. #123).


         The purpose of summary judgment is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). Summary judgment is proper under Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A dispute about a material fact is genuine when “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Substantive law identifies which facts are material. Id. The trial court “must resolve all reasonable doubts in favor of the party opposing the motion for summary judgment.” Casey Enters., Inc. v. Am. Hardware Mut. Ins. Co., 655 F.2d 598, 602 (5th Cir. 1981).

         The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the court of its motion and identifying “depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials” that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. If the movant bears the burden of proof on a claim or defense for which it is moving for summary judgment, it must come forward with evidence that establishes “beyond peradventure all of the essential elements of the claim or defense.” Fontenot v. Upjohn Co., 780 F.2d 1190, 1194 (5th Cir. 1986). Where the nonmovant bears the burden of proof, the movant may discharge the burden by showing that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmovant's case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325; Byers v. Dall. Morning News, Inc., 209 F.3d 419, 424 (5th Cir. 2000). Once the movant has carried its burden, the nonmovant must “respond to the motion for summary judgment by setting forth particular facts indicating there is a genuine issue for trial.” Byers, 209 F.3d at 424 (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49). A nonmovant must present affirmative evidence to defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257. Mere denials of material facts, unsworn allegations, or arguments and assertions in briefs or legal memoranda will not suffice to carry this burden. Rather, the Court requires ‘“significant probative evidence'” from the nonmovant to dismiss a request for summary judgment. In re Mun. Bond Reporting Antitrust Litig., 672 F.2d 436, 440 (5th Cir. 1982) (quoting Ferguson v. Nat'l Broad. Co., 584 F.2d 111, 114 (5th Cir. 1978)). The Court must consider all of the evidence but “refrain from making any credibility determinations or weighing the evidence.” Turner v. Baylor Richardson Med. Ctr., 476 F.3d 337, 343 (5th Cir. 2007).


         WatchGuard moves for summary judgment, arguing the patents-in-suit are invalid because they are directed to an abstract idea and lack an inventive concept.

         “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.” 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Supreme Court has “long held that this provision contains an important implicit exception: Laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable.” Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Int'l, 134 S.Ct. 2347, 2354 (2014) (quoting Ass'n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S.Ct. 2107, 2116 (2013)). Monopolization of these “basic tools of scientific and technological work” through the grant of a patent “might tend to impede innovation more than it would tend to promote it, thereby thwarting the primary object of the patent laws.” Id. (first quoting Myriad, 133 S.Ct. at 2116; and then quoting Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 132 S.Ct. 1298, 1923 (2012)).

         The Supreme Court has set forth a framework for determining patent eligibility. Id. at 2355. First, the court determines whether the claims at issue are directed towards one of the three patent-ineligible concepts. Id. If so, then the court then asks “[w]hat else is there in the claims before us?” Id. (alteration in original) (quoting Mayo, 132 S.Ct. at 1296-97). In answering the second question, the court considers “the elements of each claim both individually and as an ordered combination to determine whether the additional elements transform the nature of the claim into a patent-eligible application.” Id. The second step can be characterized as a search for an “inventive concept”-“an element or combination of elements that is ‘sufficient to ensure that the patent in practice amounts to significantly more than a patent upon the [ineligible concept] itself.'” Id. (alteration in original) (quoting Mayo, 132 S.Ct. at 1294).

         The Court finds the patents-in-suit are broadly directed to the abstract idea of collecting, organizing, and controlling access to vehicle incident information. For the ‘907 Patent, Claim 1 is a representative claim because other asserted claims of the '907 Patent ...

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