Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gryphon Oilfield Solutions, LLC v. Stage Completions USA Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

January 17, 2018

GRYPHON OILFIELD SOLUTIONS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
STAGE COMPLETIONS USA CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY F. ATLAS, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This patent case is before the Court on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction (“Motion”) [Doc. # 10] filed by Plaintiff Gryphon Oilfield Solutions, LLC (“Gryphon”), to which Defendant Stage Completions (USA) Corporation (“Stage”)[1]filed a Response [Doc. # 42], Gryphon filed a Reply [Doc. # 47], Stage filed a Sur-Reply [Doc. # 55], and Gryphon filed a Submission of Supplemental Rebuttal Evidence [Doc. # 58]. The Court heard oral argument on the Motion on December 19, 2017. Having carefully reviewed the record and applicable legal authorities, the Court denies the Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Gryphon is the current owner of United States Patent No. 9, 611, 727 (“the '727 Patent”), having purchased the patent rights from a bankruptcy estate. The '727 Patent covers an apparatus and method for fracturing hydrocarbon formations utilizing sliding frac sleeves. Unlike earlier devices that used graduated ball seats that could receive a ball dropped downhole to create a seal in the wellbore, the device covered by the '727 Patent uses darts with dart profiles extending radially outward that mate with key profiles on the piston of the frac sleeve. The darts travel downhole until they reach matching key profiles, whereupon they latch into the respective piston of the frac sleeve to create the seal. Gryphon has developed a system, SUREselect, covered by the '727 Patent, but at the time of the hearing had not successfully field tested it or made any sales of that system.

         Gryphon filed this lawsuit, alleging that Defendants' Bowhead II system infringes Claim 7 of the '727 Patent. The Bowhead II system consists of a ball-on-collet assembly in which a ring-shaped collet and ball are dropped downhole. The protrusions on the collet engage with the grooves in the valve sleeve, the ball seats in the collet, and a nearby valve in the sleeve opens to allow fracking. When fracking is complete, the ball dissolves and the collet remains in place. The interior diameter of the collet is sufficiently large to allow unrestricted flow through the wellbore.

         Gryphon filed its Motion for Preliminary Injunction. The Motion has been fully briefed, and the Court has heard oral arguments. Consequently, Gryphon's Motion is now ripe for decision.

         II. STANDARD FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

         To obtain a preliminary injunction in a patent case, the plaintiff must establish “that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.” Revision Military, Inc. v. Balboa Mfg. Co., 700 F.3d 524, 525 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (quoting Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008)). A preliminary injunction enjoining patent infringement “involves substantive matters unique to patent law and, therefore, is governed by the law of [the Federal Circuit].” Id. (quoting Hybritech Inc. v. Abbott Labs., 849 F.2d 1446, 1451 n.12 (Fed. Cir. 1988)).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Likelihood of Success on the Merits

         Gryphon asserts that the Bowhead II system infringes Claim 7 of the '727 Patent. Stage denies infringement.[2] To prove patent infringement, a comparison of the asserted claims to the accused device must show that every claim limitation or its equivalent is found in the accused device. See Planet Bingo, LLC v. GameTech Int'l, Inc., 472 F.3d 1338, 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2006). The comparison is only to the patent claims, not to any specific embodiment in the patent specification or to the patent holder's commercial embodiment. See Amgen Inc. v. Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., 314 F.3d 1313, 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2003). The patent holder bears the burden of proving infringement by the preponderance of the evidence. See Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., __ U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. 1749, 1758 (2014); Cephalon, Inc. v. Watson Pharms., Inc., 707 F.3d 1330, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (citing Tech. Licensing Corp. v. Videotek, Inc., 545 F.3d 1316, 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2008)).

         Claim 7 of the '727 Patent claims:

7. A system of valves and at least one dart for use downhole in a well, the system comprising:
at least two valves, each valve comprising:
a) a tubular valve body comprising upper and lower ends defining communication there between, the valve body further comprising at least one port extending through a sidewall thereof nearer the upper end;
b) a tubular piston slidably disposed in the valve body and configured to provide communication there through, the piston closing the at least one port in a closed position, the piston ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.