United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Marshall Division
ALFONSO CIOFFI, MELANIE ROZMAN, MEGAN ROZMAN, MORGAN ROZMAN, THE ESTATE OF ALLEN FRANK ROZMAN, MELANIE ROZMAN, MEGAN ROZMAN, MORGAN ROZMAN, Plaintiffs,
GOOGLE LLC, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
GILSTRAP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Google Inc.'s
(“Google”) Motion for Post-trial Relief on
Invalidity under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102, 103, and 251.
(Dkt. No. 292.) Having considered the Motion, the relevant
authorities, and the entirety of the record currently before
the Court, the Court is of the opinion that the Motion should
be GRANTED-IN-PART and
DENIED-IN-PART as set forth herein.
The Asserted Patents
Cioffi, Megan Rozman, Melanie Rozman, and Morgan Rozman
(collectively, “Cioffi”) accused Google of
infringing U.S. Reissue Patent Nos. RE43, 500 (“the
'500 Patent”), RE43, 528 (“the '528
Patent”), and RE43, 529 (“the '529
Patent”) (collectively, “the Asserted
Patents”). Each asserted patent is titled “System
and Method for Protecting a Computer System from Malicious
Software” and is a reissue derived from U.S. Patent No.
7, 494, 247 (“the original patent” or “the
'247 Patent”). (PTX-001; PTX-002; PTX-003; and
filed this case on February 5, 2013, asserting that Google
infringed several claims of the Asserted Patents. (Dkt. No.
trial was commenced on February 6, 2017. On February 10,
2017, the jury returned a unanimous verdict, (Dkt. No. 259),
finding that the asserted claims were infringed and not
invalid. (Id.) Specifically, as to invalidity, the
jury found that Google did not prove, by clear and convincing
evidence: (1) the invalidity of Claim 67 of the '528
Patent as anticipated, as violating the rule against
recapture, or as violating the original patent requirement;
(2) the invalidity of Claim 43 of the '500 Patent as
obvious, as violating the rule against recapture, or as
violating the original patent requirement; (3) the invalidity
of Claim 5 of the '528 Patent as obvious, or as violating
the original patent requirement; or (4) the invalidity of
Claim 49 of the '529 Patent as obvious in view of prior
art, or as violating the original patent requirement.
the trial, Google filed the instant Motion seeking either
entry of judgment as a matter of law under Fed. R. Civ. P
50(b) or the granting of a new trial pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
59. (Dkt. No. 292.) On September 15, 2017, the Court entered
Final Judgment in accordance with the jury's verdict.
(Dkt. No. 308.)
jury trial on the merits, a party may file a motion for
judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial. Fed.R.Civ.P.
50(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 59.
Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law
motion for judgment as a matter of law [under Rule 50(b)] is
a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the evidence
supporting the jury's verdict.”
Erfindergemeinschaft UroPep GbR v. Eli Lilly &
Co., 276 F.Supp.3d 629, 643 (E.D. Tex. 2017)
(“UroPep”) (Bryson, J., sitting by
designation). Entry of judgment as a matter of law is
therefore only appropriate when “there is no legally
sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find as
the jury did.” Guile v. United States, 422
F.3d 221, 225 (5th Cir. 2005); see also Baisden v.
I'm Ready Prods., Inc., 693 F.3d 491, 498 (5th Cir.
2012) (“A district court must deny a motion
for judgment as a matter of law unless the facts and
inferences point so strongly and overwhelmingly in the
movant's favor that reasonable jurors could not reach a
contrary conclusion.” (emphasis added, internal
quotation marks removed)).
evaluating a motion for judgment as a matter of law, a court
must ‘draw all reasonable inferences in the light most
favorable to the verdict.'” Metaswitch Networks
Ltd. v. Genband U.S. LLC, No. 2:14-CV-00744-JRG, 2017 WL
3704760, at *2 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 28, 2017) (quoting
E.E.O.C. v. Boh Bros. Const. Co., L.L.C., 731 F.3d
444, 451 (5th Cir. 2013)). Courts must also avoid the
temptation of revisiting credibility determinations or
reweighing evidence. Id. Such determinations are,
appropriately, left to the jury. Montano v. Orange Cty.,
Texas, 842 F.3d 865, 874 (5th Cir. 2016) (“[I]t is
for the jury alone to judge the credibility of witnesses and
weigh the evidence.”).
Motion for New Trial
provides that a new trial may be granted on all or part of
the issues on which there has been a trial by jury for
“any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been
granted in an action at law in federal court.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(a). Notwithstanding the broad sweep of Rule
59, “courts do not grant new trials unless it is
reasonably clear that prejudicial error has crept into the
record or that substantial justice has not been done, and the
burden of showing harmful error rests on the party seeking
the new trial.” Metaswitch, No.
2:14-CV-00744-JRG, 2017 WL 3704760, at *2; UroPep,
276 F.Supp.3d at 643. “A new trial may be granted, for
example, if the district court finds the verdict is against
the weight of the evidence, the damages awarded are
excessive, the trial was unfair, or prejudicial error was
committed in its course.” Smith v. Transworld