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Harris Corp. v. Huawei Device USA, Inc.

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

September 6, 2019

HARRIS CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
HUAWEI DEVICE USA, INC., HUAWEI DEVICE CO., LTD., HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO. LTD., HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES USA INC., HUAWEI DEVICE SHENZHEN CO., LTD., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          RODNEY GILSTRAP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Harris Corporation's (“Harris”) Motion to Amend P.R. 3-1 Infringement Contentions (the “Motion”). (Dkt. No. 88.) Having considered the Motion and its briefing, the Court is of the opinion that the Motion should be and hereby is GRANTED for the reasons set forth below.

         I. Background

         On October 24, 2018, Harris filed this suit against Huawei Device USA, Inc., Huawei Device Co., Ltd., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Huawei Technologies USA Inc., and Huawei Device (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (collectively “Huawei”). (Dkt. No. 1.) Harris alleges that Huawei infringed seven separate patents covering a variety of technologies. (Dkt. No. 13 at 33.) This Motion only concerns two of those seven patents: (1) U.S. Patent No. 7, 224, 678 and (2) U.S. Patent No. 7, 327, 690 (collectively, the “Asserted Patents”). (Dkt. No. 88 at 1.) The Asserted Patents are entitled “Wireless local or metropolitan area network with intrusion detection features and related methods.” (Dkt. No. 13 at 5-6.)

         On April 3, 2019, Harris served Huawei its initial infringement contentions pursuant to Local Patent Rule 3-1. (Dkt. No. 88 at 1; see also Dkt. No. 92-1.)

         On May 24, 2019, Harris amended its infringement contentions with the goal of “providing clarification, explanation, and additional evidentiary citations in support of its disclosed theories of infringement.” (Dkt. No. 88 at 1; see also Dkt. No. 92-9.) These amended contentions provided additional explanations and citations as to how some of Huawei's phones, tablets, and laptops infringed the Asserted Patents. (Dkt. No. 88 at 1.) Huawei objected to these proposed amendments. (Id.)

         On July 29, 2019, Harris again sought to amend its infringement contentions based on additional discovery. (Id. at n.2; see also 92-14.) These new proposed amendments made similar changes as the May 24, 2019 amendments. (Compare Dkt. No. 92-14, with Dkt. No. 92-9.) Huawei again objected to these amendments.

         Pursuant to Local Patent Rule 3-6(b), Harris filed the instant Motion on August 14, 2019, seeking leave to amend its infringement contentions, which Huawei opposes on three grounds: (1) that the amended contentions amount to entirely new infringement theories; (2) that Harris cannot show good cause to amend its contentions; and, (3) that Harris's amended contentions violated the Local Patent Rules. (Dkt. No. 88 at 8; Dkt. No. 91 at 1.)

         II. Applicable Law

         Local Patent Rule 3-6(b) allows a party to supplement its infringement contentions “only by order of the Court, which shall be entered only upon a showing of good cause.” P.R. 3-6(b). In determining good cause, courts consider: “(1) the explanation for the party's failure to meet the deadline, (2) the importance of what the Court is excluding, (3) the potential prejudice if the Court allows that thing that would be excluded, and (4) the availability of a continuance to cure such prejudice.” Keranos, LLC v. Silicon Storage Tech., Inc., 797 F.3d 1025, 1035 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (reviewing Local Patent Rule 3-6(b)); see also S & W Enters., L.L.C. v. Southtrust Bank of Ala., NA, 315 F.3d 533, 535 (5th Cir. 2003) (setting forth the four-factor test binding within the Circuit).

         III. Discussion

         a. Harris has shown good cause to amend.

         At issue here is whether Harris has shown sufficient good cause to warrant the Court allowing Harris to amend its infringement contentions.

         Harris asserts in its motion that it did not miss any deadlines and that it is merely attempting to clarify its infringement contentions. (Dkt. No. 88 at 5.) According to Harris, its original contentions accused Huawei's phones, tablets, and laptops of infringing the Asserted Patents by acting as “‘stations' that communicate with and are monitored by policing stations.” (Id.) Upon further discovery, however, Harris found that Huawei's phones, tablets, and laptops may also perform the accused functionalities-such as policing-when those devices are ...


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