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T-Rex Property AB v. Regal Entertainment Group

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

October 29, 2019

T-REX PROPERTY AB,
v.
REGAL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP. T-REX PROPERTY AB,
v.
CLEAR CHANNNEL OUTDOOR HOLDINGS, INC; CLEAR TV MEDIA USA, INC.; and MONSTER VISION, LLC D/B/A/ MONSTER MEDIA.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          JEREMY D. KERNODLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case was referred to United States Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636. Judge Mitchell has presented for consideration her Reports and Recommendations (Docket Nos. 153 and 179, the “Reports”), which contain her findings, conclusions, and recommendations regarding the infringement portion of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 130). The first infringement Report (Docket No. 153) recommended denying summary judgment of noninfringement on all asserted patents. In the second Report (Docket No. 179), the Magistrate Judge reconsidered one basis for noninfringement as to U.S. Patent No 6, 430, 603 (“the '603 Patent”) and recommended granting summary judgment.

         Defendants Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.; Clear TV Media USA, Inc.; and Monster Vision, LLC objected to the Magistrate Judge's first infringement Report.[1]Docket No. 157. Plaintiff objected to the Magistrate Judge's second infringement Report. Docket No. 182. Having reviewed the briefing on the motion, the Reports, and the written objections, and for the reasons explained below, the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Reports and Recommendations (Docket Nos. 153; 179), DENIES summary judgment of noninfringement as to U.S. Patent No. RE39, 470 (“the '470 Patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 7, 382, 334 (“the '334 Patent”), and GRANTS summary judgment of noninfringement as to the '603 Patent.

         I. APPLICABLE LAW

         The Court reviews objected-to portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation de novo. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (“A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.”). In conducting a de novo review, the Court examines the entire record and makes an independent assessment under the law. Douglass v. United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1430 (5th Cir. 1996) (en banc), superseded on other grounds by statute, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (extending the time to file objections from ten to fourteen days).

         Granting a motion for summary judgement is proper only when “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgement as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine dispute as to a material fact exists “if 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). A “material fact” is one that might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law. Id. The party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with any affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986).

         The movant, however, “need not negate the elements of the nonmovant's case.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994). Once the movant makes a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmovant must look beyond the pleadings and designate specific facts in the record showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. All facts and inferences are viewed “in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” McFaul v. Valenzuela, 684 F.3d 564, 571 (5th Cir. 2012) (quoting Dillon v. Rogers, 596 F.3d 260, 266 (5th Cir. 2010)). “Summary judgment may not be thwarted by conclusional allegations, unsupported assertions, or presentation of only a scintilla of evidence.” Id. (citing Hathaway v. Bazany, 507 F.3d 312, 319 (5th Cir.2007)).

         II. PARTY OBJECTIONS

         A. Defendant Clear Channel's Objections

         Clear Channel objects to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation that summary judgment be denied as to the '470 and '334 Patents. Docket No. 157. Clear Channel specifically objects to the Magistrate Judge's findings on whether: (1) “mediators” or “external information mediators” need to be involved in updating the exposure list; (2) the accused systems “update” the exposure list when they “overwrite” an XML file; and (3) the accused systems perform “dynamic” updating.

         1. Mediator involvement in updating the exposure list

         The Report found that the asserted claims of the '470 Patent and '334 Patent do not require that “external information mediators” or “mediators” (collectively, “mediators”) update the exposure list. Clear Channel objects to this finding, arguing that under this interpretation, the claims are invalid as abstract. Docket No. 157 at 4-5. Clear Channel does not, however, identify any language in the asserted claims requiring mediators to directly update the exposure list.

         The Court recently held claims 25 and 26 of the '470 Patent invalid as directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Docket No. 183 at 11. But the Court also considered and denied summary judgment of invalidity of the '334 Patent, claim 32. Id. at 6-7. Granted patents are presumed valid, and the challenger must prove that a patent is invalid, including due to ineligible subject matter. See Cellspin Soft, Inc. v. Fitbit, Inc., 927 F.3d 1306, 1319 (Fed. Cir. 2019). As the invalidity Order discussed, Clear Channel provided no independent invalidity analysis for claim 32 of the '334 Patent. Docket No. 183 at 11. And Clear Channel's objections on the infringement Report do not cure that deficiency. Rather, they include only bare conclusions that the claim is directed to an abstract idea. Docket No. 157 at 5. Accordingly, Clear Channel has not carried its burden to show that claim 32 of the '334 Patent is invalid.

         Because Clear Channel has not shown that claim 32 of the '334 Patent requires the mediator to directly update the exposure list and has not shown that the claim is invalid, Clear Channel's objections on this claim fail. Clear Channel does not challenge the substance of the Report's infringement holding on the '470 Patent claims-that is, that the claims do not require direct access to the ...


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