Unwired Planet, LLC v. Apple, Inc.
Order Denying 395 Apple's Motion in Limine No. 2. Signed by Judge Chhabria on 2/2/2017. (vclc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/2/2017)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
UNWIRED PLANET, LLC,
Case No. 13-cv-04134-VC
ORDER DENYING APPLE'S MOTION
IN LIMINE #2
Re: Dkt. No. 395
Patent Local Rule 3-1 forces plaintiffs to refine their theories of infringement. Nova
Measuring Instruments Ltd. v. Nanometrics, Inc., 417 F. Supp. 2d 1121, 1122 (N.D. Cal. 2006).
It doesn't force them to lay out the evidence or argument they intend to use in support of those
theories. Oracle Am., Inc. v. Google Inc., No. C 10-03561 WHA, 2011 WL 4479305, at *3 (N.D.
Cal. Sept. 26, 2011). Although Unwired has added substance to its infringement contentions
since serving them, Apple hasn't shown that any of this new information amounts to a new
theory of infringement, as opposed to newly detailed evidence or argument supporting the
theories already disclosed. The motion in limine is denied.1
On the '260 patent, Apple objects to the use of Akamai-operated CDN servers as
"provisioning servers." But to the extent these third-party servers are "server(s) involved in App
Store processing," they are consistent with the existing contentions. See Dkt. No. 394-4 at 165,
167. And from the standpoint of giving Apple proper notice of Unwired's allegations of
Apple's argument on the '446 patent is mooted by the Federal Circuit's revised claim
infringement, whether App Store content delivery was done on in-house servers is of little
practical significance. See Shared Memory Graphics LLC v. Apple, Inc., 812 F. Supp. 2d 1022,
1025 (N.D. Cal. 2010) ("[T]he degree of specificity under Local Rule 3-1 must be sufficient to
provide reasonable notice to the defendant why the plaintiff believes it has a 'reasonable chance
of proving infringement.'" (quoting View Eng'g, Inc. v. Robotic Vision Sys., Inc., 208 F.3d 981,
986 (Fed. Cir. 2000)).
Apple suggests that the "provisioning content" Unwired has identified is inconsistent with
this Court's claim construction. But Apple is placing greater weight on Local Rule 3-1 than the
rule can bear. The "content" Apple objects to is disclosed in the infringement contentions. See
Dkt. No. 394-4 at 168. That ends the enquiry.
On the '092 patent, Apple insists that Unwired should have better explained how
Location Services selectively retrieved data. But again, Local Rule 3-1 doesn't ask plaintiffs
state their evidence. It asks plaintiffs to "identify specifically where and how each limitation of
each asserted claim is found within each Accused Instrumentality." Patent L.R. 3-1(c). Unwired
did so, and its newly detailed argument is consistent with the broad theories previously disclosed.
Dkt. No. 394-4 at 230-31. In any event, if Apple wanted more detail from Unwired's operative
infringement contentions, it could have sought it when they were served. If Apple believed
Unwired was stonewalling, it could have filed a motion to strike vague contentions or a motion
to compel supplemental contentions with greater detail. Patent Local Rule 3-1 is "a discovery
device." Network Caching Tech. LLC v. Novell Inc., No. C-01-2079-VRW, 2002 WL 32126128,
at *3 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2002). The rule "takes the place of a series of interrogatories that
defendants would likely have propounded had the patent local rules not provided for
streamlined discovery." Id. at *4. At this late stage, so long as the underlying infringement
contentions remain the same, and so long as Unwired has otherwise complied with its discovery
obligations, Apple can't credibly argue that it was denied adequate information about the
allegations against it.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: February 2, 2017
United States District Judge
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