Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals L.P. v. U.S. Venture, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order: Sunoco's motion for partial summary judgment 127 is granted in part and denied in part. Venture's motion for partial summary judgment 187 is denied in part and reserved in part for a future ruling. Signed by the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer on 9/27/2017. Mailed notice. (etv, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
SUNOCO PARTNERS MARKETING &
U.S. VENTURE, INC., U.S. OIL, and
No. 15 C 8178
Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
To increase the volatility of gasoline in colder temperatures, gasoline producers mix
butane into gasoline before it is sold. Butane is cheaper than gasoline. Thus, the more butane
a producer can blend into the product, consistent with environmental regulations that vary by
location and season, the greater the producer’s profit margin.
Plaintiff Sunoco Partners
Marketing and Terminals L.P. (“Sunoco”) owns several patents on a system that blends butane
into gasoline immediately before it is distributed to retail gas stations. The patented system
allows a producer to blend the maximum permissible amount of butane based on the destination
of the batch. In this lawsuit, Sunoco contends that Defendants U.S. Venture and U.S. Oil
(jointly, “Venture”) have infringed its patents by using a butane blending system that Venture
purchased from former Defendant Technics, Inc.
Sunoco now moves for partial summary
judgment against Venture on certain claims in two of the patents. Venture moves for partial
summary judgment on certain claims, as well; where those arguments overlap with Sunoco’s
motion, the court addresses Venture’s motion here. For the reasons below, Sunoco’s motion is
granted in part and denied in part. Venture’s motion is denied in part; the court reserves ruling
on the issues raised in that motion that are not addressed here.
Sunoco is the holder of several patents on systems that blend butane into gasoline.
(Pl.’s Statement of Facts in Supp. of Mot. for Summ. J. [“Pl.’s SOF”]  at ¶¶ 4, 11–12, 14.)
Commercial purveyors of gasoline—those that sell gasoline by the tankload to consumer-facing
retail gas stations—add butane because it is more volatile than gasoline, allowing cars to start
consistently in colder weather. (Id. ¶ 8.) Because adding lower-priced butane to gasoline
improves profit margins, commercial sellers are motivated to blend as much butane as possible
into gasoline before selling it to retail stations. (Id.)
That goal, however, is complicated by United States Environmental Protection Agency
(“EPA”) regulations. As noted, adding butane to gasoline increases the volatility of the blended
gasoline (id. ¶ 7), but gasoline with higher volatility contributes to smog, a particular concern in
warmer climates and during summer months, Gasoline Reid Vapor Pressure, EPA.GOV,
https://www.epa.gov/gasoline-standards/gasoline-reid-vapor-pressure (last accessed Sept. 20,
2017). The EPA therefore imposes limits on the allowable volatility of gasoline, measured by
“Reid Vapor Pressure” or RVP, based on the month and the state where the gasoline is sold.
(Pl.’s SOF ¶ 6.) Limits range from an RVP of 7.8 pounds per square inch to 15. (Id.)
At issue in this motion are two of Sunoco’s patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,679,302 (the
“’302 Patent”) (Ex. 3 to Pl.’s SOF [130-3]), and 7,032,629 (the “’629 Patent”) (Ex. 8 to Pl.’s SOF
[130-8]). The patented systems allow the patent holder to blend butane into gasoline at the last
point of distribution before the gas is taken by tanker trucks to retail gas stations; called
“terminals” or “tank farms,” these facilities receive gasoline from refineries and store it in large
tanks for distribution. (See Pl.’s SOF ¶ 13; ’302 Patent col. 4 ll. 38–60.) In an exemplary
embodiment, the system blends butane into gasoline immediately before it is dispensed into a
tanker truck: butane and gasoline are drawn from a tank of each, blended to the desired RVP in
a blending unit, and dispensed to the truck. (E.g., ’302 Patent col. 3 ll. 14–27.) The ’302 patent
has 41 claims, and the ’629 patent has 33, which are all restatements and refinements of this
idea. (See generally ’302 & ’629 Patents.)
The inventors of the patented system, Larry Mattingly and Steve Vanderbur, filed the
application that led to the ’302 and ’629 patents in February 2001. (Pl.’s SOF ¶ 12.) After the
patents were issued, Mattingly and Vanderbur assigned them to Texon Terminals Corporation
(“Texon”). (See id. ¶¶ 11, 14.) Sunoco bought Texon’s butane blending business—and the
patents—in 2010. (Id. ¶ 14.)
Defendant U.S. Venture, and its division U.S. Oil, retained former-Defendant Technics,
Inc. to install a butane blending system in or around 2012 1 at three of Venture’s terminals in
Wisconsin: Green Bay, Madison South, and Milwaukee Central. (Id. ¶¶ 19–20; Defs.’ Statement
of Material Facts [hereinafter “Defs.’ SOF] [197 at p. 28] at ¶ 1.) Venture also owns three other
accused blending systems—installed at the Fort Worth, Bettendorf, and Milwaukee West
terminals—which Venture developed internally and installed after the Technics systems were
installed. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 53.) Sunoco contends that all six systems infringe its butane-blending
patents, and brought this suit in September 2015 against both Technics and Venture. (See
Sunoco settled with Technics and dismissed the company from the suit with prejudice in
June 2016. (Pl.’s Mot. to Dismiss Technics, Inc. with Prejudice .) As part of this settlement,
Sunoco agreed not to sue Technics for infringing activities that occurred prior to the date of the
settlement agreement. (Settlement Agreement, Ex. 3 to Decl. of Kimberly K. Dodd  at 3.)
Neither party includes the date of this agreement or the date on which the
terminals were installed. It appears that Venture first contacted Technics in 2010 (E-mail from
Mike Koel to Thomas Edwards (May 21, 2010, 2:05 PM), Ex. 41 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF
[206-2 at p. 44]), and that Venture planned to install the systems in late 2011 or early 2012.
(U.S. Venture, Project Charter: 2012 Terminal Margin Improvement, Ex. 15 to Pl.’s SOF .) The construction schedules reflect that the Green Bay and Madison South systems were to
be installed in March through April 2012. (See Green Bay Blending Construction Schedule, Ex.
46 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 76]; Madison South Blending Construction
Schedule, Ex. 47 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 79].) The court finds no reference in
the record to the Milwaukee Central installation.
The agreement specified, however, that it was not a license that pertained to future use by
Technics or Technics’s customers. (Id.)
Sunoco now moves for partial summary judgment against Venture. Sunoco contends
that there is no factual dispute regarding the equipment involved in the systems at Green Bay
and Madison South. As to those terminals, 2 Sunoco asserts that Venture infringed (1) the ’302
patent’s Claims 1–3 and 8–9, and (2) the ’629 patent’s Claims 1–3, as a matter of law. 3 All of
the claims at issue describe a system that blends gasoline and butane from a tank of each
through a blending unit, and dispenses the blended product at a “rack” to gasoline transport
vehicles. (E.g., ’302 patent col. 13 ll. 12–23.) Claims 2, 3, 8 and 9 of the ’302 patent and
claims 2 and 3 of the ’629 patent are various refinements of the system described in Claim 1 of
each patent. Venture argues that Sunoco exhausted its patents by settling with Technics, and
points to several purported differences between the Green Bay and Madison South blending
systems that render the Venture systems non-infringing, at least in some “configurations.” 4
Though there are six accused systems, Sunoco’s motion is limited to the Green
Bay and Madison South terminals. (Pl.’s Mem. in Supp. of Partial Summ. J.  at 8.)
On September 11, 2017, well after briefing was complete, Sunoco withdrew its
assertion that Venture infringed Claims 1, 8 and 9 of the ’302 Patent and Claim 1 of the ’629
Patent, among others. (Pl.’s Notice of Currently Asserted Claims  at 3.) The court is
unsure that the withdrawal of those claims would have any material effect on this opinion, which
was substantially drafted at the time Sunoco withdrew the claims. As Sunoco acknowledges,
Claims 2 and 3 of the ’302 patent are dependent upon Claim 1, as are Claims 2 and 3 of the
’629 patent on Claim 1 of the ’629 patent. (See id.) Any finding that these dependent claims
were infringed would require that Venture performed all of the steps of Claim 1 of the respective
patent. Honeywell Int’l Inc. v. Univ. Avionics Sys. Corp., 488 F.3d 982, 995 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (“Of
course, infringement of a dependent claim also entails infringement of its associated
independent claim.”) Accordingly, the court will invite the parties to make brief submissions
explaining what alterations to this court’s rulings, if any, are required by Sunoco’s withdrawal of
The court ruled on construction of several terms contained in the claims at issue
in this motion after Sunoco filed its motion for summary judgment. (Mem. Op. & Order (Apr. 28,
2017) .) At the time it filed the motion, Sunoco believed that none of its arguments would
be affected by claim construction. (Pl.’s Mem. in Supp. of Partial Summ. J.  at 22–26.)
Now that the claim construction opinion has issued, neither party has alerted the court to any
effect on Sunoco’s motion.
Source of the Gasoline
All eight of the claims at issue require blending from a gasoline tank. (’302 Patent col.
13 ll. 11–31; ’629 patent col. 13 ll. 11–29.)
Dan Morrill (Venture’s Director of Terminal
Development, who “direct[s] and oversee[s] development of all of U.S. Venture’s gasoline
terminals”), claims that the Madison and Green Bay systems can use gasoline either from a
gasoline tank or “straight from the pipeline.” (Decl. of Dan Morrill (May 24, 2017)  at
¶¶ 1, 7.) Although Venture apparently concedes that these two systems do sometimes blend
from a gasoline tank, Venture claims that it prefers to blend from the pipeline (see Pl.’s SOF
¶¶ 21–26); Venture asserts (and Sunoco does not challenge this) that blending from the pipeline
does not infringe Sunoco’s patents. As explained below, Venture asks the court to consider not
only whether Venture infringes the claims, but also to examine these two configurations—
blending from a pipeline or from a tank—separately, and to grant summary judgment of noninfringement on the “pipeline configuration.”
Upstream Vapor Pressure Measurements
As noted, Venture argues that in blending from a pipeline, it does not infringe Claim 1 or
any of the dependent claims of the ’629 patent. Venture asserts that it does not infringe Claim 3
for an additional reason: the Green Bay and Madison South systems do not have butane vapor
pressure sensors upstream of the blending unit. Claim 3 of ’629 patent refines the system of
Claim 1 by adding vapor pressure sensors to the system; the claim reads as follows:
The system of Claim 1 further comprises
a gasoline vapor pressure sensor operable for measuring the vapor pressure of
gasoline upstream of the blending unit; and
a butane vapor pressure sensor operable for measuring the vapor pressure of
butane upstream of the blending unit,
(’629 Patent col. 13 ll. 24–29.) With respect to the systems purchased from Technics (which
include the Green Bay and Madison South systems), Venture contends that those systems were
never “operable” for taking an upstream butane vapor pressure measurement, and therefore
they do not infringe Claim 3. Venture admits that the physical components for sensing butane
vapor pressure upstream of the blending unit were present in Venture’s systems at one point.
(Defs.’ SOF ¶¶ 28–30.)
Indeed, Venture acknowledges, Technics intended to use vapor
pressure measurements of the butane and gasoline taken upstream of the blending unit; that is,
the streams of gasoline and butane were to be measured to determine the proportion of each
that would achieve the desired RVP in the blended gasoline. (Id. ¶ 5.) Technics installed a
butane sampling “line” (the court believes this is a small pipe) from the butane stream to the
analyzer, the part of the system capable of measuring vapor pressure. (Id. ¶¶ 7, 9.) But
Venture claims that there is no evidence that these sampling lines were ever actually used. (Id.
In order to bring butane from the stream to the analyzer, a pump must draw the butane
through the line. (Id. ¶ 29.) 5 Venture does not dispute that the necessary pumps were present
at Green Bay and Madison South. (See id. ¶¶ 29–30.) But according to Venture, there is no
evidence that the Technics software that controlled the system—this software is referred to by
the parties as the “source code”—ever had the necessary programming to control the pumps.
(Id. ¶ 30.) Venture eventually wrote its own source code to replace the Technics source code,
and implemented that code in the three Technics-designed systems: Madison (replaced in July
2013), Green Bay (replaced May 2014), and Milwaukee Central (replaced September 2016).
(Pl.’s SOF ¶ 19; Morrill Decl. ¶¶ 8, 23.) 6 The Venture source code, the parties agree, has no
programming to control the butane sampling pumps. (Pl.’s 2d Resp. to Defs.’ SOF  at ¶
Sunoco denies that a pump is required to bring butane from the stream to the
analyzer, but does not further explain how this could occur, nor does it allege that any
alternative method was in place to draw butane into the analyzer in the accused systems. (Pl.’s
Resp. to Defs.’ SOF  at ¶ 29.)
Venture did not provide the dates that the source code was replaced in its
statement of facts, but the court concludes those dates are not material to the disposition of this
In addition to the fact that it lacked the source code necessary to control the pumps in
the systems furnished by Technics, Venture contends, the connections between the sampling
lines and the analyzer in those systems—called “inlet valves”—have always been disabled. (Id.
Exactly what “disabled” means in this context is not explained in Venture’s
submissions, but the court understands that the fact that the inlet valves were disabled meant
that butane could not enter the analyzer. (Id. ¶ 42.)
Eventually, the sampling lines at Green Bay, Madison South, and Milwaukee Central
were removed entirely. Specifically, after a February 2013 leak (presumably from the butane
sampling line) at the Green Bay terminal, Venture asserts, the butane sampling line was
removed from the Green Bay terminal to prevent additional leaks. (Id. ¶¶ 43–45.) Sunoco
disputes that the line was removed in or around February 2013; in support, Sunoco points to an
e-mail from Dan Morrill in July 2016 to three other Venture employees. In his e-mail, Morrill
discussed the designs of the systems at the Madison and Green Bay terminals, and stated that
the butane sampling lines had not been removed, but he hoped to have them removed in the
near future. (E-mail from Dan Morrill to Dan Herman, et al. (July 26, 2016, 8:35 AM), Ex. 44 to
Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 70].)
After the leak at Green Bay in February 2013, Venture contends that it “permanently
closed” the valves between the butane stream and the sampling lines at Madison and
Milwaukee Central, as well. (Defs.’ SOF ¶ 46.) Venture does not explain what “permanently
closed” means, and for that reason Sunoco denies this assertion in Venture’s statement of facts.
(Pls.’ Resp. to Def.’s SOF  at ¶ 46.)
It appears that “permanently” does not mean
“irrevocably”: a former Milwaukee Central terminal manager, Richard Gibowski, acknowledged
in his deposition that re-opening the valves would not require a “tremendous amount of effort.”
(Dep. of Richard Gibowski, Ex. 63 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 251] at 157:15–21.)
The sampling line at Madison was removed in July 2016. (Defs.’ SOF ¶ 48.)
Venture contends that the sampling system was never used, even before the physical
components of the system were “disabled.” The record is muddy on why and when the decision
was made not to use the butane sampling system, though Venture asserts that the upstream
butane sampling was discontinued because that part of the system did not work. (Venture’s
Non-Infringement Contentions, Ex. 26 to Pl.’s SOF [133-10] at 6.) Gary Chambers, a former
terminal manager for the Green Bay terminal, explains in a declaration that the Technicsdesigned system installed there had a butane vapor pressure sensor upstream of the blending
unit, but it did not “operate as intended.” (Decl. of Gary Chambers (Jun. 28, 2016)  at ¶ 11).
He does not explain exactly what went wrong. (Id.)
Because that part of the system did not work, Venture—or Technics, at Venture’s
direction—closed the valves at the three Technics-designed system locations (Madison, Green
Bay and Milwaukee Central) and Venture did not use the butane sampling system. Exactly
when this happened is not clear from the record: in its Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts,
Venture asserts that the problem was discovered during the “installation and testing of the first
two systems (Madison and Green Bay)[,]” in 2012, 7 and that Morrill instructed Technics to use
only downstream volatility measurements to determine the blend ratio. (Defs.’ SOF ¶ 14; Morrill
Decl. ¶ 19.) Technics then “implemented the Madison and Green Bay systems to use only
‘downstream’ measurements.” (Defs.’ SOF ¶ 14.) Thus, when the two systems were “turned . .
. over” to Venture for use, Venture claims, they provided only downstream vapor pressure
measurements, rather than the upstream vapor pressure measurements that Sunoco alleges
infringe Claim 3 of the ’629 patent. (Defs.’ SOF ¶ 15.) 8
Again, the parties do not say exactly when the systems were installed; the court
believes based on the construction schedules that these systems were installed in early 2012.
See supra n.1.
Venture does not explain in what capacity Chambers, Venture’s terminal
manager at Green Bay, had access to the system during the installation process that was
allegedly conducted by Technics, though his declaration implies that he was involved when the
problem was discovered. (See Chambers Decl. ¶ 11.)
Any initial testing of the butane sampling system was done by Technics alone, Venture
asserts. According to Venture, Venture itself has never used or owned a system that had
upstream butane vapor pressure sensors in infringement of Claim 3 of the ’629 patent. (Defs.’
Resp. to Pl.’s SOF  at ¶ 68.) There is evidence, though, that Venture was intimately
involved in the installation of each of the systems. In an e-mail, Morrill made clear that for the
three Technics-designed systems, Venture itself was providing the tanks—Technics provided
only the “blending skid”—and that Venture performed the installation. (E-mail from Dan Morrill
to Dave Hermann, et al. (October 7, 2011, 6:46 AM), Ex. 37 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2
at p. 1].) The construction schedules at the three terminals further confirm that Venture or thirdparty contractors hired by Venture performed substantially all of the installation; Technics
installed the blending skid itself at Green Bay, but appears not to have done so at the other two
terminals. (See Green Bay Blending Construction Schedule, Ex. 46 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF
[206-2 at p. 76]; Madison South Blending Construction Schedule, Ex. 47 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’
SOF [206-2 at p. 79]; Milwaukee Central Blending Budget Analysis, Ex. 64 to Decl. of Michelle
Replogle [220-2 at p. 4] (contractor for blending skid installation “TBD”).)
Furthermore, there is some evidence that Venture played a role in initiating Technics’s
effort to design the butane blending system in the first place. Thomas Edwards, Technics’s
senior process engineer, testified at his deposition that Technics first decided to design a
butane blending system after Venture reached out to Technics. (Dep. of Thomas Edwards, Ex.
43 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 54] at 44:21–45:16.) The excerpted deposition
produced to the court does not identify which Venture official contacted Edwards, but in e-mail
messages between Venture employee Michael Koel and Edwards in May 2010, Koel asked
whether Technics’s “system” could be used to blend butane into gasoline. (E-mail from Mike
Koel to Thomas Edwards (May 21, 2010, 2:05 PM), Ex. 41 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at
p. 44].) Edwards responded in the affirmative. (E-mail from Tom Edwards to Mike Koel (May
21, 2010, 2:44 PM), Ex. 41 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 44].) What Technics’s
system was before it was used for butane blending is not discussed in the record.
Sunoco insists that the systems at Green Bay and Madison South—the first Technicsdesigned systems—did in fact have the ability to test butane upstream. 9 In support, Sunoco
notes, first, that Venture has conceded that these systems were, at some early point, equipped
with butane sampling lines. And neither party disputes that the Technics-designed system was
intended to sample butane upstream. (Pl.’s SOF ¶ 65; Defs.’ Resp. to Pl.’s SOF ¶ 65.) The
natural conclusion, Sunoco argues, is that there must have been programming in the Technics
source code that enabled operation of the butane sampling pumps. (Pl.’s Reply in Supp. of
Summ. J.  at 11.) Sunoco cites a Venture interrogatory response, in which Venture admits:
The Technics systems were designed and marketed to use measurements
upstream of the blending point in the control loop. However, U.S. Venture found
the Technics systems to be inoperable in this regard. Therefore, the source code
was substantially modified including to remove reliance on upstream
measurements. . . .
The source code modifications were performed by Technics at the direction of
U.S. Venture. The U.S. Venture employees who were primarily involved in the
interactions with Technics were Dan Morrill and Chris Lamirande.
(Defs.’ Amended Resps. to Interrog’s, Ex. 55 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 135] at
Nos. 2 & 3.) Though Venture notes, in this response, that the system was inoperable, it also
admits that the source code originally relied on upstream vapor pressure measurements. (Id.)
If the system relied on upstream vapor pressure measurements, Sunoco reasons, the code
must originally have had the necessary programming to control the butane pumps. There are
also several operating manuals for the Technics systems, Sunoco points out, that include
directions for taking an upstream butane vapor pressure measurement using the system. (See,
e.g., Technics, Operating Instructions: Inline Butane Blending System for RVP Adjustment (Aug.
Factual disputes evidently remain as to Milwaukee Central, the other Technicsdesigned system (Pl.’s Mem. in Supp. of Summ. J , at 8 (“[T]his [summary judgment]
motion is limited to the two terminals whose equipment arrangement cannot be disputed.”)), and
those disputes are not before the court on Sunoco’s motion for partial summary judgment.
20, 2012), Ex. 57 to Pl.’s SOF [206-2 at p. 172] at 5.)
Finally, Sunoco produced several
screenshots of the user interface for the software—that is, what a user would see when
operating the system from a computer—that ran the Technics system, which, it believes, show
that the system was capable of controlling the butane pump to the analyzer. (Pl.’s Resp. to
Defs.’ SOF ¶ 31.) Unfortunately, Sunoco provides no analysis of the screenshots, and has not
explained how the screenshots demonstrate that the software was capable of operating the
butane pumps. From the court’s perspective, the screenshots show only that the user interface
references a butane vapor pressure, or a percentage of butane in the blend:
(Id. (red circles added).) 10 Though the interface displays a butane vapor pressure, it is not
apparent from the screenshots alone that the system itself measures that pressure from the
stream; for example, it may be that the number is input manually.
In addition to its affirmative arguments that the system was capable of performing
upstream butane sampling, Sunoco takes issue with the factual basis of Venture’s assertions
that it was not. Venture relies on Morrill’s declaration for the proposition that the Technics
source code did not contain the necessary programming to operate the pumps. (Morrill Decl. ¶
18 (His “understanding from working with Technics [was] that the source code written by
Technics . . . lacked the ability to calculate a blend percentage using ‘upstream’ gasoline
volatility measurements or ‘upstream’ butane volatility measurements.”).) But Sunoco points out
that at his deposition—where he was acting as Venture’s corporate representative—Morrill
claimed to have very little knowledge about the contents of Technics’s code:
There is a third screenshot, but Sunoco has offered no explanation of its
[Before the problem with the butane-sampling system], you would expect
the [butane] RVP measurements to be taken; right?
Not necessarily. I don't even know if there's ever any source code in
there to do anything with that sample or if the analyzer was ever set up to
take the sample. From what I could tell, the analyzer was never set up for
butane in the first place.
Are you talking about in the source code or in the physical connection on
In the physical connection. I've never seen the source code, never used
This question could be answered though by observing the original
Technics source code; is that your understanding?
I still don't know if it could -- just because there's source code in there
doesn't mean it was utilized.
Well, the source code would tell you, though, one way or the other
whether butane RVP measurements were being utilized?
I would think so.
You've just never looked at it though?
No, I don't -- I don't even know how to read that source code.
(Dep. of Daniel J. Morrill, Ex. 54 to Pl.’s Resp. to Defs.’ SOF [206-2 at p. 124] at 91:22–93:2.)
Similarly, Sunoco takes issue with Venture’s reliance on Morrill’s declaration as evidence
that the upstream butane sampling lines were never used. (See Morrill Decl. ¶ 22 (“Because
none of the butane sampling pumps has ever been used . . . .”); ¶ 25 (“[T]he inlet valve that
connects the butane sampling line to the analyzer has always been disabled.”).) As Sunoco
points out, Morrill’s knowledge at his deposition about whether butane measurements were in
fact taken in the Technics-designed systems was very limited:
So there was a period of time when the valves for the butane sample
were working; correct?
There was a period of time the butane sampling valves were open, yes.
But they were never actually -- well, the measurements were -- strike that.
Was there also a period of time in which the RVP measurements were
being taken of the butane?
I've never witnessed that. I'm not going to say that butane measurements
were never taken, but I don't think it was ever used in the actual process,
maybe in the test phase.
What do you mean by the test phase?
Well, the startup was occurring. They were trying to figure out how this
thing was going to run.
Like shortly after the system was first installed?
Correct, while Technics was on-site.
(Morill Dep. at 91:5–21.)
Q: Well, but you're not able to tell whether during the test phase at least the
butane was being sampled for RVP and used in the blend ratio calculation; is that
A: Yeah. They may have done a test and sampled some butane. I don't know.
Not while I was there. I never observed it. But I'm not always in Madison and
Green Bay, so –
(Id. at 93:6–13.)
Sunoco argues that Morrill’s testimony at his deposition contradicts his
declaration, and Venture cannot rely on it to create an issue of fact.
Patent cases can be resolved at summary judgment just as other litigation can. Tokai
Corp. v. Easton Enterps., Inc., 632 F.3d 1358, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2011). Summary judgment is
appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” FED. R. CIV. P. 56(a). A genuine dispute of
fact exists if a reasonable jury could find for the non-movant on the record before the court.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
Venture first argues that Sunoco has exhausted its patent rights with respect to the
Madison, Green Bay, and Milwaukee Central systems, which it argues not only defeats
Sunoco’s motion, but entitles Venture to summary judgment on all patent claims with respect to
those three systems. (See Defs.’ Cross-Mot. for Summ. J.) “The longstanding doctrine of
patent exhaustion provides that the initial authorized sale of a patented item terminates all
patent rights to that item.” Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Elecs., Inc., 553 U.S. 617, 625 (2008).
Venture contends that Sunoco’s covenant not to sue Technics for infringing activities prior to the
Sunoco-Technics settlement was a retroactive authorization of the sale of patented systems (or
at least part of those systems) from Technics to Venture. According to Venture, Sunoco’s rights
in the patented systems were therefore exhausted when Sunoco settled with Technics. Sunoco
responds that patent exhaustion requires that the sale of a patented system be authorized when
the sale occurs.
Venture’s argument rests on TransCore, LP v. Electronic Transaction Consultants Corp.,
563 F.3d 1271, 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2009), which held that a covenant not to sue for future infringing
activities, including selling patented items, is equivalent to a license authorizing such sales. As
Venture sees it, Sunoco’s covenant not to sue Technics is a straightforward application of this
rule. But this is an oversimplification of TransCore. In that case, the patent holder agreed not to
sue its competitor for any “future infringement.” Id. at 1273. Several years later, the patent
holder sued another company who had purchased the allegedly infringing system from the
competitor. Id. In affirming summary judgment for the defendant, the court pointed out that the
earlier agreement “authorize[d] all acts that would otherwise be infringements: making, using,
offering for sale, selling, or importing” the patented product. Id. at 1276. As a result, the
competitor’s later sales to a third party were authorized, and the patentee’s rights were
TransCore established that a covenant not to sue is, effectively, a license for purposes
of patent exhaustion. Id. But TransCore has no bearing on whether entering into a covenant
not to sue—as Sunoco did with Technics—retroactively authorizes past sales of an infringing
product. Whether sales can be retroactively authorized and trigger patent exhaustion is not free
from doubt, but the court is not inclined to find the patent exhausted in this case. Patent
exhaustion requires an “initial authorized sale of a patented item[,]” Quanta Computer, 553 U.S.
at 625, and part of what is sold is the “freedom from suit” that an authorized sale conveys, see
TransCore, 563 F.3d at 1275. At the time Technics sold the systems to Venture, it conveyed
only the system components; it did not convey “freedom from suit,” and could not have done so:
Technics did not hold the patent to the technology or a license.
settlement with Technics does not retroactively alter the sale, making it an authorized sale by
the patentees. A common analogy in introductory property courses imagines property rights as
a bundle of sticks; a seller can convey only those sticks—that is, those property rights—that she
has at the time of the sale. At the time of the sale, the property rights that Technics conveyed to
Venture consisted of the components alone, not the “freedom from suit.” When Technics later
acquired the “freedom from suit” via its settlement with Sunoco, its transaction with Venture did
not change retroactively. Technics could only convey to Venture what it possessed, and it did
not possess the “freedom from suit” required for patent exhaustion.
At least one other Federal Circuit case elucidates this principle.
International, Inc. v. United States, 609 F.3d 1292, 1303–04 & n.3 (Fed. Cir. 2010), the plaintiff
sold infringing devices to the government, and later acquired the patent for those devices as the
result of a merger. After acquiring the patent, the plaintiff sued the government for infringement.
See id. at 1303–04. The Court of Federal Claims held that patent exhaustion prevented the
plaintiff from recovering, but the Federal Circuit reversed. Id. The Federal Circuit explained:
“[the plaintiff’s] sale of infringing [devices] was not authorized because, at the time of the sale,
[the plaintiff] had no rights under the ’914 patent, which [the previous patent holder] owned. The
fact that [the plaintiff] now owns the patent does not retroactively authorize the earlier sale.” Id.
at 1304. The conclusion that a subsequent purchase of the patent itself cannot retroactively
authorize an earlier sale of a patented item reinforces the court’s determination that a
subsequent covenant not to sue cannot do so either.
Another court in this district reached the same conclusion, albeit for slightly different
reasons. In Cascades Computer Innovation, LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co., 70 F. Supp. 3d
863, 866 (N.D. Ill. 2014) (Kennelly, J.), a patent holder agreed not to sue Google for any
infringement activity, without distinguishing between past and future infringement. The allegedly
infringing product was a feature of the Android operating system; the defendants made and sold
devices that used that system. Id. Google provided the operating system to the defendants,
both before and after the agreement. Id. The defendants argued that the patentee’s agreement
with Google retroactively exhausted the patentee’s rights with respect to infringing activity
before the agreement. Id. at 866, 869. The court disagreed. A covenant not to sue could not
retroactively authorize the use of the patented software, the court held:
Patent exhaustion is a rule that looks forward; it results from the patent holder's
sale of a patented item or a product embodying a patented method, or a grant of
a license permitting another to use the patented item or method. A release, by
contrast, looks backward and takes an alleged infringer off the hook for
something it has already done or is alleged to have done.
Id. at 869–70.
The Cascades court also concluded that the covenant-not-to-sue in that case was not a
license at all; it was a release “expressly limited to Google and its affiliated entities,” which did
not include the defendants. Id. at 870. Sunoco argues that the same principle applies here,
because the Sunoco-Technics agreement explicitly stated that it was not a license and did not
apply to Technics’s customers.
Venture urges that this aspect of Cascades was wrongly
decided; a patent holder’s intent regarding whether a license extends to a licensee’s customers
is not relevant to the question of whether the patent holder’s rights are exhausted.
TransCore, 563 F.3d at 1277. But the court need not reach this issue: even if Venture is correct
that intent is irrelevant and the Sunoco-Technics agreement is a license, that license could not
retroactively authorize Technics’s earlier sale of the system to Venture.
Venture argues that the court should nevertheless “find exhaustion with respect to any
use of the Technics’s systems that took place after the settlement agreement,” and urges that
such a conclusion would be consistent with Cascades. (Defs.’ Mem. In Opp. to Pl.’s Mot. for
Summ. J. [hereinafter “Defs.’ Opp. Br.”]  at 8.) In Cascades, the covenant not to sue
between the patent holder and Google did not have any temporal limitation to past or future
infringement; the patent holder promised not to sue for “any infringement.” 70 F. Supp. 3d at
866. The court held that the plaintiff’s patent rights were exhausted with respect to devices that
the defendants made after the settlement agreement, but not with respect to devices before the
settlement agreement. See id. at 868–71. Under that rationale, Venture contends, its use of
the allegedly infringing systems after the Sunoco-Technics agreement was authorized.
The court sees this differently. In the court’s view, the question is not whether Venture
performed its infringing activities after Sunoco promised not to sue Technics; it is instead
whether Technics conveyed its own freedom from suit to Venture. In Cascades, Google had
made the operating system continuously available to the defendants, id. at 868–69; once the
plaintiff in Cascades promised not to sue Google for infringing activities, all of Google’s
subsequent provision of the Android operating system to the defendants was authorized. Here,
by contrast, Technics sold the allegedly infringing system to Venture once, before Technics
settled with Sunoco. Venture was not immunized from liability for its continued use of the
system after Technics settled with Sunoco.
Venture also relies on In re TR Labs Patent Litigation, No. CIV.A. 09-3883(PGS)(DEA),
2014 WL 3501050 (D.N.J. July 14, 2014). In that case, TR Labs, the patentee, sued Cisco’s
customers for use of the allegedly infringing products.
Id. at *1.
Cisco then brought a
declaratory judgment action against TR Labs, who in response offered a covenant not to use
That offer, the court held, exhausted TR Labs’ patent as to Cisco and Cisco’s
customers, id. at *4–5. In so doing, the court recognized that a covenant not to sue is an
“authorized sale,” equivalent to a license, and resulted in patent exhaustion despite the patent
holder’s “stated intent to prevent any rights under the covenant to extend to Cisco's customers .
. . .” Id. at *4 (citing TransCore, 563 F.3d at 1277). But that case also concerned a covenant
that would have allowed continued “use and employ[ment] [of] the patented practice”—that is, a
covenant not to sue for future infringement, id.; perhaps a forward-looking covenant not to sue
would have a different effect on exhaustion than the release for past infringement entered into
here, but the court need not resolve that question. To the extent TR Labs suggests a covenant
not to sue one party for past infringement must be understood as retroactive authorization of
infringement by that party’s customers, this court disagrees.
Venture has two remaining arguments on this issue. First, it claims that “Sunoco has not
cited any controlling authority distinguishing past and future sales for purposes of exhaustion.”
(Defs.’ Opp. Br. 8.) This argument is dispensed with by the court’s analysis above: TransCore
and Honeywell lay out the principles that Technics cannot convey property rights that it does not
have, and its subsequent acquisition of those rights does not retroactively pass them to Venture.
Second, Venture cites the recent Supreme Court case Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark
International, Inc., 137 S. Ct. 1523 (2017), in which the Court held that Lexmark, the holder of a
patent on printer toner cartridges, exhausted its patent rights by selling toner cartridges to
customers, despite the fact that it attempted to restrict the right to use the product to its
immediate customers rather than remanufacturers of the cartridges. Id. at 1529–30, 1533.
Venture seizes upon the fact that in Impression Products, the Supreme Court referred
not to an “initial authorized sale” which triggered patent exhaustion—merely to an “initial sale.”
See id. According to Venture, “the adjective ‘initial’ modifies the word ‘sale[,]’” but does not
apply to the “authorization” (Defs.’ Reply in Supp. of Cross-Mot. for Summ. J.  at 14); thus,
Venture asserts, a sale need not be initially authorized in order to trigger patent exhaustion.
There are several problems with this argument. For one, it ignores other Supreme Court case
law concerning exhaustion that does make reference to the “initial authorized sale[.]” Quanta
Computer, 553 U.S. at 625. More importantly, Impression Products had nothing to do with
whether sales could be retroactively authorized. It concerned sales that were undisputedly
authorized when they occurred; the question was whether the patent holder could retain some
patent rights after a sale of a patented item and enforce those rights through an infringement
suit. See Impression Prods., 137 S. Ct. at 1529–30.
As Honeywell makes clear, it is the sale of the “freedom from suit” property right that
triggers the patent exhaustion doctrine. 609 F.3d at 1303. Technics did not sell this “freedom
from suit” to Venture, because it did not possess it. Venture’s exhaustion defense fails. For the
same reason, Venture is not entitled to the summary judgment it requested on all five patents
due to patent exhaustion, and to the extent Venture seeks summary judgment on this basis, its
motion is denied.
A company infringes a patent when it “without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or
sells any patented invention, within the United States . . . during the term of the patent
therefor[.]” 35 U.S.C. § 271(a). The patent statute is worded disjunctively, and thus simply
making a patented invention—even without use or sale of that invention—is patent infringement.
An accused product can infringe a patent either literally or through the “doctrine of
equivalents.” Microsoft Corp. v. GeoTag, Inc., 817 F.3d 1305, 1313 (Fed. Cir. 2016). “To
establish literal infringement, every limitation set forth in a claim must be found in an accused
product, exactly.” Id. (quoting Southwall Techs., Inc. v. Cardinal IG Co., 54 F.3d 1570, 1575
(Fed. Cir. 1995)). Under the doctrine of equivalents, the accused product infringes the patent if
“there is equivalence between the elements of the accused product . . . and the claimed
elements of the patented invention.” Id. (quoting Duramed Pharm., Inc. v. Paddock Labs., Inc.,
644 F.3d 1376, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2011)). Sunoco asserts that Venture’s systems literally infringe
the claims at issue in its motion. (Pl.’s Mem. in Supp. of Partial Summ. J. [hereinafter “Pl.’s Br.”]
 at 17 n.4.)
Sunoco presents extensive argument explaining how Venture’s Madison South and
Green Bay terminals infringe each element of the claims at issue. (See Pl.’s Br. 3–15, 17–21.)
Except with respect to Claim 3 of the ‘629 patent (addressed below), Venture does not contest
the majority of these facts or arguments. Instead, Venture argues that the accused system
does not meet one of the limitations common to all the claims: the requirement of a gasoline
tank (and, by extension, a blending unit “downstream and in fluid connection” with the gasoline
tank). Though Venture tacitly admits that the system uses a gasoline tank at least sometimes, it
takes the position that “[a]lthough the Madison and Green Bay systems can be configured in this
manner [blending from a gasoline tank] they can also be configured to blend gasoline straight
from the pipeline (such that the blending unit would not be downstream of and in fluid
connection with the [a] tank of gasoline).”
(Defs.’ Opp. Br. 11 (third alteration in original)
(internal citation and quotation marks omitted).) As the court reads this, Venture contends that
the systems are merely capable of infringing, not that they actually infringe. But an examination
of the evidence in support of Venture’s argument reveals no genuine dispute that Venture has
infringed seven claims.
The Morrill Declaration is the only evidence that Venture cites in support of its argument
that the systems merely “can be configured” in a way that would infringe. Morrill avers “the
Madison and Green Bay systems have never been set up to blend solely from a gasoline tank.”
(Morrill Decl. ¶ 7 (emphasis added).) This declaration effectively confirms that the Madison and
Green Bay terminals sometimes blend from a gasoline tank. This is consistent with Venture’s
characterization of its practice in its non-infringement contentions:
U.S. Venture has not always blended butane with gasoline. U.S. Venture does
not blend butane with every batch of gasoline that it receives from the pipeline.
For example, U.S. Venture does not blend butane with reformulated gasoline
during the summer months.
U.S. Venture only sometimes stores unblended gasoline in a tank at its
Bettendorf, Madison South, and Green Bay Fox terminals before blending butane
with the gasoline.
At the Bettendorf, Madison South, and Green Bay Fox terminals, the blending
usually occurs directly from the pipeline. Sunoco’s infringement contentions
acknowledge that the blending unit is not always downstream of and in fluid
connection with a tank of gasoline.
(See Venture’s Non-Infringement Contentions 1–4, 10, 38–40.) These contentions effectively
concede that Venture has sometimes blended gasoline from a gasoline tank at the Madison
South and Green Bay terminals. There is thus no dispute that Venture made and/or used
systems that blend from a gasoline tank, and Venture does not contest that the systems meet
the other elements of the seven claims at issue. 11 All the claim elements are therefore present
in the two accused systems. Sunoco is entitled to summary judgment on Claims 1–3 and 8–9 of
the ’302 patent and claims 1–2 of the ’629 patent.
Despite its concession, Venture asks the court to grant summary judgment of “non‐
infringement with respect to the Madison and Green Bay systems when they are in the pipeline
configuration for claims 1–17 and 27–41 of the ’302 patent and claims 1–16 of the ’629 patent.”
(Defs.’s Cross Mot. for Summ. J. 1.) It is undisputed that Venture does sometimes use its
system in a way that does not infringe these claims—when it blends from a pipeline instead of a
gas tank. This fact is relevant for damages, but it does not warrant a finding of “infringement
sometimes and non-infringement other times.” Patent infringement does not depend on the use
of the accused device; a patent is also infringed when a defendant “makes” a patented system
35 U.S.C. § 271(a).
Accordingly, Venture is not liable only when it uses the
infringing system; instead, liability turns on Venture’s having made an infringing system at all.
Because infringement does not depend solely on use, the court cannot rule that Venture’s
infringement liability tracks directly with its use of these two configurations.
The court concludes that Venture’s argument does not defeat summary judgment for
Sunoco on Claims 1–3 and 8–9 of the ’302 patent and Claims 1–2 of the ’629 patent; Venture’s
request for summary judgment of non-infringement with respect to the “pipeline configuration” of
the Madison and Green Bay systems is also denied. 12 As noted above, Venture’s motion on
this issue covers 48 claims (’302 patent claims 1–17 and 27–41 and ’629 patent claims 1–16);
this ruling resolves the issue with respect to all but Claim 11 of the ’302 patent. Neither party
Venture has other responses in its infringement contentions that it does “not
always” meet other elements of the patents.
(See, e.g., Venture’s Non-Infringement
Contentions 2 (“[T]he blended gasoline is not always dispensed at a rack located at the same
tank farm where the blending occurred.”).) Venture does not make any such arguments in its
response to Sunoco’s motion, however, and they appear to be forfeited.
Evaluating Venture’s response to Sunoco’s motion necessarily requires denying
summary judgment to Venture as to this and the exhaustion argument.
has asserted that claim in its final infringement or non-infringement contentions. (See generally
Venture’s Non-Infringement Contentions; see generally Summ. of U.S. Venture Arguments &
Affected Claims, Ex. A to Defs.’ Resp. to Pl.’s Sur-Reply in Opp. to Defs.’ Cross-Mot. for Partial
Summ. J. [244-1] (listing the claims that Sunoco asserts).) The court accordingly declines to
exercise jurisdiction over that claim. See Joao Control & Monitoring Sys., LLC v. Telular Corp.,
No. 14 C 9852, 2017 WL 1151052, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 28, 2017) (citing Streck v. Research &
Diagnostic Sys., 665 F.3d 1269, 1283 (Fed. Cir. 2012)).
Claim 3 of the ’629 Patent
Claim 3 of the ’629 Patent requires, in relevant part, “a butane vapor pressure sensor
operable for measuring the vapor pressure of butane upstream of the blending unit . . . .” (’629
Patent col. 13 ll. 28–29.) Venture argues that its system, as it is currently designed, has no
ability to test butane upstream, because: (1) there are no butane sampling lines, (2) the inlet
valves are closed, and (3) the source code cannot control the butane pumps. 13 The relevant
question, however, is whether Venture ever made, used or sold an infringing system. If Venture
at one time made, used, or sold an infringing system, but later stopped making, using or selling
an infringing system, that choice is again relevant only to its exposure at the damages phase.
It is Sunoco’s position that the Green Bay and Madison South terminals, at least initially,
had operable butane vapor pressure sensors, because (a) they were equipped with the
necessary physical components (sampling lines, valves, pumps, and an analyzer), and (b) the
Technics source code had the ability to control that sensor system. The parties agree that the
Venture concedes that it has upstream gasoline vapor pressure sensors (see
Defs.’ Opp. Br. 11–12 (arguing only that the accused systems do not infringe Claim 3 of the ’629
patent because the systems do not have butane vapor pressure sensors); see also Defs.’ SOF
¶ 12 (alleging only that “[n]one of the systems is capable of measuring butane volatility
‘upstream’ of the blending point” (emphasis added).) Venture does not concede that its systems
use the upstream vapor pressure of the gasoline to calculate a blend ratio, however, which is
relevant to its own motion for summary judgment: Certain claims in another of Sunoco’s
asserted patents, U.S. Patent No. 7,631,671, require (in Venture’s estimation) using upstream
gasoline vapor pressure measurements to calculate a blend ratio. (See Defs.’ SOF ¶ 11; see
also Defs.’ Opp. Br. 23.)
system as designed by Technics was intended to measure butane upstream of the blending unit
using the sensor system. Thus, Sunoco argues, the system must have had the necessary
software and hardware to accomplish that task—at the very least, during the testing phase.
There are two major factual questions that preclude summary judgment on this issue, however.
First, there is an open factual question about which entity was responsible for the
infringing system during the installation and testing phase. Sunoco is correct that an apparatus
claim is infringed when an entity makes the system; the accused product need not be used or
sold to infringe the claim. 35 U.S.C. § 271(a); Silicon Graphics, Inc. v. ATI Techs., Inc., 607
F.3d 784, 794 (Fed. Cir. 2010). Even if the court accepted Sunoco’s argument that the system
was infringing until Technics and Venture abandoned upstream butane blending, this does not
answer the question of who made that infringing system, or “used” it in the context of testing.
Venture raised this argument in its response brief, arguing that “U.S. Venture has never ‘made’
a system that is ‘operable for measuring the vapor pressure of butane upstream of the blending
unit.’ The Madison, Green Bay, and Milwaukee Central systems were ‘made’ by Technics.”
(Defs.’ Opp. Br. 17.) Sunoco does not engage directly with which party was responsible for the
installation and testing phase, and instead argues that the system was operable for measuring
butane vapor pressure well into Venture’s use of the system.
Sunoco does identify evidence that Venture was involved in the production of the
system—that Venture solicited the product, installed the tanks that made the system possible,
and that its employees were involved in testing it. Venture could also be liable for infringement
on an inducement or contributory infringement theory. See Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Bausch &
Lomb Inc., 909 F.2d 1464, 1469 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (discussing both theories).
But, for the
purposes of summary judgment, Sunoco has not foreclosed a question of fact about Venture’s
liability at the earliest phase of installation and testing. It is possible, on the record before the
court, that Technics made an infringing system but rendered it non-infringing before Venture
Second, it is not clear that the Technics source code had the ability to control the part of
the system that enabled butane sampling, specifically, the pumps that took butane from the
butane stream to the analyzer. The evidence on this score consists of Technics’s interrogatory
response, the user manuals, and the user interface of the software, showing that the accused
system was originally intended to take upstream butane measurements. As to the screenshots,
it is clear only that the system used—in some capacity—a vapor pressure measurement of the
butane, and also had a box for “% Butane.” 14 The system’s apparent use of a vapor pressure
measurement does not demonstrate the sensors are operable, as it is possible that number is
manually entered (indeed, in its motion for summary judgment, that is what Venture argues).
The latter, “% Butane,” seems to refer to the blended gasoline product, not the butane stream
itself. While the court agrees that it is unlikely that Technics would have designed a system
containing all of the necessary hardware to perform upstream butane vapor pressure sampling
without providing the necessary software, it is not impossible; the butane vapor pressure
sensing function, after all, apparently did not work.
Accordingly, summary judgment on
Sunoco’s motion is denied.
Venture requests summary judgment in its favor on this claim, as well, arguing that there
is no evidence of butane vapor pressure sensors in its Green Bay and Madison South systems.
The court disagrees. First, Venture relies on Morrill’s declaration for its factual claims that the
Technics source code did not contain the necessary programming to operate the pumps, and
that the sampling system had never been used. There is tension between his declaration and
his deposition, however, on the extent of his knowledge about these systems. As detailed
above, Morrill admitted at his deposition that he had never examined Technics’s source code
and did not know how to read it, and he acknowledged that upstream butane vapor pressure
Sunoco provides a much more detailed analysis of Technics’s source code with
the assistance of an expert, but that evidence is not before the court on Sunoco’s motion for
summary judgment—it is discussed only in Sunoco’s sur-reply to Venture’s summary judgment
motion. (Pl.’s Sur-Reply in Opp. to Defs.’ Cross-Mot. for Partial Summ. J. .)
sampling may have been conducted during the installation and testing phase while he was not
at the Green Bay and Madison South terminals.
Aside from Morrill’s declaration, there is
evidence that the system could, at least initially, measure butane vapor pressure upstream of
the blending unit: (1) the system was designed to test the vapor pressure of the butane stream,
(2) at one point, it had all of the necessary hardware to perform that testing (pumps, sampling
lines, and analyzers), (3) the original, Technics-created source code may well have had the
necessary programming to operate the sensor hardware, and (4) Venture had some
involvement in the solicitation, installation and testing of the system. Summary judgment is
denied to Venture on Claim 3 of the ‘629 patent as to the Green Bay and Madison South
Sunoco’s motion for partial summary judgment  is granted in part and denied in
part. Venture’s motion for partial summary judgment  is denied in part and reserved in part
for a future ruling.
September 27, 2017
REBECCA R. PALLMEYER
United States District Judge
The court will determine whether Venture is entitled to summary judgment as to
the other claims it raises when the court addresses the remainder of Venture’s summary
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