Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC v. Sprint Nextel Corporation
ORDER denying 246 Sealed Motion. Signed by Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne on 11/7/14. (rsp2)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
SPRINT NEXTEL CORPORATION,
Case No. 2:13-cv-259-JRG-RSP
Case No. 2:13-cv-258-JRG-RSP
Case No. 2:12-cv-832-JRG-RSP
Before the Court is Defendant Apple’s Motion for Summary Judgment of
Noninfringement of the ‘946 and ‘428 Patents (Dkt. 246, the “Motion”).
Summary judgment should be granted “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).
Any evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
nonmovant. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v.
S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). Summary judgment is proper when there is no
genuine dispute of material fact. Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). “By its very
terms, this standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the
parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the
requirement is that there be no genuine [dispute] of material fact.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 24748. The substantive law identifies the material facts, and disputes over facts that are irrelevant or
unnecessary will not defeat a motion for summary judgment. Id. at 248. A dispute about a
material fact is “genuine” when the evidence is “such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id. The moving party must identify the basis for granting
summary judgment and evidence demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of material
fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.
The ‘946 Patent
Apple first requests summary judgment of noninfringement as to the ‘946 Patent. Apple
urges that the Court must act on what it alleges is a claim construction dispute regarding the term
“retransmission.” The Court first observes that both now and at the claim construction stage of
this case, Apple and MTEL have continually agreed that the term “retransmission” should be
given its plain and ordinary meaning. Apple contends that it is nevertheless “improper to
characterize this as a factual dispute simply because Apple and MTel contend that the claim term
‘retransmission’ should be given its plain and ordinary meaning,” citing O2Micro Int’l Ltd. v.
Beyond Innovation Tech. Co., 521 F.3d 1351, 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2008) in support of that
proposition. The nature of the dispute before the Court is distinguishable from O2 Micro.
Nevertheless, the Court’s analysis need not end there.
Given that both parties contend the term has its plain and ordinary meaning, the question
presented to the Court by Apple is whether a person of ordinary skill in the art would understand
the plain and ordinary meaning of the term “retransmission” to require that a retransmission “can
only occur after a first transmission of the message from the communications network to the
mobile unit.” (Dkt. 298 at 1 (emphasis in original).) The Court does not believe that the plain and
ordinary meaning of the term “retransmission” includes the limitations urged by Apple. Indeed,
even the specification of the ‘946 Patent uses retransmission in a manner inconsistent with the
additional limitations urged by Apple. See ’946 Patent at 8:43-53.
Accordingly, the court construes the term “retransmission” to have its plain and ordinary
meaning, and further finds that the plain and ordinary meaning of “retransmission” is not so
limited as to require that a retransmission “can only occur after a first transmission of the
message from the communications network to the mobile unit.”1
The remaining dispute outlined by Apple with regard to the ‘946 Patent (comparing the
properly construed claims to the accused instrumentalities) is simply a question of infringement
that is a question of fact for the jury. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F. 3d 967, 976
(Fed. Cir. 1995). The Court finds that, when viewing the summary judgment evidence in the
light most favorable to the non-movant, a genuine factual dispute exists with regard to the
question of infringement of the ‘946 Patent.
The ‘428 Patent
Apple also requests summary judgment of noninfringement as to the ‘428 Patent. Apple
contends that because its “flush messages” do not serve to locate a mobile unit, they do not
qualify as “probe messages.” In doing so, Apple implicitly argues that the Court’s construction
of “a message that is generated to locate a mobile unit” for “probe message” requires that the
message include or return a location. (See, e.g., Dkt. 285-2 at ¶175, 181.) The Court has
previously declined to endorse this position. (See Dkt. 162 at 47 (“[t]he intrinsic evidence thus
consistently demonstrates that although a probe message need not itself specify a location or
Nothing in this ruling should be read to imply that Apple may not argue to the jury that Apple’s accused
instrumentalities do not meet this or other limitations of the ‘946 Patent.
contain location information, a probe message is generated for locating a mobile unit.”)) The
Court finds that, when viewing the summary judgment evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-movant, there exists a genuine factual dispute with regard to infringement of the ‘428 Patent.
For the reasons set forth above, Defendant Apple’s Motion for Summary Judgment of
Noninfringement of the ‘946 and ‘428 Patents (Dkt. 246) is hereby DENIED.
SIGNED this 3rd day of January, 2012.
SIGNED this 7th day of November, 2014.
ROY S. PAYNE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?