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Sunrise - Order Granting SJ

Sunrise - Order Granting SJ

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Published by slburstein
Sunrise - Order Granting SJ
Sunrise - Order Granting SJ

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Published by: slburstein on Jul 17, 2013
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1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIABRYAN C. McINTIRE, anindividual,NO. CIV. S-11-2495 LKK/CKDPlaintiff,v.SUNRISE SPECIALTY COMPANY,O R D E Ra California corporation,Defendant./ Plaintiff Bryan C. McIntire alleges that defendant SunriseSpecialty Co. infringed his toilet bowl design patent.
Plaintifnow moves for summary judgment on the ground that no reasonable juror could fail to find that defendants bowl infringes his
“Design” patents are granted pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 171:“Whoever invents any new, original and ornamental design for anarticle of manufacture may obtain a patent therefor.” In contrast,“utility” patents are granted pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 101 (“Whoeverinvents or discovers any new and useful process, machine,manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and usefulimprovement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor”). See Int’lSeaway Trading Corp. V. Walgreens Corp., 589 F.3d 1233, 1238 (Fed.Cir. 2009) (comparing requirements for design versus utilitypatents).1
Case 2:11-cv-02495-LKK-CKD Document 69 Filed 05/07/13 Page 1 of 18
1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526design. Defendant cross-moves for summary judgment on the groundthat no reasonable juror could find that its bowl infringesplaintiffs patented design.For the reasons that follow, the court concludes that underthe applicable infringement and summary judgment standards, noreasonable juror could find infringement here. Plaintiff limitedthe scope of his patent to the drawings of the patent, anddefendants bowl does not embody those drawings. Accordingly,defendants motion for summary judgment will be granted, andplaintiffs will be denied.
I.BACKGROUND A.Facts Leading to the Alleged Infringement.
Plaintiff Bryan C. McIntire is the owner and operator of Macthe Antique Plumber, a wholesale and retail seller of antiqueplumbing fixtures, including toilet bowls. [Proposed] Statement oUncontroverted Facts in Support of Plaintiff Bryan C. McIntiresMotion for Summary Judgment (“PSUF”) (ECF No. 50-2) 1. Plaintifsubmitted a toilet bowl design to the U.S. Patent and TrademarkOffice, and on December 26, 2006, he was issued Design Patent No.D524,254 (the “‘D254 Patent” or the “claimed design”). PSUF ¶ 5;See Complaint (ECF No. 1), Exh. A (Patent and Drawings). Thereafter, plaintiff McIntire sold toilet bowls embodying thedesign of the D254 Patent to defendant Sunrise. PSUF ¶12 & 13.
Many of the facts noted here would only be relevant to aclaim of willfullness. Given that the court concludes that summaryjudgment on behalf of defendant is appropriate, they are only setout to provide a factual context for the suit.2
Case 2:11-cv-02495-LKK-CKD Document 69 Filed 05/07/13 Page 2 of 18
1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526Defendant Sunrise then sold those bowls to its customers. PSUF13. Plaintiff also sold to defendant, however, bowls that didnot include the beads around the rim, but that otherwise were thesame as those embodying the D254 Patent. PSUF ¶ 13.Robert Weinstein is the President of defendant Sunrise.Defendant Sunrise Specialty Company’s Statement OF UncontrovertedFacts (“DSUF”) (ECF No. 52) 1. In 2009, Weinstein showedplaintiff McIntire a toilet bowl that Weinstein said had beenmanufactured in China. Declaration of Plaintiff Bryan C. McIntirein Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 50-3)("B. McIntire Decl.") 11.
Weinstein advised McIntire that hehad sent one of plaintiff McIntires bowls to a manufacturer inChina to see if it could make a sample, and that the bowl Weinsteinshowed to McIntire was the result. B. McIntire Decl. 11.McIntire told defendant Weinstein that McIntires design wasprotected by a patent, a fact that Weinstein acknowledged. B.McIntire Decl. 12.Several months after these events, defendant stopped orderingbowls fromplaintiff, with its last order being dated June 30,
Defendant “denies” everything in this paragraph. DefendantSunrise Specialty Company's Response to Plaintiff's ProposedStatement of Uncontroverted Facts Supporting his Motion for SummaryJudgment ("Def. Resp. to PSUF") (ECF No. 60) ¶¶ 15-19. However, theevidence defendant offers to put them in dispute – “excerpt ofInterrogatory Answer # 14, Fischer Declaration, ¶5, Exhibit C” –does not dispute any of these assertions. Therefore, theassertions are undisputed. They may be material because they gothe issue of damages. See Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. v. W.L.Gore & Associates, Inc., 682 F.3d 1003, 1005 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (“Afinding of willful infringement allows an award of enhanced damagesunder 35 U.S.C. § 284"), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 932 (2013).3
Case 2:11-cv-02495-LKK-CKD Document 69 Filed 05/07/13 Page 3 of 18

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