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Special Master Denial of Summary Judgement 1 Motion for SJ of Non Infringement

Special Master Denial of Summary Judgement 1 Motion for SJ of Non Infringement

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Published by Nukejohn
Star V. RJR (Denial of Summary Judgement of Non-Infringement) - Issued in 2003
Star V. RJR (Denial of Summary Judgement of Non-Infringement) - Issued in 2003

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Published by: Nukejohn on Jan 29, 2012
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10/09/2012

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INTHEUNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCO~EC
23
2003
FORTHEDISTRICTOFMARYLANDSOUTHERNDIVISION
ATQREENBELiCLERKU.S.DISTRICTcUu",:DISTRiCTOFMARYLAI-IO
NIGHTDEPOSITBOX
)
))))
R.J.REYNOLDSTOBACCOCOMPANY,)Defendant.)STARSCIENTIFICINC.,Plaintiff,vs.CivilActionNo.AW-01-1504REPORTANDRECOMMENDATIONREGARDINGDEFENDANT'SMOTIONFORSUMMARYJUDGMENTNO.1:REYNOLDSHASNOTINFRINGEDTHEPATENTS-IN-SUITThisactionwasreferredtomepursuanttotheOrderofReferencedatedSeptember15,2003(DocketNo.382)andRule53oftheFederalRulesofCivilProcedure.Defendant,RJ.ReynoldsTobaccoCompany("RJR"),movedthisCourt(DocketNo.271)foranordergrantingsummaryjudgmentthatRJRdidnotinduceorcontributetotheinfringementoftheassertedclaimsbyanyfarmersunder35U.S.C.§271(b)or§271(c),and§271(g)doesnotapplytotheactivitiesofRJR.Plaintiff,StarScientific,Inc.("Star"),opposedRJR'smotionforsummaryjudgment(DocketNo.309),butonlyastoitsclaimsunder35U.S.C.§§271(b)and
271(g)Y
RJRfiledareplymemorandum(DocketNo.333).Afterreviewingthesepleadings,IrespectfullyrecommendthattheCourtdenyRJR'smotionwithrespecttoinducementofinfringementunder
§
271(b)anddenyRJR'smotionregarding
§
271(g).
I.
BACKGROUND
ThispatentinfringementinvolvestwopatentsownedbyStar,UnitedStatesPatentNumbers6,202,649(lithe'649patent")and6,425,401(lithe'401patent"),collectivelyreferredtohereinafteraslithepatents-in-suit."Staristheexclusivelicenseeofthe'649and'401patents."Thepatents-in-suitarisefromacommonparentapplication,sharethesamespecification
(i.e.,
theyshareacommonwrittendescription),havecommonfiguresandareidenticallyentitled
11
Atp.48ofitsoppositionbrief,Starvoluntarilydismisseditsclaimsforcontributoryinfringementunder35U.S.C.
§
271(c).
l/
Thenamedinventorofthepatents-in-suitisJonnieR.Williams.Theoriginalassigneeofthepatents-in-suit,RegentCourtTechnologies,grantedStaranexclusivelicense,includingtherighttobringlegalactiontoenforcethepatents-in-suit.
 
"MethodofTreatingTobaccotoReduceNitrosamineContent,andProductsProducedThereby."Thesepatentsdescribeandclaimmethodsofpreventingtheformationoftobacco-specificnitrosamines("TSNAs")intobaccoplantsduringthecuringprocess,includingN'-nitrosonomicotine("NNN"),4-(N-nitrosomethylamino)-I-(3-pyridyl)-I-butanone("NNKIf),N'-nitrosoanatabine("NAT"),andN'-nitrosoanabasine("NAB").ApplicationSerialNo.
09/397,018
("the'018application"),whichbecamethe'649patentwasfiledonSeptember15,1999,asacontinuation-in-partofApplicationSerialNo.
08/998,043
("the'043application)."The'018applicationalsoclaimsprioritytoaprovisionalapplication,ApplicationSerialNo.
60/100,372
("the'372application")thatwasfiledonSeptember15,1998.The'649patentissuedonMarch20,2001.In1999,RJRcontractedwithcertainfarmerstopurchaselow-TSNAtobaccocuredinbarnsretrofittedwithheatexchangerspurchasedfromVencon-Varsos,aGreekcompany.RJRpaidEvansMachineryandMetalFabrication("Evans"),aU.S.company,toassembleandinstalltheheatexchangerspurchasedfromVencon-Varsos("theheatexchangertechnology's")intobaccocuringbarnsownedbyindependentfarmers.Laterin1999,Reynoldsspentover$11,000,000topurchase2,050heatexchangersandretrofithundredsofcuringbarnsownedbyindependentfarmerswiththeheatexchangertechnology.Forthe2000curingseason,RJRcontractedwiththeseindependentfarmerstopurchaselow-TSNAtobaccocuredintheirbarnsretrofittedwiththeheatexchangertechnology."
In
early2001,RJRreplacedmanyofits2000curingseasoncontractswithnewfive-yearcontractsforthepurchaseoflow-TSNAtobaccocuredusingtheheatexchanger
technology."
OnMay23,2001,StarsuedRJRforinfringementofthe'649patent("the01-1504case").StarallegedthatRJRinfringedorinducedinfringementofclaims4,12and20ofthe'649patentbycontractingwithtobaccofarmerstopurchaselow-TSNAtobaccocuredusingacertaintypeofheatexchangertechnologyinlieuofdirectfireheaters.RJRcounter-claimedforadeclaratory
JI
The'043applicationwasfiledonDecember2,1997,asacontinuation-in-partofApplicationSerialNo.
08/879,905
(filedJune20,1997),whichwasacontinuation-in-partofApplicationSerialNo.
081757,104
(filedDecember2,1996).
:!!
RJRreferstotheheatexchangersassembledandinstalledbyEvansas"theEvansunits."Starreferstotheheatexchangersinstalledintothebarnsas"theVencon-Varsosequipment."
~!
RJRalsocontractedwithotherfarmerstopurchasetobaccocuredinbarnsequippedwiththesameheatexchangersselectedbyRJR,butownedbythefarmersthemselves.
2!
In2001,RJRenteredinto297contractsforthepurchaseoflow-TSNAtobaccocuredusingtheheatexchangertechnology.OnlyeightofthosecontractsweresignedafterMay23,2001.
-2-
 
judgmentthatthe'649patentisinvalidandnotinfringedbyRJR.RJRalsofiledadeclaratoryjudgmentactionintheMiddleDistrictofNorthCarolinaonJune13,2001,forajudgmentthatitdidnotinfringethe'649patentandeachclaimofthe'649patentwasinvalid.InAugust2001,RJRconferredwithMr.RichardG.LioneofBrink,Hofer,Gilson
&
Lioneregardingtheinfringement,validityandenforceabilityofthe'649patent.Mr.LioneprovidedRJRwithaformalopinionregardingthe'649patentonDecember21,2001.AccordingtoMr.Lione,RJRand/oritsgrowersinfringedtheclaimsofthe'649patent,buttheclaimsofthe'649patentshouldbefoundtobeinvalid.OnSeptember25,2000,ApplicationSerialNo.09/668,144wasfiledasacontinuationofthe'018application.Thisapplicationissuedasthe'401patentonJuly30,2003.Onthatday,StarsuedRJRforinfringementofclaim41ofthe'401patent."Starallegedthatthroughitscontractswithtobaccofarmers,RJRinfringed,orinducedotherstoinfringe,thepatentedprocessforcuringtobaccodisclosedinthe'401patent("the02-2504case").RJRcounter-claimedforadeclaratoryjudgmentofinvalidity,non-infringement,andunenforceabilityofthe'401patent.OnAugust27,2002,thisCourtorderedtheconsolidationofthe02-2504casewiththe01-1504case.
II.
DISCUSSION
Disputesoverfactsthatmightaffecttheoutcomeofthesuitunderthegoverninglawwillproperlyprecludetheentryofsummaryjudgment.
Anderson
v.
LibertyLobby,Inc.,
477U.S.242,248(1986).Summaryjudgmentwillnotlieifthedisputeaboutamaterialfactis"genuine,"thatis,theevidenceissuchthatareasonablejurycouldreturnaverdictforthenonmovingparty.
Id.
Apartyseekingsummaryjudgmentalwaysbearstheinitialresponsibilityofinformingthedistrictcourtofthebasisforitsmotion,andidentifyingthoseportionsof"thepleadings,depositions,answerstointerrogatories,andadmissionsonfile,togetherwiththeaffidavits,ifany"whichitbelievesdemonstratestheabsenceofagenuineissueofmaterialfact.
Celotex
v.
Cattrett,
477U.S.317(1986)."Toprovethatnogenuinefactualissuesexist,themovantmustpresentafactualscenariowithoutany'unexplainedgaps.'"(11Moore'sFederalPractice3D,§56.13[1]referringto
Adickes
v.
S.H.Kress
&
Co.,
398U.S.144,158(1970)).
11
AccordingtoStar,forpurposesofthislitigation,theonlymaterialdifferencebetweenclaim41ofthe'401patentandtheassertedclaimsofthe'649patentisthatclaim41islimitedto"Virginiafluetobacco"andtheotherclaimsarenotsolimited.
-3-

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