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Inc. v. Actiontec Elecs., Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. New York

March 24, 2015

Wi3, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ACTIONTEC ELECTRONICS, INC., Defendant

Page 187

For Wi3, Inc., Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Ashley E. LaValley, PRO HAC VICE, Timothy J. Haller, Niro, Haller & Niro, Chicago, IL.

For Actiontec Electronics, Inc., Defendant: Nicola Anthony Pisano, LEAD ATTORNEY, Foley & Lardner LLP, San Diego, CA; Scott Richard Kaspar, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Foley & Lardner LLP - Chicago, Chicago, IL.

For Actiontec Electronics, Inc., Counter Claimant: Nicola Anthony Pisano, LEAD ATTORNEY, Foley & Lardner LLP, San Diego, CA.

Page 188

DECISION AND ORDER

ELIZABETH A. WOLFORD, United States District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This case was commenced by Plaintiff Wi3, Inc. (" Plaintiff" ) on June 11, 2014. (Dkt. 1). Plaintiff alleges that it owns United States Patent No. 6,108,331 (the " '331 Patent" ). Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Actiontec Electronics, Inc. (" Defendant" ) manufactures and sells products that infringe at least four claims of the '331 Patent.

Defendant has moved the Court for summary judgment on the basis that its accused products do not infringe the asserted claims of the '331 Patent either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. (Dkt. 33). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is denied.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed its complaint on June 11, 2014, alleging that it owns the '331 Patent, entitled " Single Medium Wiring Scheme for Multiple Signal Distribution in Building and Access Port Therefor" and issued on August 22, 2000. (Dkt. 1 at ¶ 1). The complaint alleges that Defendant manufactures and sells products known as " MoCA Network Adapters and/or Network Extenders," including specifically products with model numbers ECB2500C and WCB3000N. ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 10-11). Plaintiff alleges that these products infringe " at least claims 26, 27, 29 and 30 of the '331 Patent. . . ." ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 21-22). Claim 26 of the '331 Patent is an independent claim, while claims 27, 29, and 30 are dependent claims.

Defendant filed an answer to the complaint and two counterclaims on August 25, 2014. (Dkt. 13). On September 15, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss the counterclaims and to strike one of Defendant's affirmative defenses. (Dkt. 17). The Court entered a decision and order on November 11, 2014, granting Plaintiff's motion in part and denying it in part. (Dkt. 24). The Court referred the case to the Hon. Jonathan W. Feldman, United States Magistrate Judge, for the supervision of all pretrial matters excluding dispositive motions on November 25, 2014. (Dkt. 25). Judge Feldman granted Defendant leave to file an amended answer and counterclaims on December 3, 2014 (Dkt. 29), and Defendant filed its amended answer and amended counterclaims that same day (Dkt. 30). Plaintiff served an answer to the amended counterclaims on December 17, 2014. (Dkt. 32).

On December 23, 2014, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that its accused products do not infringe the asserted claims of the '331 Patent either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. (Dkt. 33). Defendant argues that its accused products are not " mounted in a communications box of a structure," a limitation found in independent claim 26 and incorporated into dependent claims 27, 29, and 30. (Dkt. 34). Plaintiff filed its opposition on January 30, 2015. (Dkt. 39). Plaintiff contests Defendant's proposed construction of the phrase " mounted in a communications box of a structure" and further argues that, at least, there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Defendant's accused products infringe the '331 Patent under the doctrine of equivalents. ( Id.). Defendant filed its reply on February 13, 2015. (Dkt. 42). Oral argument on the motion was held on March 6, 2015. (Dkt. 43).

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review


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