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CA, Inc. v. Appdynamics, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 8, 2015

CA, INC., d/b/a CA TECHNOLOGIES, Plaintiff,
v.
APPDYNAMICS, INC., Defendant.

DECISION AND ORDER

WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, District Judge.

Plaintiff CA, Inc. ("Plaintiff") brought this patent infringement action against AppDynamics, Inc. ("Defendant") on April 10, 2013 on the basis of two different types of patents held by the Plaintiff. Both types of patents at issue in this dispute relate to application performance management ("APM") technology, which monitors the performance of applications for irregularities and stalls. Presently before the Court are the parties' five separate Daubert motions. Plaintiff moves to exclude the testimony of Mr. Emmet J. Murtha and Dr. Charles Knutson. Defendant moves to exclude the testimony of Dr. Stephen L. Becker, Dr. Michael C. Brogioli, and Dr. Paul R. Dorsey. On the basis of the law and facts as set forth below, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs two Daubert motions, and DENIES Defendant's three Daubert motions. All five named experts will be permitted to testify at trial.

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY

The Court assumes familiarity with the facts of this action and with the three patents-in-suit, including U.S. Patent No. 7, 225, 361 and U.S. Patent No. 7, 797, 580 (collectively, the "Stall Patents"). See generally CA, Inc. v. AppDynamics, Inc., 13-CV-2111, 2014 WL 2805115, at *1-2 (E.D.N.Y. June 20, 2014) (Kuntz, J.). Only a brief summary of the procedural history of the parties' Daubert motions will be recounted here.

On March 5, 2015, Plaintiff requested a Daubert hearing regarding (1) the opinions of Emmet J. Murtha on damages and Plaintiffs proposed royalty rates, and (2) the opinions of Dr. Charles Knutson on obviousness and value of the Stall Patents. Dkt. 136 ("Motion to Exclude Knutson"); Dkt. 140 ("Motion to Exclude Murtha"). On March 6, 2015, Defendant requested a Daubert hearing regarding (I) the opinions of Dr. Stephen L. Becker on royalty rates and damages, (2) the opinions of Dr. Michael C. Brogioli on Defendant's.NET agent, and (3) the opinions of Dr. Paul R. Dorsey on the benefits of the Stall Patents. Dkt. 145 ("Defendant's Daubert Motions"). The Court held a Daubert hearing on April 7, 2015 at which the parties presented their arguments regarding the testimony of Mr. Murtha and Dr. Becker. For the other three motions, the parties rested on their papers.

The Court will address the Plaintiffs two Daubert motions first, before turning to the Defendant's three Daubert motions.

LEGAL STANDARD

"The legal framework for admission of expert testimony is provided by the Federal Rules of Evidence [702 and 703], along with [ Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993)] and its progeny." Apple Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., 757 F.3d 1286, 1313-14 (Fed Cir. 2014) (citations omitted). The Court's "gatekeeping obligation" applies "to all expert testimony." Id. at 1314 (citations omitted).

Federal Rule of Evidence 702, as amended in 2011, states that:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

The Supreme Court has stated that Rule 702 requires district courts to act as gatekeepers to assure that all expert testimony is both reliable and relevant. Daubert, 509 U.S. at 589. The proponent of the expert testimony bears the burden of establishing the admissibility of such testimony under the Daubert framework by a preponderance of the evidence. Id. at 592 n. 10. Daubert lays out four general criteria for determining the validity of an expert's methodology: (1) whether the theory has been or can be tested or falsified; (2) whether the theory or technique has been subject to peer review and publication; (3) whether there are known or potential rates of error with regards to specific techniques; and (4) whether the theory or approach has general acceptance. Id. at 593-94. These guidelines are not to be construed as a "definitive checklist, " 509 U.S. at 593, and the applicability of any one factor will depend "upon the particular circumstances of the particular case at issue." Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 150 (1999).

Further, as the Federal Circuit has explained, "[w]hen the methodology is sound, and the evidence relied upon sufficiently related to the case at hand, disputes about the degree of relevance or accuracy (above this minimum threshold) may go to the testimony's weight, but not its admissibility." i4i Ltd. P'ship v. Microsoft Corp., 598 F.3d 831, 852 (Fed Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). "That the gatekeeping role of the judge is limited to excluding testimony based on unreliable principles and methods is particularly essential in the context of patent damages... [Q]uestions regarding which facts are most relevant or reliable to calculating a reasonable royalty are for the jury." Apple Inc., 757 F.3d at 1315 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Ultimately, "[a] judge must be cautious not to overstep its gatekeeping role and weigh facts, evaluate ...


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