Richards Layton & Finger
 

Judge Jordan Denies Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law

November 13, 2017

In Parallel Networks Licensing, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., C.A. No. 13-2073-KAJ (D. Del. Sept. 26, 2017), Circuit Judge Kent A. Jordan, sitting by designation, denied Parallel Networks LLC’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law of infringement and motion for a new trial. At trial, the Court granted Parallel’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on invalidity (the defendant, Microsoft Corp., had not presented the defense), and the jury returned a verdict of non-infringement.

In support of its renewed JMOL, Parallel argued that Microsoft’s non-infringement theory regarding a particular limitation relied on an incorrect construction. Because the Court did not agree that Microsoft’s non-infringement theory was inconsistent with the Court’s construction, the motion was denied. Because the failure to prove that the accused product practiced any limitation would suffice to support a non-infringement verdict, Judge Jordan did not address Parallel’s arguments regarding two other limitations.

Judge Jordan also denied Parallel’s request for a new trial, finding Parallel’s arguments to be a recast of its JMOL arguments and otherwise lacking support in the record. In particular, the Court concluded that Microsoft’s reference at trial to its own patents and inventions was not improper, as these were evidence of Microsoft’s accused system and used to rebut willfulness; nor did the Court find that Microsoft used this evidence to confuse the infringement and invalidity analyses.

Key Point: In denying the plaintiff’s renewed JMOL, the Court regarded the plaintiff’s decision to argue that the defendant relied at trial on an improper claim construction as a concession that sufficient evidence supported the verdict.