Judge Sue L. Robinson: Defendants’ Motions for JMOL GRANTED.

Plaintiff SRI International (“SRI”) brought a patent infringement action against defendants Symantec Corporation (“Symantec”) and Internet Security Systems, Inc. (“ISS”) related to four patents. After issuing its claim construction opinion in October, 2006, the Court held that each of SRI’s patents were invalidated as anticipated by certain prior art. See Sri International, Inc. v. Internet Security Systems, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 04-1199-SLR, at 1 (D. Del. Aug. 20, 2009) (discussing procedural history). On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Court’s decision as to one of the patents but vacated and remanded for trial as to the remaining three patents. Id. After a trial in September, 2008, the jury found that Symantec and ISS infringed each claim of two of SRI’s patents. Id. at 12. Among other post-trial motions, both Symantec and ISS filed motions for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) as to the jury’s infringement verdicts.

Pursuant to its JMOL motion, Symantec argued that a finding of “induced infringement was not supported by substantial evidence because plaintiff presented no direct evidence that either Symantec or its customers actually employed the infringing combination of SGS and Manager Products [both Symantec Products].” Id. at 14 (emphasis added). At trial, SRI relied on circumstantial evidence to prove that the Symantec products in question were designed to work together, that the SGS products monitor enterprise networks, and Symantec encouraged and instructed customers to use the products together. Id. at 15-16. SRI argued that this circumstantial evidence was enough for the jury to conclude that the products were in fact used together. Id. at 16. Despite SRI’s urging otherwise, the Court noted that “[w]hile it is true that circumstantial evidence may be used to demonstrate direct infringement, the evidence must still indicate that infringement actually occurred.” Id. at 16-17. “[B]ecause both the SGS and Manager Products have non-infringing uses (i.e., the combination does not ‘necessarily infringe’ the patents), plaintiff was obligated to identify specific instances of direct infringement involving these products.” Id. at 18. Granting Symantec’s motion for JMOL as to the combination of the SGS and Manager Products, the Court found that SRI’s circumstantial evidence “[did] not compel the conclusion that infringement necessarily occurred.” Id. at 20.

Pursuant to its JMOL motion on direct infringement, ISS argued that SRI “presented no evidence that ISS itself actually deployed or used the accused products in an infringing manner.” Id. at 24. SRI, on the other hand, argued that direct infringement was supported by evidence that ISS demonstrated in training courses and video presentations the accused products’ infringing uses. Id. at 25. However, testimony at trial indicated that the demonstrations could be based off the accused product or could be artificially created for demonstrative purposes. Id. at 26-27. No testimony was introduced at trial positively showing that ISS used an infringing system during the demonstrations. Id. at 27. “On this record, a reasonable jury could not have found direct infringement by ISS by a preponderance of the evidence.” Id. The Court also granted ISS’s JMOL motion as to induced infringement because SRI did not identify any specific instances of infringement by ISS customers. Id. at 30.

Sri International, Inc. v. Internet Security Systems, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 04-1199-SLR (D. Del. Aug. 20, 2009)

%d bloggers like this: