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Emcore Corp. v. Optium Corp.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


October 16, 2009

EMCORE CORPORATION, AND JDS UNIPHASE CORPORATION, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
OPTIUM CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Defendant, Optium Corporation ("Optium"), filed a Motion in Limine to Exclude the following evidence: 1) Evidence of purported damages for lost convoyed sales; 2) Evidence for damages for sales of QAMs prior to Plaintiffs' claims concerning QAMs; 3) Evidence of willful infringement; 4) Evidence of infringement concerning products not accused of infringement during discovery; and 5) Evidence of alleged lost sales by Emcore as a basis for lost profits. (Docket No. 124). In opposition, Plaintiffs, Emcore Corporation ("Emcore") and JDS Uniphase Corporation ("JDSU"), generally argue that the Motion should be denied because the arguments go to the weight of the evidence not the admissibility of the same. (Docket No. 142). I agree with Plaintiffs.

A motion in limine is not the proper procedural vehicle to raise these issues. A motion in limine is defined as "[a] pretrial motion requesting [the] court to prohibit opposing counsel from referring to or offering evidence on matters...prejudicial to the moving party," and the '[p]urpose of such motion is to avoid injection into trial of matters which are irrelevant, inadmissible, and prejudicial...." Black's Law Dictionary 1013 (6th ed. 1990). Otherwise stated, the purpose of a motion in limine is "narrow the evidentiary issues for trial and to eliminate unnecessary trial interruptions." Bradley v. Pittsburgh Bd. of Educ., 913 F.2d 1064, 1069 (3d Cir. 1990), citing In re Japanese Elec. Prod. Antitrust Lit., 723 F.2d 238, 260 (3d Cir. 1983), rev'd on other grounds sub nom., Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574 (1985). Optium's Motion does not involve evidentiary rulings, or any other type of issue usually considered on an in limine basis. Rather, this Motion resembles a motion for summary judgment. Bradley, 913 F.2d at 1069 ("[S]ummary judgment motion...is designed to eliminate a trial in cases where there are not genuine issues of fact...."). The time for filing Motions for Summary Judgment has long passed.

For example, Optium first raised the issue of lost convoyed sales in their Motion for Summary Judgment and I denied that motion finding that there remained a genuine issue of material fact. (Docket No. 256 at Case No. 6-1202). Optium believes it has additional evidence that "demonstrates that there is no longer a genuine dispute[d] matter of fact. (Docket No. 127, p. 2). Again, this is a matter for summary judgment, not a motion in limine.

Optium's third argument concerning willful infringement asserts that Plaintiffs' evidence regarding the same is "limited." (Docket No. 127, pp. 9-12). Again, this argument goes to weight and is not proper for an in limine motion.

Optium requests that I rule that Plaintiffs may not recover damages with respect to QAMs prior to February 23, 2007. (Docket No. 127, pp. 5-6). Plaintiffs do not dispute that they are not entitled to collect damages for the infringement of the '374 Patent prior to February 23, 2007. (Docket No. 142, p. 4). Thus, this request is denied as moot.*fn1

Also, with regard to Optium's fourth argument, that evidence of infringement concerning products not accused should be excluded (Docket No. 127, pp. 12-14), Plaintiffs state that they "have no intention of proffering evidence in this lawsuit that Optium's Second Generation XMOD infringes the patents in suit and seeking damages for that infringement."*fn2 Consequently, this argument is denied as moot.

The fifth argument regarding lost sales by Emcore hinges on the argument that Emcore is not an exclusive licensee. (Docket No. 127, pp. 14-15). I have already determined via Optium's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Docket No. 111), that Emcore is an exclusive licensee. Therefore, this argument is denied as moot.

Consequently, the Motion in Limine is denied.

THEREFORE, this 16th day of October, 2009, it is ordered that Defendant's Motion in Limine (Docket No. 124) is denied.

Donetta W. Ambrose U.S. District Judge


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