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Sociedad Espanola de Electromedicina Y Calidad, S.A. v. Blue Ridge X-Ray Co., Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

September 22, 2014

SOCIEDAD ESPANOLA de ELECTROMEDICINA Y CALIDAD, S.A., Plaintiff,
v.
BLUE RIDGE X-RAY COMPANY, INC., DRGEM USA, INC. and DRGEM CORPORATION, Defendants

Decided September 20, 2014.

For Sociedad Espanola De Electromedicina Y Calidad, S.A., Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Larry Stephen McDevitt, LEAD ATTORNEY, David Matthew Wilkerson, Van Winkle Buck Wall Starnes & Davis PA, Asheville, NC; Bradley F. Rademaker, PRO HAC VICE, Neal Gerber & Eisenberg, Chicago, IL; Mike R. Turner, PRO HAC VICE, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Blue Ridge X-Ray Company, Inc., DRGEM USA, Inc., DRGEM CORP., a Korea Corporation, Defendants, Counter Claimants: Brady James Fulton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Northup, McConnell & Sizemore, Asheville, NC; Isaac Noyes Northup, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Northup & McConnell, PLLC, Asheville, NC.

Page 382

MEMORANDUM ORDER AND OPINION

Martin Reidinger, United States District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on the parties' cross motions for summary judgment. [Docs. 86; 91].

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This is an action for patent infringement brought by Sociedad Espanola de Electromedicina Y Calidad, S.A. (Sedecal) against Blue Ridge X-Ray Company, Inc. (Blue Ridge X-Ray), Drgem USA, Inc. (Drgem USA), and Drgem Corporation (Drgem Corp.).[1] [Doc. 1].

Sedecal is a Spanish corporation which designs and sells X-ray and digital radiography equipment for use in the medical industry. [Doc. 49 at 3]. The First Amended Complaint alleges one claim for patent infringement based on Patent No. 6,642,829 (the '829 Patent), a patent for a high voltage transformer owned by Sedecal

Page 383

pursuant to assignment from the inventor, a Sedecal employee. [Doc. 21 at 4].

Drgem USA is a Florida corporation and a subsidiary of Drgem Corp., a South Korean corporation. [Id. at 2]. Drgem Corp. is alleged to have manufactured, sold, and exported for sale X-ray generator products which infringe one or more claims of the '829 Patent. [Id.]. Drgem USA is alleged to have infringed the patent by selling these allegedly infringing Drgem products to Blue Ridge X-Ray. [Id. at 4-5].

Blue Ridge X-Ray is a North Carolina corporation doing business in Arden, North Carolina, which sells X-ray and digital radiography equipment, including Sedecal and Drgem products. [Id.]. Blue Ridge X-Ray is alleged to have infringed the '829 Patent by selling and importing for sale the allegedly infringing Drgem products. [Id. at 4].

For relief, Sedecal seeks a declaration of infringement, injunctive relief against further infringement, and damages. [Id. at 6-7]. Sedecal's sole claim is pursuant to the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § § 1, et seq. [Id.]. There are no state law claims or licensing issues. [Id.].

In their Answer and Counterclaims, the Defendants have raised the affirmative defenses of patent invalidity and failure to mark the products with the patent, thus depriving the Plaintiff of any right to damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 287. [Doc. 27]. They also counterclaimed for a declaration of non-infringement and invalidity. [Id.].

The parties proceeded in accord with all stages of the Amended Utility Patent Claim Construction Scheduling Order. [Doc. 37]. A Markman[2] hearing was conducted on February 21, 2012 [Doc. 58] and the Court entered a Claim Construction Order thereafter on August 15, 2013. [Doc. 62].

The Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment seeking an " Order granting summary judgment in defendants' favor on plaintiff's claim of patent infringement and on defendants' counterclaim for declaratory judgment of noninfringement." [Doc. 86 at 1]. Plaintiff, too, has filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue of the validity of the '829 patent. [Doc. 91 at 2].

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The parties have submitted cross-motions for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Summary judgment is proper " if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is " material" if it " might affect the outcome of the case." N& O Pub. Co. v. RDU Airport Auth.,597 F.3d 570, 576 (4th Cir. 2010). A " genuine dispute" exists " if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Upon review of the record before the Court, the Court concludes that the issues are adequately presented therein, and that no genuine ...


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