In the patent lawsuit between ParkerVision (NASDAQ:PRKR) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Judge Dalton issued his ruling on ParkerVision's motion(s) for partial summary judgment. ParkerVision lost on all significant issues in dispute, winning summary judgment only on some defenses that Qualcomm was no longer asserting. (For a fairly complete analysis of the recent motions made by both sides and more background, please see my previous article Recent Motions For Summary Judgment By ParkerVision And....)
The key ruling was on ParkerVision's motion of Summary Judgment of No Invalidity due to Anticipation and Obviousness. ParkerVision argued that Qualcomm's expert witness (Behzad Rehzavi) failed to offer any evidence that the prior art met the generating limitation of the asserted claims of the '551, '518 and '371 patents. Judge Dalton ruled against ParkerVision, and even commented at length on ParkerVision's attempt to modify the terms as defined by the court's Markman ruling, going so far as to comment that
"Qualcomm has the better argument. First, the Court adopted ParkerVision's claim construction position that the generating limitation was clear enough that it need not be defined. ParkerVision cannot adopt a new position now. If, as ParkerVision now contends, the generating limitation is restricted to those devices and methods that discharge the transferred energy from a storage device, then it is not apparent to the Court why ParkerVision opposed the majority of Qualcomm's proposed claim constructions, which attempted to limited the scope of the claims to methods and devices that used storage devices such as capacitors."
Of course, there was a good reason that ParkerVision opposed Qualcomm's proposed claim constructions, as there was clearly no infringement under Qualcomm's claim definitions. ParkerVision is attempting to have it both ways, with one claim construction set for infringement and another, inconsistent, set for prior art. The judge ruled against this idea, and commented negatively on ParkerVision's inconsistency in the arguments in favor of the motion.
Also, the judge ruled for Qualcomm on both Enablement and Indefiniteness, and denied ParkerVision's motions. The result is that Qualcomm will be allowed to argue both at trial.
The judge's ruling on Typographical Errors is very interesting. ParkerVision asked for summary judgment on Qualcomm's counterclaim that claims 4 and 7 of the '845 patent are indefinite because they contain typographical errors. ParkerVision proposed fixes to the equations and Qualcomm opposed, saying the proposed fixes are not clear from the face of the patent and that the proposed fixes would introduce additional errors.
The judge went far beyond denying the motion by ParkerVision, and actively granted a motion in favor of Qualcomm that Qualcomm had not even asked for! This seems somewhat unusual to me, and possibly signals a major change in the attitude of the judge towards the two parties.
The remaining ruling was on some miscellaneous counterclaims by Qualcomm. Qualcomm argued that as they were no longer asserting these counterclaims, so the motion was moot. As Qualcomm presented no evidence in favor of the counterclaims, the judge granted the motion for summary judgment. It has no effect, since Qualcomm was dropping the claims from the case anyway.
The judge still has to rule on Qualcomm's motion(s) for summary judgment, and on both parties' Daubert motions. I will publish updated analysis as the rulings come out. If the judge rules against ParkerVision in some of these pending motions, it would reduce any potential damages to quite low numbers in the event that any infringement of valid patents is found.
I believe that this current ruling is a major setback for ParkerVision, as there is a huge amount of prior art invalidating the asserted patents. ParkerVision needed a "Hail Mary" motion in order to prevent this prior art from being shown to the jury and they didn't get it.
Additional disclosure: I am long a small amount of QCOM.