United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
TOTAL REBUILD, INC.
PHC FLUID POWER, L.L.C.
B. WHITEHURST MAG. JUDGE.
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a patent infringement case in which Plaintiff Total Rebuild
(“Plaintiff”) contends systems and/or methods
utilized by or through Defendant PHC
(“Defendant”) infringe claims of United States
Patent No. 8, 146, 428 (“the '428 Patent”).
The '428 Patent is directed to systems and methods for
safely testing devices and components under high-pressure.
before the Court is Defendant's “Motion in
Limine to Preclude and Exclude Total Rebuild Inc.'s
Requests for Admission Numbers 10-14” [Doc. No. 293].
Plaintiff responded to the motion. [Doc. No. 323].
following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.
PERTINENT FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
November 2, 2017, Plaintiff served its First Set of Requests
for Admission on Defendant, which included Requests for
Admission Nos. 1-14. [Doc. No. 239-2]
(“Requests”).Defendant provided its responses on
December 4, 2017. [Doc. No. 293-3] (“Responses”).
The specific requests and responses at issue in this motion
are as follows:
No. 293-3 at 8-10].
first contends that the Requests and Responses are not
relevant to infringement. [Doc. No. 293-1 at 4-8]. For
example, Defendant argues that Request No. 10 does not
require the equipment to be inside the bunker, as required by
the claims. Id. at 5. Defendant further argues that
Request No. 10 refers only to “a housing or bunker,
” and the claims require “an explosion proof
safety housing.” Id. Defendant next argues
that the claims require “a sensor for sensing that said
access opening is closed, said sensor coupled to said bleed
valve to activate said bleed valve to prevent pressure
buildup in the high-pressure testing equipment if the access
opening is not closed, ” while Request No. 10 does not
require a sensor. Id. Finally, Defendant contends
that all the asserted method claims recite the steps of
“inserting a high-pressure device for testing within
said housing through said access panel, ” and
“operating said high-pressure pneumatics testing
equipment from said control panel for testing high-pressure
devices, ” and Request No. 10 has none of these
requirements. Id. at 6.
further argues that Request Nos. 11, 12, 13, and 14 are
irrelevant to infringement for all the same reasons that
Response to Request No. 10 is irrelevant to infringement.
Id. at 6-8. Defendant adds that Request No. 13 does
not exclude sensors that would only sound an alarm or
illuminate a siren if the access opening was opened, and is
broader than the function of the sensor of the asserted
claims. Id. at 7. Defendant argues that there is no
indication that the sensor was configured to “activate
said bleed valve to prevent pressure buildup, ” as is
required by the asserted claims. Id. Regarding
Request No. 14, Defendant contends that it does not require
any relationship between the sensor at the access opening and
the bleed valve, as required by the claims. Id. at
next argues that even if the Requests were relevant, they
should be precluded and excluded because their relevance
would be minimal and substantially outweighed by the danger
of unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, and misleading the
jury. Id. Defendant contends that the generalized
statements cannot fairly be applied to any specific system.
Id. Defendant argues that its Responses do not
suggest infringement because they do not show the presence of
every element or its equivalent in the accused systems.
Id. at 9.
responds that Defendant has not moved for withdrawal or
amendment of its answers as beyond the scope of permissible
discovery. [Doc. No. 323 at 1]. Plaintiff further contends
that Defendant's motion should be denied because the
admissions are related to elements of claims in the '428
Patent, and are highly relevant. Id. at 2-3.
Plaintiff argues that the '428 Patent is comprised of
claims with elements similar to the features in the Requests.
Id. at 3. According to Plaintiff, Defendant's
admissions to portions of those elements make it more
probable than it would be without the admissions that
Defendant infringes those elements. Id.
next argues that there is no danger that the jury will
misconstrue admissions of activity by Defendant as fully
dispositive of infringement of those claims. Id. at
4. Plaintiff contends that the jury will be instructed that
the admissions is only a piece of the puzzle that must be
completed in order to find infringement. Id. at 3.
Finally, Plaintiff argues ...