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Gatearm Technologies, Inc. v. Access Masters, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

May 23, 2018

Gatearm Technologies, Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
Access Masters, LLC, and Blacksky Technologies, Inc. Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Robert N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge.

         This matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes for a report and recommendation on the Plaintiff's motion to reopen, for an order to show cause why Defendants should not be held in contempt, and to enforce the consent judgment (Mot., ECF No. 59). On January 4, 2018, Judge Otazo-Reyes issued a report, recommending that the Court adopt the Defendants' claim construction. (R. & R., ECF No. 95.) The Plaintiff filed objections to the report (ECF No. 97), to which the Defendants responded (ECF No. 98). Having considered Judge Otazo-Reyes's report, the record in this case, and the relevant legal authorities, this Court adopts Judge Otazo-Reyes's report (ECF No. 95) for the reasons set forth below.

         1. Background

         This case involves claims of patent infringement of two patents (8, 845, 125 ('125 patent) and 9, 157, 200 ('200 patent)) for LED arms for vehicle and pedestrian traffic gates. (See Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 36.) The Plaintiff provides access control products, including LED gate arms, and is the owner of the '125 and '200 patents. Essentially, the Plaintiffs' gate arms feature small outer cavities on either side that serve as housings for strips of LED lights. The Defendant Access Masters, LLC (“Access Masters”) competes with the Plaintiff in the marketing and distribution of security products, including LED gate arms. The Defendants Blacksky Technologies, Inc. (“Blacksky”) and Gatearms.com distribute Access Masters products. The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants collectively infringed the '125 and '200 patents by manufacturing and selling a similar LED gate arm. The design at issue is depicted as follows in the '125 and '200 patents:

         (Image Omitted.)

         The Defendants' accused product, which the Plaintiff contends infringed its patents is pictured below:

         (Image Omitted.)

         The parties participated in mediation and settled this case in early 2016. (See ECF No. 52.) Following the parties' settlement, the Court entered a consent decree that permanently enjoins the Defendants from “manufacturing, advertising, marketing, distributing, selling, offering to sell, importing or exporting the accused ‘LED Arm for a Gate' or any vehicle barrier system with an illuminating gate arm that would infringe any valid and enforceable claim” of the '125 or '200 patents. (ECF No. 53.) Thus, the Court did not have an opportunity to engage in any substantive analysis of the patents, or otherwise determine whether an infringement occurred. After entry of the consent decree, the Court closed this case.

         Less than nine months later, the Plaintiff filed its motion to reopen, in which it contends that the Defendants are in contempt of the consent decree because they have released a new product that infringes upon the '125 and '200 patents, and therefore, violates the consent decree. The Defendants' new product appears below:

         (Image Omitted.)

         Judge Otazo-Reyes held a status conference on the Plaintiff's motion, during which the parties agreed that prior to determining the issue of contempt, the Court would have to determine the issue of infringement. (ECF No. 78.) Accordingly, Judge Otazo-Reyes set a Markman hearing. (Id.)[1]

         During the Markman hearing, Judge Otazo-Reyes heard argument regarding the claim terms that the parties dispute. The parties agreed with Judge Otazo-Reyes's assessment that only two particular phrases appearing in Claims 1, 2, and 3 of the '125 patent require construction-“first upper sidewall including a terminating end” and “first lower sidewall including a terminating end.”

         Ultimately, Judge Otazo-Reyes recommends that the Court adopt the Defendants' proposed claim construction. (See R. & R., ECF No. 95 at 9-10) because it is consistent with the “customary and ordinary meaning” standard applicable in patent claim construction. (Id. at 10.)

         The Plaintiff has filed objections to Judge Otazo-Reyes's report. (See Objs. to R. & R., ECF No. 97.)

         2. Legal Standard

         A. Objections to a report ...


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