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RMH Tech LLC v. PMC Industries, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

January 8, 2018

RMH TECH LLC, a Colorado limited liability company, and METAL ROOF INNOVATIONS, LTD., Plaintiffs,
v.
PMC INDUSTRIES, INC., a Connecticut corporation, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER ON CLAIM CONSTRUCTION

          CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant PMC Industries, Inc.'s (“PMC”) Motion for Partial Reconsideration (Doc. # 74) of the Court's previous Order on Claim Construction (Doc. # 66). Because Defendant fails to allege extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration, the Court denies Defendant's Motion for Partial Reconsideration.

         I. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Court set forth the factual background to this case in its Order on Claim Construction. (Doc. # 66.) That document is incorporated by reference, and the facts explained therein need not be repeated here. The Court recounts only the facts necessary to address Defendant's Motion for Partial Reconsideration.

         Plaintiffs RMH Tech LLC (“RMH”) and Metal Roof Innovations, Ltd. (“MRI”) are the owner and licensee, respectively, of United States Patent No. 6, 470, 629 (the “‘629 Patent”), which describes and claims a mounting assembly for mounting a cross member to a standing metal roof. (Doc. # 1 at 3.) In the underlying action, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant infringed claims 15, 26, 20, and 35 of the ‘629 Patent. (Id. at 7- 9.) On January 25, 2017, Defendant filed its Amended Opening Claim Construction Brief (Doc. # 37), and the parties submitted their Amended Joint Dispute Claim Terms Chart (Doc. # 36). Nine claim terms were disputed. (Id.) Briefing on claim construction followed. (Doc. ## 38, 44.) On May 11, 2017, the Court held a Markman hearing, and the parties argued their proposed constructions. (Doc. # 52.) The parties subsequently submitted supplemental briefing at the Court's direction. (Doc. ## 53-55.)

         The Court issued its Order on Claim Construction on October 2, 2017. (Doc. # 66.) After detailing general principles of claim construction and the legal standard for construing “means-plus-function” claim limitations pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 112(f), the Court articulated its construction of each of the nine terms disputed in the claim construction briefs. (Id.) Only one disputed term is relevant to the matter now before the Court: “first and second means for detachably interconnecting said cross member with said second adaptor portion of said first and second mounting adaptors, respectively, ” see (Doc. # 74 at 1), which is found in claims 15, 16, and 20 of the ‘629 Patent, see (Doc. # 1-2). The Court adopted Plaintiffs' proposed construction of this phrase-“[f]irst and second surfaces of the second portion of each mounting adaptor that interface with substantially inverse surfaces of the cross member protrusion”- because Plaintiff's proposed construction “accurately captures the range of permissible structures as set forth by the text of the Patent.” (Doc. # 66 at 12-14.) Defendant's proposed construction, [1] by contrast, “improperly limits the claim to only the structure shown in Figures 1-3 of the Patent” and was thus inappropriate, the Court explained. (Id. at 13.)

         Defendant filed the instant Motion for Partial Reconsideration on October 27, 2017. (Doc. # 74.) Its motion contests the Court's construction of only the disputed term identified above: “first and second means for detachably interconnecting said cross member with said second adaptor portion of said first and second mounting adaptors, respectively.” (Id. at 1). Defendant asks the Court to either revise its construction of this phrase or withdraw its construction and decline to construe the phrase altogether. (Id.) Plaintiffs opposed Defendant's Motion for Partial Reconsideration on November 13, 2017 (Doc. # 75), and Defendant replied in support of its motion on November 27, 2017 (Doc. # 76).

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS FOR RECONSIDERATION

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not explicitly authorize a motion for reconsideration. However, the Rules allow a litigant who was subject to an adverse judgment to file a motion to change the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) or a motion seeking relief from the judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b). Van Skiver v. United States, 952 F.2d 1241, 1243 (10th Cir. 1991). In this case, Plaintiff moves for partial reconsideration under Rule 60(b). (Doc. # 74 at 2.)

         Relief under Rule 60(b) “is extraordinary and may only be granted in exceptional circumstances.” Bud Brooks Trucking, Inc. v. Bill Hodges Trucking Co., Inc., 909 F.2d 1437, 1440 (10th Cir. 1990). A litigant shows exceptional circumstances by satisfying one or more of Rule 60(b)'s six grounds for relief from judgment. Van Skiver, 952 F.2d at 1243-44. These six grounds are:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct ...

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