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Frac Shack Inc. v. Fuel Automation Station, LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 16, 2019

FRAC SHACK INC., Plaintiff,
v.
FUEL AUTOMATION STATION, LLC, and ATLAS OIL COMPANY, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Scott T. Varholak United States Magistrate Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Partial Motion for Summary Judgment of Infringement (the “Motion”) [#118]. The parties have consented to proceed before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for all proceedings, including entry of a final judgment. [##20, 34] This Court has carefully considered the Motion and related briefing, the entire case file, and the applicable case law, and has determined that oral argument would not materially assist in the disposition of the instant Motion. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES the Motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         According to the Amended Complaint, [1] Frac Shack, Inc. (“Frac Shack”) “provides modular solutions for fuel delivery that reduce significantly the health, safety and environmental risks associated with fueling operations during hydraulic fracturing.” [#30 at ¶ 10] Frac Shack is the owner of United States Patent No. 9, 346, 662 (the “‘662 Patent”), which was issued on May 24, 2016. [Id. at ¶ 9] The Preamble describes the ‘662 Patent as “[a] fuel delivery system for fuel delivery to multiple pieces of equipment at a work site.” [#1-1 at 10] The Summary of the ‘662 Patent states that “[a] fuel delivery system and method is presented for reducing the likelihood that a fuel tank of equipment at a well site during fracturing of a well will run out of fuel.” [Id. at 7]

         Frac Shack alleges that Defendant Atlas Oil Company (“Atlas”) has been using modular solutions for refueling during hydraulic fracturing operations in the United States. [#30 at ¶ 12] Frac Shack alleges that one of these solutions, the Atlas Fuel Automation Station (“FAS”), infringes Claims 1-4 and 7-12 of the ‘662 Patent. [Id. at ¶¶ 12-13] Defendant Fuel Automation Station, LLC (“Fuel Automation”) leases the Atlas FAS to Atlas. [Id. at ¶ 12]

         In three prior Orders, this Court construed certain terms of the ‘662 Patent. [##92, 99, 124] At issue in the instant Motion is Claim One of the ‘662 Patent. Claim One claims as follows:

A fuel delivery system for fuel delivery to multiple pieces of equipment at a work site, comprising:
a fuel source comprising one or more manifolds, the one or more manifolds being connectable to a fuel supply;
each manifold of the one or more manifolds having multiple fuel outlets, each fuel outlet of the multiple fuel outlets having a hose connection;
plural hoses, each hose having a first end and a second end and being connected at the first end of the hose to a corresponding one of the multiple fuel outlets having a fuel delivery connection at the second end of the hose for securing the second end of the hose to a corresponding one of the multiple pieces of equipment to which fuel is to be delivered;
an electrically operable valve responsive to electronic control signals on each fuel outlet;
a sensor associated with each combination of fuel outlet, hose and fuel delivery connection, each sensor being configured to detect a low fuel condition associated with each of the multiple pieces of equipment to which fuel is to be delivered;
a controller responsive to signals supplied from each sensor through respective communication channels, the controller being configured to provide control signals to open and close the respective electrically operable valves; and
in which the controller is responsive to the detection of the low fuel condition, to display an indication of the low fuel condition or to open at least one of the electrically operable valves for each of the multiple pieces of ...

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