United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Richard A. Jones United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendant A.Hak Industrial
Services US, LLC's (“A.Hak”) Motion for
Summary Judgment Based on Collateral Estoppel (Dkt. # 226)
and Motion to Compel (Dkt. # 215). Having considered the
submissions of the parties, the relevant portions of the
record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that oral
argument is unnecessary. For the reasons that follow, the
Court GRANTS A.Hak's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Dkt. # 226) and DENIES as moot
A.Hak's Motion to Compel (Dkt. # 215).
owns U.S. Pat. No. 7, 542, 874 (the “‘874
Patent”), entitled “2D and 3D Display System and
Method for Furnace tube Inspection.” Dkt. # 227-1 at
2-23 (Phillips Decl. Ex. A). As noted in the Court's
previous order, Dkt. # 81, Quest provides inspection services
for oil refinery “furnace tubes, ” which are
serpentine tubes that wrap around a refinery furnace. Furnace
tubes contain petroleum products heated to high temperatures
during the refining process. Refineries must periodically
clean furnace tubes, and inspect them after cleaning. Quest
(like others in the industry) uses “pigs, ” which
are devices that travel along the inside of furnace tubes, to
inspect the tubes. The ‘874 Patent covers methods of
displaying the data compiled from furnace pigs in a way that
allows technicians to identify the location of defects or
other problems in the furnace tubes.
December 15, 2014, Quest filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Delaware against A.Hak and two
other entities, Clean Harbors Industrial Services, Inc.
(“Clean Harbors”) and Cokebusters USA, Inc.
(“Cokebusters”) (collectively, the
“Delaware Defendants”). Quest Integrity USA,
LLC v. A.Hak Industrial Services US, LLC, et al., Nos.
C14-1481-SLR, C14-1482-SLR, C14-1483-SLR, Dkt. # 1 (D. Del.
Dec. 15, 2014). Quest alleged that these entities had
infringed the ‘874 Patent. Shortly thereafter, Quest
voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against A.Hak.
Id., No. C14-1481-SLR, Dkt. # 24. According to
Quest, it withdrew the action after learning that A.Hak
planned to contest jurisdiction. Dkt. # 228 at 3. On December
29, 2014, Quest refiled its action against A.Hak in this
Court. Dkt. # 1. In response to Quest's claim of patent
infringement, A.Hak and the Delaware Defendants asserted that
the ‘874 Patent is invalid.
28, 2016, the Honorable Sue L. Robinson of the United States
District Court for the District of Delaware issued an order
setting forth the court's findings on claim construction.
See Quest Integrity USA, LLC v. Clean Harbors Indus.
Servs., Inc., No. 14-1482-SLR, 2016 WL 3548145, at *1
(D. Del. June 28, 2016).
following year, Judge Robinson issued two decisions, which
together invalidated claims 1, 11-13, 24-25, 27-28, 30, 33,
37, and 40 of the ‘874 Patent and granted summary
judgment in the Delaware Defendants' favor. See Quest
Integrity USA, LLC v. Clean Harbors Indus. Servs., Inc.,
__ F.Supp.3d __, No. C14-1482-SLR, C14-1483-SLR, 2017 WL
1155381 (D. Del. Mar. 28, 2017); Quest Integrity USA, LLC
v. Clean Harbors Indus. Servs., Inc., No. C14-1482-SLR,
C14-1483-SLR, 2017 WL 1365227, at *1 (D. Del. Apr. 7, 2017).
Judge Robinson invalidated the claims under the doctrine of
anticipation. As set forth in her March 28 order, Judge
Robinson found that Quest had engaged in two commercial
transactions with Orion Norco Refining (“Norco”)
that anticipated the patent claims such that the invention
asserted by Quest is not novel. Quest Integrity USA,
LLC, 2017 WL 1155381 at *7-9.
A.Hak moves for summary judgment on the grounds that
Quest's action in this Court is collaterally estopped by
Judge Robinson's findings of invalidity. Dkt. # 226.
Quest opposes the motion. Dkt. # 228.
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving
party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). On an issue where the
nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial, the
moving party can prevail by pointing out to the district
court that there is an absence of evidence to support the
non-moving party's case. Id. at 325. If the
moving party meets the initial burden, the opposing party
must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue of fact for trial in order to defeat the motion.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250
(1986). The court must view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable
inferences in that party's favor. Reeves v. Sanderson
Plumbing Prods., 530 U.S. 133, 150-51 (2000).
initial matter, the Court takes judicial notice of the
decisions issued by Judge Robinson in the District of
Delaware. Under Federal Rule of Evidence 201, the Court make
take judicial notice of any fact “not subject to
reasonable dispute because it . . . can be accurately and
readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot
reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b)(2).
Courts “may take notice of proceedings in other courts,
both within and without the federal judicial system, if those
proceedings have a direct relation to matters at
issue.” Bias v. Moynihan,508 F.3d 1212, 1215
(9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bennett v. Medtronic, Inc.,285 F.3d 801, 803 n. ...