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Eko Brands, Inc. v. Adrian Rivera Maynez Enterprises Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

November 14, 2017

EKO BRANDS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ADRIAN RIVERA MAYNEZ ENTERPRISES, INC., and ADRIAN RIVERA, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          A Robert S. Lasnik, United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on “Adrian Rivera Maynez Enterprises, Inc. and Adrian Rivera's Motion for Summary Judgment.” Dkt. # 76. Defendants seek a determination that claims 8, 9, 12-14 of U.S. Patent No. 8, 707, 855 (“the ‘855 patent) are invalid because they are anticipated by prior art under 35 U.S.C. § 102 and/or because they were obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. Defendants also seek a declaration that its products do not infringe the ‘855 patent because they do not satisfy the “fluidly isolated” or beverage brewing limitations of the asserted claims.

         After this motion was fully briefed, the Court stayed the litigation while the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) considered many of the same issues that were then pending before the undersigned, in particular the validity of claims 8, 9, and 12-14 of the ‘855 patent. The PTO completed its reexamination, cancelling claims 9, 12, and 13 and amending claim 8 to incorporate the limitations of claim 9. Claim 14 was not reexamined. In ruling on this motion, the Court has considered the memoranda, declarations, and exhibits submitted by the parties as well as the PTO's decision and the arguments presented in the Joint Status Report (Dkt. # 147). The parties' requests for oral argument (Dkt. # 76 at 1 and Dkt. # 85 at 1) and for permission to file supplemental memoranda regarding invalidity (Dkt. # 147 at 2 and 4) are denied.

         A. Invalidity

         Defendant requests a declaration of invalidity because the asserted claims of the ‘855 patent were anticipated by the ‘320 patent and/or are obvious in light of the ‘320 patent in combination with an application published at ¶ 2013/0017303 (“Vu” or “the ‘303 application”). A claimed invention is “anticipated” under 35 U.S.C. § 102 when it is not new. “Invalidation on this ground requires that every element and limitation of the claim was previously described in a single prior art reference, either expressly or inherently, so as to place a person of ordinary skill in possession of the invention.” Sanofi-Synthelabo v. Apotex, Inc., 550 F.3d 1075, 1082 (Fed. Cir. 2008). The Patent Act also withholds protection from an invention if “the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains.” 35 U.S.C. § 103(a). Because there is a presumption that patents are valid, the party asserting obviousness must show “by clear and convincing evidence that a skilled artisan would have been motivated to combine the teachings of the prior art references to achieve the claimed invention, and that the skilled artisan would have had a reasonable expectation of success in doing so.” Pfizer, Inc. v. Apotex, Inc., 480 F.3d 1348, 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2007). The clear and convincing standard applies to all attempts to overcome the presumption that a patent is valid. Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Ltd. P'ship, 564 U.S. 91, 97 (2011).

         1. Amended Claim 8

         Claim 8 of the ‘855 patent, as amended by the PTO, reads:

8. A beverage brewing device or use with a single serve beverage brewer having a brewing holster, an inlet probe for dispensing water, the inlet probe moveable between a non-brewing position and a brewing position, and an outlet probe extending upwardly into the brewing holster for outleting a brewed beverage, the beverage brewing device comprising:
(a) a body removably receivable within a brewing holster of a single serve beverage brewer, the body having at least one substantially vertical sidewall, a top opening, and a bottom surface intersecting the at least one substantially vertical sidewall, wherein the at lest one substantially vertical sidewall and the bottom surface of the body define a brew chamber configured to contain a dry beverage medium;
(b) at least one outlet probe receptacle defined in the body and extending from the bottom surface of the body and into the brew chamber such that the at least one outlet probe receptacle is configured to receive an outlet probe of the single serve beverage brewer when the body is received within the brewing holster, wherein the at least one outlet probe receptacle is fluidly isolated from the brew chamber to prevent the outlet probe from penetrating the brew chamber, thereby preventing fluid from exiting the brew chamber through the outlet probe;
(c) a lid removably securable to the body, the lid engageable with the body to selectively enclose a top opening of the body;
(d) an inlet probe opening defined in the lid, the inlet probe opening configured to receive an inlet probe of the single serve beverage brewer in a brewing position for placing the inlet probe into fluid communication with the brew chamber; and
(e) at least one filter defined within the body, the at least one filter configured to retain the dry beverage medium within the brew chamber while allowing the brewed beverage to exit the brew chamber,
wherein the first and second outlet probe receptacles are defined in the body and extend from the bottom surface of the body into the brew chamber, and wherein the first and second outlet probe receptacles are positioned ...

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