Network Appliance Inc. v. Sun Microsystems Inc, No. 3:2007cv06053 - Document 183 (N.D. Cal. 2008)

Court Description: ORDER Regarding 167 Network Appliance Inc.'s Motion for Leave to File Motion for Reconsideration or, in the Alternative, for Entry of Final Judgment by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte (hlk, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/22/2008)
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Network Appliance Inc. v. Sun Microsystems Inc Doc. 183 1 2 3 4 5 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 NETWORK APPLIANCE INC, Plaintiff, 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 No. C-07-06053 EDL ORDER REGARDING NETWORK APPLIANCE INC’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, FOR ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT v. SUN MICROSYSTEMS INC, Defendant. / 13 14 NetApp has moved for leave to file a motion for reconsideration of this Court’s September 15 10, 2008 Order Construing Claims with respect to the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,200,715 and the 16 term “incore root inode” in U.S. Patent No. 6,892,211. In the alternative, NetApp moves for entry of 17 final judgment as to the ‘715 patent pursuant to Rule 54(b). 18 Leave to File Motion for Reconsideration 19 Under Local Rule 7-9, a party moving for leave to file a motion for reconsideration must 20 specifically show: (1) that at the time of the motion for leave, a material difference in fact or law 21 exists from that which was presented to the Court before entry of the interlocutory order for which 22 reconsideration is sought. The party also must show that in the exercise of reasonable diligence the 23 party applying for reconsideration did not know such fact or law at the time of the interlocutory 24 order; or (2) the emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such 25 order; or (3) a manifest failure by the Court to consider material facts or dispositive legal arguments 26 which were presented to the Court before such interlocutory order. While NetApp argues that it met 27 the third requirement, the Court disagrees. 28 Dockets.Justia.com 1 NetApp contends that the Court failed to consider material facts or dispositive legal 2 arguments, but NetApp either failed to timely raise these arguments before the Court’s claim 3 construction ruling, or attempts to reargue points that the Court has already considered and rejected. 4 With respect to the Court’s conclusion that the claim terms “associating the data blocks with one or 5 more storage blocks across the plurality of stripes as an association” and “the association to 6 associate the data blocks with one or more storage blocks across the plurality of stripes” render the 7 claims of the ‘715 patent indefinite, the Court applied the standard for indefiniteness set forth in 8 Exxon Research and Eng’g Co. v. U.S., 265 F.3d 1371, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2001). See Order 9 Construing Claims 54-58. The Court considered NetApp’s claim construction arguments and the United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 opinions of its expert, Dr. Ganger. Id. at 56. NetApp’s disagreement with the Court’s conclusion is 11 not grounds for reconsideration. 12 NetApp also raises new arguments and presents new evidence on the ‘715 patent that were 13 not previously argued or presented to the Court. See Homrig Decl. Exs. A and B. NetApp has 14 failed to make the showing required under Local Rule 7-9 for leave to file a motion for 15 reconsideration. This Local Rule is designed to promote the just, speedy and inexpensive (or, at 16 least, less expensive) determination of every action, as required by Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of 17 Civil Procedure. It would be unworkably burdensome, inefficient and unfair for the Court to hear 18 new arguments that could have been made prior to its rulings. Further, a legal argument and 19 supporting evidence purportedly important enough to warrant reconsideration should not be 20 relegated to a footnote in an opposition brief in an attempt to preserve the contention that the Court 21 manifestly failed to consider facts or argument. See NetApp Resp. Br. at 32 n.11 (docket no. 114). 22 Cf. SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Apotex Corp., 439 F.3d 1312, 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (“arguments 23 raised in footnotes [in opening appellate briefs] are not preserved”). NetApp’s motion for leave to 24 file a motion for reconsideration is DENIED as to the ‘715 patent. 25 With respect to the term “incore root inode” of the ‘211 patent, however, the parties did not 26 propose a separate construction for this term, which the Court construed when it became apparent 27 that was necessary to differentiate between incore and on-disk root inodes. Order Construing 28 Claims 60. Out of an abundance of caution, the Court is willing to consider whether this term 2 1 requires additional clarification and allow the parties to address this limited issue. The parties shall 2 meet and confer on whether the construction of the term “incore root inode” of the ‘211 patent needs 3 fine tuning, and file a joint letter within two weeks of the date of this order. 4 Entry of Final Judgment 5 Alternatively, NetApp moves for entry of final judgment with respect to the ‘715 patent 6 pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court must determine (1) 7 whether there is a final judgment, and (2) whether there is any just reason for delay. Curtiss-Wright 8 Corp. v. General Elec. Co., 446 U.S. 1, 7-8. Rule 54(b) certification is left to the sound discretion of 9 the district court: “Not all final judgments on individual claims should be immediately appealable, United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 even if they are in some sense separable from the remaining unresolved claims.” Id. at 8. Rule 11 54(b) certification resulting in piecemeal appeals is inappropriate in cases that should be given 12 unitary review. See Intergraph Corp. v. Intel Corp., 253 F.3d 695, 699 (Fed. Cir. 2001). Here, the 13 ‘715 patent is one of twenty patents in suit. The Court is tentatively inclined not to advance the 14 entry of final judgment on the ‘715 patent, thereby allowing multiple appeals. If NetApp wishes to 15 raise this issue, however, it may file a motion to be heard on a normal schedule. 16 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 22, 2008 ELIZABETH D. LAPORTE United States Magistrate Judge 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3