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SmartGene, Inc. v. Advanced Biological Laboratories, SA

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 3, 2013

SMARTGENE, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ADVANCED BIOLOGICAL LABORATORIES, SA, et al., Defendants.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Frederick N. Samuels, Maurice Ulman Cahn, Cahn & Samuels, LLP, Washington, DC, for Plaintiff.

Alisa Anne Lipski, Edward W. Goldstein, Goldstein, Faucett & Prebeg, LLP, Houston, TX, Robert Howard Epstein, Epstein & Gerken, Rockville, MD, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BERYL A. HOWELL, District Judge.

Defendants Advanced Biological Laboratories, SA and ABL Patent Licensing Technologies, SARL (collectively " ABL" ) have filed a Motion for Reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), see ECF No. 67, requesting that this Court reconsider its Order granting summary judgment of patent invalidity in favor of Plaintiff SmartGene, Inc. For the reasons explained below, the three grounds proffered by the defendants for reconsideration are unavailing, and the motion is denied.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND[1]

Plaintiff SmartGene, Inc., a North Carolina corporation, brought this lawsuit against defendant Advanced Biological Laboratories, SA, a company with its principal place of business in Luxembourg, seeking declaratory judgment as to the invalidity, unenforceability, and SmartGene's non-infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,081,786 (the " 786 patent" ) and U.S. Patent No. 6,188,988 B1 (the " 988 patent" ) (collectively, the " patents-in-suit" ). See First Am. Compl. for Declaratory Judgment (" Am. Compl." ), ECF No. 4. After prolonged litigation, including a consensual stay of proceedings of two and a half years, see Order, ECF No. 19 (dated February 3, 2009), granting plaintiff's unopposed motion to stay, SmartGene filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, contending that the " patents-in-suit are facially invalid as directed to non-statutory subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101." Pl.'s Mot. for Part. Summ. J. of Invalidity Under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (" Pl.'s Mot. for Part. Summ. J." ), ECF No. 47. [2]

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This Court granted the plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, finding that " the defendants' Patent Nos. 6,081,786 and 6,188,988 B1 constitute ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101, and are therefore invalid." SmartGene, Inc. v. Advanced Biological Labs., SA, 852 F.Supp.2d 42, 66 (D.D.C.2012).

Following the Court's decision, the defendants moved for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), and submitted in support of that motion over 1500 pages of declarations and exhibits, including materials not previously provided to the Court for consideration. See Defs.' Mot. for Reconsideration Under F.R.C.P. 59(e) (" Defs.' Mot." ), ECF No. 67. The plaintiff SmartGene, Inc. opposes the defendants' Motion for Reconsideration, see Pl.'s Opp'n to Defs.' Mot. for Reconsideration Under F.R.C.P. 59(e) ( " Pl.'s Opp'n" ), ECF No. 69, and has moved to strike the declarations and exhibits attached to the defendants' Motion for Reconsideration, see Pl.'s Mot. to Strike the Declarations and Certain Exhibits Attached to Defs.' Mot. for Reconsideration (" Pl.'s Mot. to Strike" ), ECF No. 68. Both the defendants' Motion for Reconsideration and the plaintiff's Motion to Strike are now pending before the Court.[3]

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

" ‘ A Rule 59(e) motion is discretionary and need not be granted unless the district court finds that there is an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.’ " Messina v. Krakower, 439 F.3d 755, 758 (D.C.Cir.2006) (quoting Firestone v. Firestone, 76 F.3d 1205, 1208 (D.C.Cir.1996)). A motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) is " ‘ not simply an opportunity to reargue facts and theories upon which a court has already ruled.’ " Fresh Kist Produce, LLC v. Choi Corp., 251 F.Supp.2d 138, 140 (D.D.C.2003) (quoting New York v. United States, 880 F.Supp. 37, 38 (D.D.C.1995)). Moreover, " the reconsideration and amendment of a previous order is an unusual measure." Swedish Am. Hosp. v. Sebelius, 845 F.Supp.2d 245, 250 (D.D.C.2012); see also Jung v. Ass'n of Am. Med. Colls., 184 Fed.Appx. 9, 13 (D.C.Cir.2006) (noting " the high standard for relief under Rule 59(e)" ); Niedermeier v. Office of Max S. Baucus, 153 F.Supp.2d 23, 28 (D.D.C.2001) (" Motions under [Rule 59(e) ] are disfavored and relief from judgment is granted only when the moving party establishes extraordinary circumstances." ). " Rule 59 was not intended to allow a second bite at the apple." Oceana, Inc. v. Evans, 389 F.Supp.2d 4, 8 (D.D.C.2005). " In addressing the claims of a party on a motion for reconsideration, the Court is free to expand upon or clarify the reasons supporting its prior ruling." Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Kappos, 891 F.Supp.2d 135, 138 (D.D.C.2012).

III. DISCUSSION

The defendants argue that reconsideration of this Court's Order granting summary judgment for Plaintiff SmartGene, Inc. " ...


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