Sunday, April 26, 2020

Each party loses in Verinata v. Ariosa

The outcome was that each party lost its appeal:

We conclude that substantial evidence supports the district court’s denial of Ariosa’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on
noninfringement and invalidity. We also conclude that the
district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Verinata and Illumina’s motion for a permanent injunction,
supplemental damages, an accounting, and pre-judgment
interest. We affirm.

Of the law of JMOL:

We review denials of JMOL under the law of the relevant regional circuit, in this case, the Ninth Circuit. A
TEN Int’l Co., Ltd. v. Uniclass Tech. Co., Ltd., 932 F.3d
1364, 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2019). The Ninth Circuit reviews a
denial of JMOL de novo. Harper v. City of Los Angeles, 533
F.3d 1010, 1021 (9th Cir. 2008). JMOL is proper when the
evidence permits only one reasonable conclusion that itself
is contrary to the jury’s verdict.
Id. But the jury’s verdict
must be upheld if it is supported by substantial evidence.
Id. Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.” TVIIM, LLC v. McAfee, Inc., 851 F.3d 1356,
1362 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (citation and quotation omitted).

Of interest:

Ariosa appeals the district court’s holding of assignor
estoppel—that Ariosa is barred from challenging the validity of the ’794 patent because Drs. Stuelpnagel and Oliphant are inventors of the ’794 patent, they assigned their
rights to the patent to Illumina, and they are in privity
with Ariosa. See Verinata Health, Inc. v. Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., 329 F. Supp. 3d 1070, 1113-18 (N.D. Cal. 2018).
Despite its finding of assignor estoppel, the district court
analyzed anticipation of the ’794 patent and found it invalid. Because we affirm the jury verdict of no invalidity, we
need not reach the issue of assignor estoppel.

Of expert witnesses:

Ariosa’s arguments are unavailing. Ariosa asks this
court to reweigh the credibility of the parties’ respective expert witnesses. This court does not engage in fact finding,
nor does it weigh the credibility of expert testimony. See
Impax Labs. Inc. v. Lannett Holdings Inc., 893 F.3d 1372,
1382 (Fed. Cir. 2018). Our task is to review whether the
jury’s verdict is supported by substantial evidence.
Here, the jury heard conflicting expert testimony on
whether Straus discloses a single universal primer. The
jury was free to adopt Dr. Cooper’s testimony over that of
Dr. Cantor’s in concluding that Straus did not disclose a
single universal primer. See i4i Ltd. P’ship v. Microsoft
Corp., 598 F.3d 831, 848 (Fed. Cir. 2010), aff’d, 564 U.S. 91
(2011). We conclude that the jury verdict on invalidity is
supported by substantial evidence.


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