By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in United Access Technologies, LLC v. Frontier Communications Corp., Civil Action No. 11-341-LPS (D.Del. September 30, 2016), the Court denied Defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings which argued that the doctrine of collateral estoppel barred Plaintiff’s claim for pre-suit damages in the patent infringement action. It is motion, Defendant relied on a prior decision in another action, Inline Connection Corp. v. Earthlink, Civil Action No. 02-00272-MPT (D.Del), where the court granted summary judgment on the grounds that Inline was not to entitled pre-suit damages after finding that Inline had an obligation to mark it products under 35 U.S.C. § 287(a), but had not marked them as of June 4, 2002, the date the Earthlink case was filed. Id. at *2. Defendant argued that the summary judgment ruling in Earthlink met all of the requirements for collateral estoppel to apply in the United Access action. Id. at *3.
The Court disagreed with Defendant’s argument and found that the issue decided in the Earthlink summary judgment order was not identical to the issue presented in the United Access action. Id. at *4. The Court noted that the cases involved two different time periods and, as a result, concluded that the issues were not identical and collateral estoppel did not apply. Id. at *5.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.