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Adjustacam, LLC v. Newegg, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

July 5, 2017

ADJUSTACAM, LLC, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
NEWEGG, INC., NEWEGG.COM, INC., ROSEWILL, INC., Defendants-Appellants SAKAR INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendant

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in No. 6:10-cv-00329-JRG, Judge J. Rodney Gilstrap.

          John J. Edmonds, Collins, Edmonds, Pogorzelski, Schlather & Tower PLLC, Houston, TX, argued for plaintiff-appellee. Also represented by Shea Neal Palavan, Stephen F. Schlather.

          Mark A. Lemley, Durie Tangri LLP, San Francisco, CA, argued for defendants-appellants. Also represented by Kent E. Baldauf, Jr., Daniel H. Brean, Bryan P. Clark, The Webb Law Firm, Pittsburgh, PA; Richard Gregory Frenkel, Latham & Watkins LLP, Menlo Park, CA.

          Before Reyna, Mayer, and Hughes, Circuit Judges.

          Reyna, Circuit Judge.

         AdjustaCam sued Newegg and dozens of other defendants for patent infringement. Although AdjustaCam voluntarily dismissed most defendants early in the litigation, it continued to litigate against Newegg, including through a Markman order and extended expert discovery. Just before summary judgment briefing, AdjustaCam voluntarily dismissed its infringement claims against Newegg with prejudice. Newegg then filed a motion for attorneys' fees. The district court denied Newegg's motion, and Newegg appealed to this court. We remanded to the district court in light of intervening Supreme Court precedent. On remand, the district court again denied Newegg's motion for fees. Newegg then filed this appeal. Because the district court erred in denying Newegg's motion, we reverse.

         Background

         A. The '343 Patent

         AdjustaCam, LLC is the exclusive licensee of U.S. Patent No. 5, 855, 343 ("'343 patent"), which issued in 1999 and is entitled "Camera Clip." The '343 patent discloses a camera clip that supports a camera both on a flat surface and when attached to a computer monitor. The '343 patent includes a figure of the camera clip:

         (Image Omitted)

         J.A. 164. Claim 1 of the '343 patent provides:

1. Apparatus for supporting a camera, having a lens, on any generally horizontal, substantially planar surface and on an object having a first surface and a second surface and an edge intersecting the first surface and the second surface, comprising:
a. a hinge member adapted to be rotatably attached to the camera, said camera, when the hinge member is so attached, rotating, about a first axis of rotation, relative to said hinge member; and
b. a support frame rotatably attached to said hinge member and configured to support said hinge member on the surface and the object, said hinge member rotating about a second axis of rotation relative to said support frame, said first axis of rotation being generally perpendicular to said second axis of rotation, said second axis of rotation being substantially parallel to the first surface when said hinge member is supported on the object, said support frame having a first disposition positioned on said generally horizontal, substantially planar surface, and said support frame having a second disposition attached to the object when said first surface and said second surface are inclined from a generally horizontal orientation, the camera being maintained adjacent said edge in said second disposition of said support frame.

         J.A. 169-170 (col. 6 l. 49-col. 7 l. 6) (relevant terms emphasized).

         B. Newegg's Accused Products

         Unlike the invention disclosed in the '343 patent, Newegg's accused products use a ball-and-socket joint, which facilitates rotation about multiple axes. See J.A. 6. In its original order denying Newegg's motion for fees, the district court noted that "the products do not have a pure ball-and-socket joint but rather a modified ball-and-socket joint with a channel that restricts movement." Id. Thus, although Newegg's products are constrained in some movements, they still ...


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