TREEHOUSE AVATAR LLC v. VALVE CORPORATION
- Nov 30 2022 |
- Category: CAFC Updates
Treehouse owns U.S. Patent 8,180,858, which discloses a method of collecting data from an information network in response to user choices of a plurality of users navigating character-enabled network sites on the network. Treehouse sued Valve for infringement of the ’858 Patent with infringement based on the operation of the accused video games. The parties adopted the interpretation of the character enabled (CE) limitation that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reached in a previous inter partes review, and as requested by the parties, the district court adopted the Board’s construction. Treehouse’s expert, however, submitted a report that applied the plain and ordinary meaning for the CE limitation rather than the agreed-upon construction. Valve filed a motion to strike portions of the expert’s testimony that relied on the plain and ordinary meaning of the term, as well as for summary judgment of noninfringement. The district court granted both motions, striking every paragraph of Mr. Friedman’s report that Valve requested and finding noninfringement because Treehouse failed to offer admissible evidence showing that Valve’s video games operated the CE limitation. Treehouse appeals. The CAFC finds that the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting Valve’s motion to strike because the grant of a motion to strike expert testimony is not improper when such testimony is based on a claim construction that is materially different from the construction adopted by the parties and the court. With respect to summary judgement of non-infringement, the CAFC finds that in the absence of Mr. Friedman’s testimony, Treehouse has not presented evidence that creates a genuine issue of material fact regarding infringement. Accordingly, the CAFC affirms.