United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division
SERVERSIDE GROUP LIMITED and SERVERSIDE GRAPHICS, INC., Plaintiffs,
TACTICAL 8 TECHNOLOGIES, L.L.C., and BANK IOWA CORPORATION, Defendants
For Serverside Group Limited, Serverside Graphics Inc, Plaintiffs: Charles T Steenburg, Hunter D Keeton, Michael A Albert, PRO HAC VICE, Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, PC, Boston, MA; Glenn L Johnson, Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Cedar Rapids, IA.
For Tactical 8 Technologies LLC, Bank Iowa Corporation, Defendants: Michael A Dee, LEAD ATTORNEY, Brant D Kahler, Brown, Winick, Graves, Gross, Baskerville & Schoenebaum, PLC, Des Moines, IA; G Brian Pingel, Brown, Winick, Graves, Gross, Baskerville and Schoenebaum, Des Moines, IA.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL RECONSIDERATION OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER
MARK W. BENNETT, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
This patent-infringement action, alleging infringement of two of the plaintiffs' patents, U.S. Patent No. 7,931,199 (the '199 patent) and U.S. Patent No. 7,946,490 (the '490 patent), both entitled " Computerized Card Production Equipment," is before me on the December 12, 2013, Motion For Partial Reconsideration Of Summary Judgment Order (docket no. 151) by plaintiffs Serverside Group Limited and Serverside Graphics, Inc., collectively " Serverside." Because trial in this matter is set to begin on January 21, 2014, I entered an Order (docket no. 152) on December 20, 2013, setting expedited briefing deadlines and telephonic oral arguments on Serverside's Motion For Partial Reconsideration. Defendants Tactical 8 Technologies, L.L.C., now known as Banno, L.L.C. (Banno), and Bank of Iowa Corporation (BIC), collectively " the Iowa Defendants," filed their Resistance (docket no. 155) on December 30, 2013, and Serverside filed its Reply (docket no. 162) on January 2, 2014. I heard telephonic oral arguments on the Motion on January 3, 2014. I have expedited my disposition of the Motion, as well.
Serverside seeks reconsideration of pages 64-66 and 75-77 of my December 9, 2013, Memorandum Opinion And Order Regarding Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Summary Judgment Ruling) (docket no. 144), Serverside Group Ltd. v. Tactical 8 Techs., L.L.C., 985 F.Supp.2d 900,, 2013 WL 6448824, *30-*31, *36-*37 (N.D. Iowa Dec. 9, 2013). In the first cited section of my Summary Judgment Ruling, I concluded that, as to the " secure unique identifier" of claim 1 of the '199 patent, " it is not the system that must be 'secure,' but the 'unique identifier' itself that must be 'secure'" ; that, as to the " uniqueness" requirement, the Iowa Defendants had pointed to evidence that there is a possibility, however small or remote, that two customers of the same financial institution could have the same first and last names and the same last four digits of their PANs, that Serverside had failed to generate a genuine issue of material fact that the Gramm--Leach Bliley Act Standards For Safeguarding Customer Information or pertinent regulations would preclude such an occurrence, or that such an occurrence is computationally impossible; and that, as a consequence, the Iowa Defendants were entitled to summary judgment of noninfringement of claim 1 of the '199 patent, because Serverside had not generated any genuine issue of material fact that there was any " secure" or " unique" identifier in Banno's accused Cre8MyCard system. Summary Judgment Ruling at 64-66, Serverside Group Ltd., 985 F.Supp.2d at
2013 WL 6448824 at *30-*31 (emphasis in the original).
In the second cited section of my Summary Judgment Ruling, I reached a similar conclusion that, as to the " encrypted customer information" limitation of the claims of the '490 patent, " it is not the system, but the 'customer identifier' itself that must 'encompass [ ] encrypted customer information,'" and that, as a consequence, the Iowa Defendants were entitled to summary judgment that they do not infringe claim 1 of the '490 patent, and all other patent claims of the '490 patent at issue, as a matter of law, because Serverside had failed to generate a genuine issue of material fact that the alleged " customer identifier" in the Cre8MyCard system " encompasses encrypted customer information." Id. at 75-77, Serverside Group Ltd., 985 F.Supp.2d at __, 2013 WL 6448824 at *36-*37.
I turn, first, to the questions of the authority and standards for reconsideration of these conclusions in my Summary Judgment Ruling. In Kirt v. Fashion Bug # 3252, Inc., 495 F.Supp.2d 957 (N.D. Iowa 2007), I addressed these questions, as follows:
This court has previously found that Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides authority for a court to reconsider any interlocutory order, including a prior ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Doctor John's, Inc. v. City of Sioux City, Iowa, 467 F.Supp.2d 925, 931 (N.D. Iowa 2006); Wells' Dairy, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois, 336 F.Supp.2d 906, 909 (N.D. Iowa 2004) (citing cases). Specifically, Rule 54(b) provides that, unless the court certifies the order for interlocutory appeal, " any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b) (emphasis added). Moreover, this court has repeatedly held that it has the inherent power to reconsider and revise any interlocutory order, such as a summary judgment ruling, up until the time that a final judgment is entered. Wells' Dairy, Inc., 336 F.Supp.2d at 909 (citing Kaydon Acquisition Corp. v. Custum Mfg., Inc., 317 F.Supp.2d 896, 903 (N.D. Iowa 2004); Helm Financial Corp. v. Iowa N. Ry. Co., 214 F.Supp.2d 934, 999 (N.D. Iowa 2002); and Longstreth v. Copple, 189 F.R.D. 401, 403 (N.D. Iowa 1999)).
This court has also noted, " The exact standard applicable to the granting of a motion under Rule 54(b) is not clear, though it is typically held to be less exacting than would be [applicable to] a motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), which is in turn less exacting than the standards enunciated in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)." Id. Although the standards for reconsideration of interlocutory orders may be less " exacting" than the standards for reconsideration of final orders under Rules 59(e) and 60(b), this court has nevertheless held that it should look to the general principles under Rules 59(e) and 60(b) for guidance when reconsidering a summary judgment ruling pursuant to Rule 54(b). Id. (citing Bragg v. Robertson, 183 F.R.D. 494, 496 (S.D. W.Va. 1998)). Under Rule 59(e), a judgment may be amended ...