United States District Court, N.D. Georgia
For Pediatric Medical Devices, Inc., Plaintiff: Ann Grunewald Fort, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP-GA, Atlanta, GA; William L. Warren, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Atlanta, GA.
For Indiana Mills & Manufacturing, Inc., Defendant: Ann G. Schoen, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Barry M. Visconte, LEAD ATTORNEY, Frost Brown Todd-OH, Cincinnati, OH; Sumner Curtis Rosenberg, Ballard Spahr-Atl, Atlanta, GA.
For Indiana Mills & Manufacturing, Inc., Counter Claimant: Ann G. Schoen, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Frost Brown Todd-OH, Cincinnati, OH; Sumner Curtis Rosenberg, Ballard Spahr-Atl, Atlanta, GA.
For Pediatric Medical Devices, Inc., Counter Defendant: Ann Grunewald Fort, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP-GA, Atlanta, GA; William L. Warren, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Atlanta, GA.
Timothy C. Batten, Sr., United States District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on the May 24, 2013 motion  of Plaintiff Pediatric Medical Devices, Inc. (PMD) for partial reconsideration of the Court's April 26, 2013 claim-construction order , which construed ten disputed claim terms of the patent-in-suit, U.S. Patent No. 7,281,285 (" the '285 patent" ). PMD challenges the Court's construction of the term " said pediatric emergency transport device being operatively adapted for attachment to and detachment from a conventional stretcher" to mean " said pediatric emergency transport device designed and configured to attach to and detach from a conventional stretcher without the use of straps or belts." PMD argues that reconsideration is warranted because it did not have notice of the construction and that the construction is a clear error and would result in manifest injustice. According to PMD, the Court should delete the limitation that the device attach to and detach from the stretcher " without the use of straps or belts," or alternatively, modify the construction to clarify that " straps or belts" refers to only stretcher straps and not straps or belts that are affixed to the device.
On August 8, 2011, PMD filed this patent-infringement action, claiming that the " SafeGuard Transport" device manufactured by Defendant Indiana Mills & Manufacturing, Inc. (" IMMI" ) infringes the '285 patent, which PMD owns and which is directed to a device for the emergency
transport of pediatric patients that attaches to a conventional stretcher.
On April 4, 2012, pursuant to this Court's Local Patent Rules, the parties filed a joint claim-construction statement, identifying ten disputed terms.
On February 13, 2013, the Court held a Markman hearing at which the parties provided argument and evidence in support of their positions. At the hearing, the Court announced its constructions for eight of the ten disputed terms.
On April 26, the Court issued its claim-construction order, setting forth its reasoning for the constructions announced at the hearing as well as its analysis and construction of the two remaining disputed terms.
One of those remaining terms was the term at issue in the present motion: " said pediatric emergency transport device being operatively adapted for attachment to and detachment from a conventional stretcher." In the April 26 order, the Court explained that it had carefully reviewed the parties' arguments, the specification, and the prosecution history to reach its construction. Specifically, the Court found that considering the patentee's disavowals of straps and belts, the claim's requirement that the device be " operatively adapted for" attaching to and detaching from a stretcher, and the descriptions in the specification providing that the transport device engages with a stretcher as part of its design and operation, the term should be construed to mean " said pediatric emergency transport device designed and configured to attach to and detach from a conventional stretcher without the use of straps or belts."
A. Legal Standard
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not specifically authorize motions for reconsideration. Local Rule 7.2 provides that motions for reconsideration are not to be filed " as a matter of routine practice," but only when " absolutely necessary." LR 7.2(E), NDGa. A party may move for reconsideration only when at least one of the following three elements exists: (1) the discovery of new evidence; (2) an intervening development or change in the controlling law; or (3) the need to correct a clear error or manifest injustice. Preserve Endangered Areas of Cobb's History, Inc. v. United States Army Corps of Eng'rs, 916 F.Supp. 1557, 1560 (N.D. Ga. 1995).
Because reconsideration may occur only under those limited circumstances, a motion for reconsideration " is not an opportunity for the moving party . . . to instruct the court on how the court 'could have done it better' the first time." Id. In other words, a party " may not employ a motion for reconsideration as a vehicle to present new arguments or evidence that should have been raised earlier, introduce novel legal theories, or repackage familiar arguments to test whether the Court will change its mind." Brogdon ex rel. Cline v. Nat'l Healthcare Corp., 103 F.Supp.2d 1322, 1338 (N.D. Ga. 2000); see also Godby v. Electrolux Corp., Nos. 1:93-cv-0353-ODE, 1:93-cv-126-ODE, 1994 WL 470220, at *1 (N.D. Ga. May 25, 1994) (" A motion for reconsideration should not be used to reiterate arguments that have previously been made. . . . [It is an improper use of] the motion to reconsider to ask the Court to rethink what the Court has already thought through--rightly or wrongly." ) (citations omitted); In re Hollowell, 242 B.R. 541, 542-43 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 1999) (" Motions for reconsideration should not be used to relitigate issues already decided or as a substitute for appeal. Such motions also should not be used to raise arguments
which were or could have been raised before judgment was issued." ) ...