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Prism Technologies, LLC v. Sprint Spectrum L.P.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

June 8, 2015



LYLE E. STROM, Senior District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on two related motions. First, defendant Sprint Spectrum L.P., doing business as Sprint PCS ("Sprint") moves for summary judgment against plaintiff Prism Technologies, L.L.C. ("Prism") on the basis Sprint did not infringe upon Prism's patents (Filing No. 268). Second, Prism moves (Filing No. 323) to strike agreements raised in Sprint's reply brief (Filing No. 308). After review of the motions, briefs, submitted evidence, and relevant law, the Court finds as follows.



Originally, Prism alleged infringement of three asserted patents (Filing No. 1). Ultimately, Prism narrowed the scope of this action to two patents: U.S. Patent No. 8, 127, 345 ("Patent 345") and U.S. Patent No. 8, 387, 155 ("Patent 155") (Filing No. 1; Filing No. 270, 2). Prism dropped its third asserted patent, U.S. Patent 7, 290, 288 ("Patent 288"), from this action (Id. ).

The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") issued Patent 345, entitled "METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MANAGING ACCESS TO PROTECTED COMPUTER RESOURCES VIA AN INTERNET PROTOCOL NETWORK, " on February 28, 2012, from an application filed October 30, 2007 (Filing No. 1-6, at 1). Patent 345 is allegedly a continuation of Patent 288, entitled "METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING ACCESS, BY AN AUTHENTICATION SERVER, TO PROTECTED COMPUTER RESOURCES PROVIDED VIA AN INTERNET PROTOCOL NETWORK" and filed on August 29, 2002 (Id. ).

The PTO issued Patent 155, entitled "SYSTEM FOR MANAGING ACCESS TO PROTECTED COMPUTER RESOURCES, " on February 26, 2013, from an application filed November 11, 2010, with the PTO. Prism contends that the Patent 155 application was a continuation of the Patent 345 application.

At issue in this case are Asserted Claims in Patents 155 and 345 (Filing No. 390, at 3-4). The following are the Asserted Claims in Patent 345: 1, 33, and 57 (Id. at 4). The following are the Asserted Claims in Patent 155: 7, 11, 37, 56, and 76 (Id. at 3).


On April 4, 2012, Prism filed complaints against Sprint and various other cellular phone providers in separate actions, alleging direct infringement, indirect contributory infringement, and indirect inducement of infringement of Patents 345 and 155 (Filing No. 1; see also Prism v. A&T Mobility, 8:12CV122; Prism v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 8:12CV124; Prism v. United States Cellular Corp., d/b/a U.S. Cellular, 8:12CV125; Prism v. Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless, 8:12CV126). The complaint was amended September 21, 2012 (Filing No. 36) and March 1, 2013 (Filing No. 84). On April 23, 2013, the parties submitted a Joint Claim Construction Statement and the Court conducted a Markman hearing on July 2, 2013 (Filing No. 108, Filing No. 128). The Court issued its Markman order on July 30, 2013, accepting jointly stipulated terms and construing disputed terms (Filing No. 133).

In the instant motion, Sprint moves for summary judgment on the ground that it did not infringe upon the Asserted Claims because access to Sprint's networks is only allowed after authenticating the identity of the subscriber - not the phone (Filing No. 270).


A motion for summary judgment shall be granted by the Court "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A "material" fact is one that "might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, " and a genuine issue of material fact exists when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). On a motion for summary judgment, facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a genuine dispute as to those facts. Wood v. SatCom Marketing, LLC, 705 F.3d 823, 828 (8th Cir. 2013).

The moving party bears the burden to establish that no genuine issue of material fact exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157 (1970). If the moving party does not meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied even if no affidavits or other evidence have been submitted in opposition to the motion. See id. at 159-60. After the moving party has met its burden, "the non-moving party may not rest on the allegations of his pleadings, but must set forth specific facts, by affidavit or other ...

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