United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
M. BRINKEMA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are post-judgment motions filed by both pro se
plaintiff William Michael Frederick Taylor
("Taylor" or "plaintiff) and the Director of
the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("defendant"
or "USPTO"). Plaintiff has filed three identical
Motions for Reconsideration ("Pl.'s Mot"), Case
No. 1:15-cv-1607, [Dkt. No. 107]; Case No. 1:15-cv-1684,
[Dkt. No. 106]; Case No. 1:16-cv-12, [Dkt. No. 99], in which
he argues that the Court's decision to grant
defendant's motions for summary judgment should be
reconsidered. In addition to opposing plaintiffs motions,
defendant has filed three identical Motions for Expenses
("Def.'s Mot."), Case No. 1:15-cv-1607, [Dkt.
No. 103]; Case No. 1:15-cv-1684, [Dkt. No. 100]; Case No.
1:16-cv-12, [Dkt. No. 95],  seeking to recover the reasonable
"expenses of the proceedings" the USPTO incurred in
this litigation, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 145. All
motions have been fully briefed and oral argument would not
aid the decisional process. Because nothing in plaintiffs
motions convinces the Court that it erred in its decision,
his motions for reconsideration will be denied, and because
the expenses requested by the USPTO are reasonable and
authorized under § 145, its motions will be granted.
procedural and factual background of these civil actions has
been fully recounted in the Court's Memorandum Opinion.
See Taylor v. Matal Nos. 15-cv-1607; 15-cv-1684;
16-cv-12, 2017 WL 3446532, at *2-4 (E.D. Va. Aug. 10, 2017)
(hereinafter "Mem. Op."). In brief, plaintiff filed
three civil actions against defendant under 35 U.S.C. §
145 seeking a de novo review of three patent
applications that had been denied by the USPTO. See Case No.
1:15-cv-l 607; Case No. l:15-cv-1684; Case No. 1:16-cv-12. On
August 10, 2017, after discovery and full briefing by both
parties, the Court entered summary judgment in favor of
defendant in all three actions, finding that the evidence
"overwhelmingly demonstrate[d] that plaintiff was not in
possession of the claimed invention as of the 1993 priority
date." See Mem. Op. at *29.
Motion for Reconsideration
Standard of Review
motion to reconsider is usually brought under Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure 59 or 60. Motions to alter or amend final
judgments under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) may be granted if
necessary "(1) to accommodate an intervening change in
controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence not
available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of law or
prevent manifest injustice." Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am.
Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th
Cir.1998) (citations omitted). The power to grant or deny a
motion under Rule 59(e) is discretionary, and "[i]n
general reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an
extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly."
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted); see
Robinson v. Wix Filtration Corp., 599 F.3d 403, 411 (4th
Rule 60(b) provides, in relevant part, that a court may
relieve a party or its legal representative from a final
judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1)
mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2)
newly-discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence,
could not have been discovered in time to move for a new
trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called
intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by
an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment
that has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based
on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or
applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any
other reason that justifies relief.
movant under Rule 60(b) must also "demonstrate the
existence of a meritorious claim or defense" to the
action. Square Constr. Co. v. Wash. Metro. Area Transit
Auth., 657 F.2d 68, 71 (4th Cir. 1981). A motion for
reconsideration is "not authorized when it is nothing
more than a request for the district court to change its
mind." Lee X v. Casey, 771 F.Supp. 725, 728
(E.D. Va. 1991).
primary argument is that the Court "overlooked"
evidence establishing that he possessed his inventions as of
the 1993 priority date by misunderstanding his diagrams and
the evidence of his expert. Pl.'s Mot. at 2. As an
initial matter, plaintiff raised many of these allegations in
the summary judgment pleadings. See, e.g., Mem. Op.
at * 16, 18, 26. His arguments essentially boil down to
disagreement with the Court's conclusions, which is not a
proper basis upon which to reconsider a previous decision,
see United States v. Williams, 674 F.2d 310, 312
(4th Cir. 1982) ("Rule 60(b) does not authorize a motion
merely for reconsideration of a legal issue."); however,
out of deference to plaintiffs pro se status, the Court will
consider his arguments.
invention to be patent-eligible, the patentee must
"demonstrate that [he] is in possession of the invention
claimed." Zoltek Corp. v. United States, 815
F.3d 1302, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2016). "A mere wish or plan
for obtaining the claimed invention does not satisfy the
written description requirement." Novozymes A/S v.
Dupont Nutrition Biosciences APS, 723 F.3d 1336, 1344
(Fed. Cir. 2013).
motions, plaintiff claims that Figures 2 and 3 of his patent
applications "have been overlooked, " Pl.'s
Mot. at 3, and that his "original diagram" has been
misunderstood, Id. at 5. He disputes the Court's
description of his diagram as a "one-page, hand-drawn
sketch, " arguing that it shows "micromodal use [of
his invention] with orientation, time of day, date and
personal preferences ... with wireless connection to
theoretical Internet sites." Pl.'s Reply at 4 [Dkt.
No. 113]. This argument is unpersuasive. The Memorandum
Opinion included a full discussion of both Figures 2 and 3
which were actually reproduced in the opinion and reviewed
with reference to the patent specification. See Mem. Op. at
*3, 18. Regardless of the characterization of his
"original diagram, " visual representations of the
desired output of the invention, without more, are
insufficient to demonstrate that plaintiff was in possession
of the invention as of the claimed priority date. As
explained in the Memorandum Opinion, "the question is
not whether plaintiff had started work by 1992 but whether
he had finished it by May 1993, the priority date on