We've written a lot on the developing case law in Delaware around willfulness and motions to dismiss. Willfulness requires knowledge of the infringement, and some of our judges have dismissed willfulness claims because the filing of a complaint for patent infringement cannot serve as the basis of knowledge of infringement.
Today, Judge Andrews followed that case law, and dismissed a willfulness claim in an amended complaint, stating that the original complaint cannot serve as a basis for establishing knowledge:
iFIT also alleges that Peloton knew of the '407 patent as of the filing of its original complaint. . . . I think this is irrelevant. My view is that an amended complaint cannot rely upon the …
If you only occasionally practice in the district, you might be unaware of an old standing order on the procedure for objecting to R&R's. The unimaginatively titled "October 9, 2013 Standing Order for Objections Filed Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 72" contains requirements for filing objections that do not appear in either the local rules or FRCP 72.
Most of these requirements are simple logistical matters -- the length and timing of briefs, requiring courtesy copies, etc. A recent ruling from Judge Connolly, however, shows the imprtance of following these requirements precisely.
The defendant in In Personal Audio LLC v. Google LLC, C.A. No. 17-1751-CFC-CJB, D.I. 715 (D. Del. Jan 21, 2022) had lost a …
After completing all planned December jury trials uninterrupted by COVID-19, the January docket became lighter after the Court continued several trial dates to later this year due to COVID-19 concerns. One of these continued trials, a patent case, was rescheduled to February; the Court also has three other jury trials on the calendar for next month.
In December, the Court reauthorized the use of video and telephone conferencing pursuant to the CARES Act. Relatedly, Governor Carney reinstituted a mask mandate, requiring individuals in Delaware to wear masks while in public spaces, with select exceptions.
Review of December Jury Trials
In our November update, we identified five upcoming December jury trials. Three proceeded as …
In a brief order issued last week, Judge Andrews denied a plaintiff's request that the defendant be ordered to re-produce tens of thousands of redacted documents from its production in unredacted form. According to the order, the defendant had produced 24000+ documents with redactions. The parties had agreed, via the protective order, that confidential information irrelevant to the case at hand or information not otherwise discoverable could be redacted.
Nonetheless, plaintiff argued that the defendant's "voluntary production of the fully-redacted documents inherently admits that they contain responsive material … Something underneath these full-document redactions must be responsive, or [defendant] would not have produced the documents."
In reliance on a sworn declaration from defendant's attorney and his own review of a sampling of the redacted documents, Judge Andrews concluded that there was no basis on which to find the redactions were inappropriate:
After reviewing the unredacted version of Plaintiffs’ Exhibit A, I have concluded that [defendant's] justifications for its redactions to Exhibit A – that the first document pertained to a different product and that the second document and the redacted portions of the third document are covered by the work product doctrine and attorney-client privilege – are sound. [Plaintiff] has given me no reason to doubt that a review of the remaining redacted documents would produce similar results and no reason to question the trustworthiness of Mr. Barry’s sworn declaration.
Notably, defendant's counsel Mr. Barry stated in his declaration that he had "personally reviewed" all of the redacted documents and had identified 39 that were erroneously redacted. It appears that the declaration went some way to reassuring Judge Andrews that the redactions were not overdone. ...
Bay Materials, LLC v. 3M Company, C.A. No. 21-1610-RGA (D. Del.) is a competitor patent infringement case where a smaller company is trying to prevent a larger competitor—3M—from allegedly copying its "flagship product," a "multilayer polymer sheet material" called "Zendura™ FLX."
The plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction immediately upon filing the case, and the parties filed a stipulation agreeing to a discovery and briefing schedule. The parties disputed whether the defendant should be able to take an FRCP 30(b)(6) deposition of the plaintiff as part of the preliminary injunction discovery.
Defendant sought the 15-topic FRCP 30(b)(6) deposition to prevent plaintiffs' witnesses from "claim[ing] a lack of knowledge about relevant topics." Plaintiff argued that the notice was …
Following Judge Stark's nomination to the Federal Circuit and subsequent smooth appearance before the Judiciary Committee, we've all begun to wonder when he would begin unloading his pending cases.
Well wonder no more!
On Tuesday, Judge Stark issued the following oral order in 360Heros, Inc. v. GoPro, Inc., C.A. No. 17-1302-LPS, D.I. 260 (D. Del. Jan. 18, 2022):
Having reviewed the parties' letter relating to the jury trial currently scheduled to begin on March 7 . . . IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the trial is CONTINUED to a date to be determined. The parties are advised that in advance of trial, likely sometime in February, …
As discussed in a previous post, Judge Noreika now requires that Markman briefing occur after the exchange of final infringement and invalidity contentions. But the Judge's oral orders setting forth that requirement did not expressly anchor the Markman process or the contention deadlines to any other dates in the overall schedule.
As we pointed out in our last post, it would make sense to set those deadlines late in the fact discovery period: "Although this order encourages parties to exchange claim construction positions 'early in the case,' it seems likely that parties will propose later Markman deadlines in addition to earlier final contention deadlines, to ensure that sufficient fact discovery has occurred to create meaningful final contentions."
Judge Noreika recently offered additional guidance along these lines regarding the relative timing of contentions, fact discovery, and claim construction...
Judge Burke issued an R&R today on two things we don't see very often: a successful motion for judgment on the pleadings, and preemption of state law claims by federal patent law.
The case, Bear Box LLC v. Lancium LLC, C.A. No. 21-534-MN-CJB (D. Del.), involves a patent on more-energy-efficient cryptocurrency mining systems. One of the plaintiffs claims to have met one of the defendants at a conference and, later, confidentially disclosed his ideas for improved cryptocurrency mining. Then, he says, the defendants patented his ideas.
According to the Court, plaintiffs brought two correction-of-inventorship claims, plus three state law claims:
Conversion ("theft of inventions")
Unjust enrichment (claiming inventorship of plaintiff's invention) …
There are certain situations that come up over and over in patent cases. One of them is that a plaintiff will bring identical infringement suits against multiple defendants, and one of those defendants will then file an IPR or CBM proceeding before the patent office attacking the validity of the patents.
Under the America Invents Act, the filing party and any real party in interest are subject to estoppel. But unrelated defendants are not. The filing party will often move to stay the district court litigation. Generally speaking, parties with an instituted IPR or CBM review of all patents-in-suit often have pretty good chances of getting a stay.
This blog is for general informational purposes. It is not an offer to perform legal services, and should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. Nothing in this blog should be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, please consult counsel in your jurisdiction.