A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Most summary judgment motions in patent cases are denied. That's one reason Judge Connolly issued a standing order earlier this year requiring that parties rank their summary judgment motions and explaining that in most cases he will not consider a party's summary judgment motion if he has previously denied a summary judgment motion by that party.

Judge Connolly noted that "the complexity, voluminous record, competing expert testimony, and scorched-earth lawyering in the typical patent case make it almost inevitable that a disputed material fact will preclude summary judgment." Nonetheless, he expressed hope "that an effectively managed summary judgment practice can bring about efficiencies and cost savings."

A few days ago, in Chromadex, Inc. v. Elysium Health, Inc., C.A. No. 18-1434-CFC, Judge Connolly granted a motion for summary judgment of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 101, just weeks before trial...

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Jay Wennington, Unsplash

There's rarely enough pages to include everything you want to in a brief. Asking for more pages can also be rather fraught, and its difficult to convincingly explain why your case is more complicated -- i.e. more deserving of the court's limited time -- than any of the other complex and high-dollar cases moving through the district.

Because of this, it can be especially galling to leave pages on the table. This can happen, for instance, when briefing motions in limine before judge Noreika, whose standard scheduling order allows a party to brief no more than 3 MIL's with opening and answering briefs limited to 3 pages each and one page replies.

But what if …

Drugs
freestocks, Unsplash

Sitting by designation in D. Del., Circuit Judge Bibas recently issued an interesting 12(b)(6) opinion on false-advertising claims in the pharma context. These opinions tend to fly under the radar, but they often contain helpful practice tips.

The parties "both sell a medical cream, each with the same active ingredients in the same strength." Although the defendant's cream "is not an FDA-approved generic and has not been tested for bioequivalence[,]" it was listed in a database of pharmaceutical products "as an 'Equivalent Drug[.]'"

Judge Bibas found that this statement was neither false nor misleading:

Yet Sebela insists that “equivalent” implies more: bioequivalence and FDA approval. . . . The FDA has not approved TruPharma’s cream. But …

We've talked a lot lately about efforts by some of the D. Del. judges to push back against over-redaction of sealed filings. In particular, Judge Andrews has recently made clear that parties must not redact non-confidential information in exhibits—e.g., the parties must make line-by-line redactions instead of just redacting exhibits in their entirety. This increases public access but, obviously, is less convenient for parties and counsel.

Last week, visiting Judge Goldberg addressed whether a third party seeking to seal information was required to make similar line-by-line redactions:

The settlement agreements also contain several non-financial terms, such as the names and addresses of the corporate entities subject to the agreement, definitions, notifications, and general provisions governing confidentiality, assignment, choice of …

JP 1992-136787

Last year, we posted about an interesting result in a Delaware patent trial, where Judge Connolly excluded a Japanese Patent Office Utility Model Publication after the defendant failed to offer sufficient evidence of public accessibility (and actually offered some evidence of inaccessibility).

As we explained at the time, the defendant had tried to avoid IPR estoppel by arguing that it could not have found the reference in a reasonable search, but then argued that the reference was sufficiently publicly accessible to be a prior art reference. The Court rejected that argument, holding that the JPO publication was not publicly accessible and couldn't be used as prior art.

We noted this was a great opportunity for the the Federal Circuit to …

A peloton?
Jonathan Petit, Unsplash

Before § 101 got big in the early-to-mid 2010's, I recall there being a lot more discussion about construing claims—particularly software claims—to be means-plus-function claims, and then trying to get them invalidated under § 112 ¶ 6 for lack of corresponding structure.

Lately that issue seems to be litigated less frequently, but an order from Judge Andrews today shows that it hasn't faded away completely.

He looked at two claim elements:

a [] translator device adapted to translate data between the exercise communication protocol and the computer communication protocol.

and

translator devices are configured to communicatively couple the first and second exercise devices to the means for comparing so as to facilitate communication of data representative …

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Girl holding American Dollar Bills, Alexander Mils, Unsplash

Those with a habit of perusing these posts (thank you, persons of class and distinction) may recall the interesting case of Almirall, LLC v. Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., C.A No. 20-1373-LPS, D.I. 50 (D. Del. July 13, 2021) where Judge Stark granted a 12(c) motion after ruling that the plaintiff had waived various arguments by failing to raise them until oral argument.

I, for one, expected that to be the last we heard of that case for some time. Last Friday, however, Judge Stark granted Almirall's motion to amend the complaint to reassert these same claims, based on new allegations similar to those the Court previously found waived. Judge …

You're drafting a brief in D. Del., and you're not sure what it's supposed to look like. You're in luck! The local rules tell you exactly what sections you need to include in an opening or answering brief (see LR 7.1.3(c)(1) for more detail):

  1. Two tables (a table of contents and a table of authorities).
  2. "A statement of the nature and stage of the proceedings."
  3. "A summary of argument, setting forth in separately numbered paragraphs the legal propositions upon which the party relies."
  4. "A concise statement of facts, with supporting references to the record, presenting the background of the questions at issue."
  5. "An argument" with "appropriate headings distinctly setting forth separate points."
  6. "A short …

Late last week, Judge Stark granted defendant's request for litigation fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 in Princeton Digital Image Corp. v. Ubisoft Entertainment SA, C.A. No. 13-335-LPS-CJB, following an award of summary judgment of non-infringement to the defendant and a summary affirmance at the Federal Circuit.

Plaintiff PDIC's patents are directed to virtual reality programs controlled by music or control tracks created from music. Defendant Ubisoft asserted that the accused games manually synchronized the video, soundtrack, and other effects on a timeline, and were not controlled by music or a control track created from music.

During claim construction, Judge Burke found that plaintiff had disclaimed certain subject matter during IPR proceedings...

Judge Burke last month addressed a motion to strike portions of an expert report regarding commercial acceptability of a non-infringing alternative.

As set forth in the report, an expert may rely on experience in the industry, but must explain "how that experience leads to the conclusions reached." Here, the expert opined that an alternative was commercially acceptable, but did not set forth why.

Then, when asked for more detail at his deposition, he responded with a snide comment:

[D]uring his deposition, [the expert] very ill−advisedly made things worse when he responded to a question on this subject by flippantly suggesting that he had "no backing" for the conclusion, and had simply "put [it] in on purpose" because Plaintiffs' expert similarly …