A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Last week, Judge Noreika denied defendant Shopify Inc.'s motion for attorneys' fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 ("The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party."), holding Shopify partly accountable for the amount of fees it incurred during the relatively short pendency of the case. While the opinion is worth reading in its entirety, there are two particularly notable aspects to the decision.

Ok, maybe not all people, and not all of the time. But in ranking the kinds of prior art I'd like to be able to assert against a tech patent, off of the top of my head, I'd rank system references pretty low:

  1. A U.S. Patent: Simple and easy.
  2. A foreign patent: Proving authenticity and publication is usually easy (but sometimes not).
  3. A journal publication: You may have to jump through some hoops, but no big deal.
  4. A Wayback Machine reference: Now one of those hoops is waiting (and waiting...) for a declaration through the Internet Archive's procedures. But at least they're clear.
  5. A book. Now you may be dealing with librarian declarations.
  6. . . . [various …

Calendar
Adam Tinworth, Unsplash

Here is a list of some of the upcoming jury/bench trials in the District of Delaware.

As you can see, aside from Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years', there is one jury trial per week starting 11/16 and continuing into next year.

  • November 3: Judge Noreika has a remote bench trial scheduled in W. R. Berkley Corporation v. Niemela, C.A. No. 17-32-MN (D. Del.), a non-compete case.
  • November 16: Chief Judge Stark has a criminal jury trial scheduled in U.S. v. Aaron Davis, C.A. No. 19-101-LPS (D. Del.), a fraud case. The Court issued an order last week finding that seven witnesses could testify remotely, and making some statements about how …

Litigant requesting
Litigant requesting "extra pages" Belinda Fewings, Unsplash

This week saw the birth of a novel way to raise a claim narrowing dispute, and it strikes me as rather clever.

Typically the number of claims asserted gets raised as a discovery dispute or as part of the scheduling or status conference.

The plaintiff in TQ Delta, LLC v. Pace Americas, LLC, C.A. No. 13-1835-RGA (D. Del.), though, took a different tack and instead moved for extra pages for summary judgment briefing, explaining that it needed the extra pages because the defendant was asserting 18 invalidity defenses (against plaintiff's 2 asserted claims).

This resulted in the following turn of events:

  • Judge Andrews immediately issued an Oral Order requesting defendant …

Pennies.
Pennies. Mark Bosky, Unsplash

I always find it interesting to see what kinds of facts that can succeed in a motion to strike. As I've mentioned, motions to strike in the Third Circuit are governed by the Pennypack factors, which can be tricky to meet and often favor lesser remedies (although the Court does strike things).

Here is what it took to warrant striking portions of an opening infringement report Arendi S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics, C.A. No. 12-1595-LPS (D. Del.):

  • Disclosing infringement contentions against five new products for the first time;
  • Relying on previously undisclosed evidence;
  • Doing so in the 8th year of a case (albeit one currently without a trial date);
  • Having …

Consistent with a recent trend in the District, Judge Thynge recently ordered parties to justify the continued sealing of a proposed amended complaint—even though the plaintiff had followed the ordinary sealing procedures and had submitted a redacted version of its motion to amend, including redactions to the proposed amended pleading.

Shortly after she issued her R&R denying plaintiff's motion to amend, Judge Thynge put the following notice on the docket:

ORAL ORDER: Although the Motion to Amend the Complaint was filed under seal, within ten (10) days of the docketing of the Report and Recommendation at DI 266, counsel shall file an explanation, limited to two (2) pages, as to why the Amended Complaint should remain under seal. Ordered …

Chief Judge Stark on Friday scheduled the first post-COVID-19 jury trial that I've seen, in Guardant Health, Inc. v. Foundation Medicine, Inc., C.A. No. 17-1616-LPS-CJB, D.I. 487 (D. Del. Oct. 16, 2020). (The potential Judge Noreika trial I mentioned recently is not going forward).

The Court had offered the November 30 date late last month. The defendant objected to it due to a conflict. The defendant also argued that the jury pool will not be representative, lacking older jurors, and that holding a trial would go against CDC guidance.

The Court was not persuaded. It did, however, set the following restrictions:

  • No live witnesses: The Court accepted a proposal that since not all witnesses can testify …