A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for date: November 2020

IPR Timing Estimator Screenshot
Andrew E. Russell

It can be kind of a pain to estimate the schedule of an inter partes review proceeding beforehand, because the dates are relative (e.g., "30 days after x"), and because the deadlines are set in a number of different places (e.g., the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the PTAB's Trial Practice Guide).

A few years ago, I put together a spreadsheet that automatically estimates the timing and deadlines of an IPR based on the filing date. I've updated it a couple of times since then.

A spreadsheet like this can be a great help when you need to figure out the timing of an IPR so that you can do …

anastasiia-chepinska-OBmBHmrc3pw-unsplash.jpg
Local business closed during the coronavirus covid-19 quarantine, Anastasiia Chepinska, Unsplash

Like the rest of the nation, Delaware is presently descending into an apocalyptic vortex of pestilence and despair. As we've chronicled in numerous posts, this is having no small effect on the business of conducting trials. Thankfully, however, a few orders out this week suggest that there's still some hope that trials scheduled in the very near time might yet go forward.

The first of these was in Guardant Health, Inc. v. Foundation Medicine, Inc., C.A. No. 17-1616-LPS-CJB. This case had been set to be Judge Stark's first post-pandemic patent jury trial before being mysteriously continued earlier this month.

Today, however, the Court issued an …

Mirrored
Mirrored Alex Iby, Unsplash

Last month, Judge Burke struck "a substantial portion" of an expert's infringement report after the expert relied on his own anonymous peer review to prove infringement, without disclosing that he had been the author.

The truth did not come out until the deposition.

The Expert Secretly Relied On His Own Prior Anonymous Writing

Plaintiffs in this action allege infringement only via the doctrine of equivalents, arguing that the differences between the accused drug and the claimed drug are insubstantial. Defendant argues that the differences are substantial, relying in part on a 2016 article showing that the accused drug performs significantly better than the claimed drug.

Plaintiffs' expert reports criticized the 2016 article based on two …

According to the docket, USA v. Davis proceeded to jury selection on Monday, but the trial was then continued:

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Leonard P. Stark - Jury Selection as to Aaron Davis held on 11/16/2020 (Court Reporter B. Gaffigan.) (etg) (Entered: 11/17/2020)
ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Jury Trial is CONTINUED. The government shall file a joint status report due by 11/30/2020. A Telephone Conference is set for 12/1/2020 at 01:45 PM before Judge Leonard P. Stark. Time is excluded from 11/17/2020 until 12/1/2020. Signed by Judge Leonard P. Stark on 11/17/2020. (etg) (Entered: 11/17/2020)

The order states only that the trial was continued "for the reasons stated in court November 16, 2020," …

A Markman ruling issued by Judge Andrews this week demonstrates how hard it can be to convince the Court that a patentee has disclaimed claim scope. In the MDL In re: Sitagliptin Phosphate ('708 & '921) Patent Litigation, Judge Andrews drew a distinction between the kinds of prosecution activity that can give rise to disclaimer, and those that cannot.

Surfactants at work
Surfactants at work Soap bubbles_3, Daniele Levis Pelusi, Unsplash

In short, defendants argued that the plaintiff had disclaimed claim scope regarding the nature and purpose of the claimed "surfactant" during prosecution. The Court ultimately agreed in part, finding that "surfactant" had been limited to a "wetting agent" that increases dissolution of sitagliptin.

It is worth noting here that …

COVID-19
CDC / Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Just as the District of Delaware restarts its jury trials, the Delaware state courts announced today that they are reverting back to Phase 2 of their reopening plan, after just moving to Phase 3 on October 5.

Under Phase 2, there are no jury trials, but the court houses will stay open, and grand jury proceedings, bench trials, and hearings will continue.

I haven't heard of any COVID-19 outbreaks in the jury trials in Delaware state courts, but Law360 today reported that there was a COVID-19-positive juror in a trial in the Eastern District of Texas, and that seven people involved in the trial have have now tested positive. …

Chairs
Billy, Unsplash

On Monday morning, Chief Judge Stark is scheduled to hold the second District of Delaware jury trial since all jury proceedings were put on hold for the pandemic. The case is USA v. Aaron Davis, C.A No. 19-101-LPS, a criminal fraud and money laundering action filed August 2019.

The Court issued an order Friday making clear that the jury trial will go forward as planned:

ORAL ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties shall be present in Courtroom 6B at 9:00 AM on Monday, November 16, 2020. Ordered by Judge Leonard P. Stark on 11/13/2020. (etg) (Entered: 11/13/2020)

The Court has not yet posted public access information.

UPDATE 11-16-2020: With nothing on the docket about …