A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for date: 2022

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Procedural opinions about post-appeal trials are relatively rare, at least compared to the amount of decisions on motions to dismiss or summary judgment that we see. Most cases settle long before they reach this stage. So I thought it was worth posting about how Judge Bataillon handled a new trial in C R Bard Inc. v AngioDynamics, Inc., C.A. No. 15-218-JFB-SRF (D. Del.) after the Federal Circuit vacated the result of the previous trial.

The parties in the case sought to introduce new information in the new trial, including at least one accused product that was released after the previous trial. The Court rejected that idea, holding that the new trial would be a direct repeat of …

Mel Poole
Mel Poole, Unsplash

Judge Burke issued an oral order earlier this week with some interesting language criticizing the party's attempt at an amended complaint.

In Midwest Energy Emissions Corp. v. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., C.A. No. 19-1334-CJB (D. Del.), the plaintiff accused a very large number of entities—More than 50, it looks like—with infringement of a number of patents, all in a single combined action.

Earlier this year, it moved to amend its complaint to add additional defendants it alleged were parent companies of defendants who were as acting as the parent companies' "alter egos and agents." Judge Burke granted this request as to one party, for which the complaint included more detailed factual allegations, …

I really hope this case lasts long enough for us to go through all the titles.  I think We have a good shot at
I really hope this case lasts long enough for us to go through all the titles. I think We have a good shot at "Nemesis," but probably won't make it to "the Search for Spock" NASA, Unsplash

More than a year ago, we chronicled the rare tale of a stay that lasted all the way through an appeal to the Supreme Court. Thinking a stay could not possibly last any longer that that, we titled that post "The Final Frontier for Stays."

It turns out that we were right!

But only barely!

The Original Series

When last we saw our embattled litigants in Hologic, Inc. et al. v. Minerva Surgical, Inc., C.A. No. 20-295-SRF, the Federal …

An AI-generated (!!) scene of a split courthouse
AI-Generated, displayed with permission

We've written a lot about how there is a split in the District of Delaware about whether a complaint itself can establish knowledge of infringement sufficient to support a claim of post-filing willfulness or induced infringement.

Early this week, visiting Judge Kennelly weighed in, siding with the judges who say that a complaint can establish knowledge, in a short opinion:

A claim for willful infringement of a patent requires the plaintiff to establish—or at this point in the case, to plausibly allege—that the accused infringer had knowledge of or was willfully blind to the patent and that its conduct constituted, induced, or contributed to infringement. . . . Similarly, a claim of induced or contributory infringement …

You were warned this would happen.

Race Track
Adi Goldstein, Unsplash

Judge Williams issued in interesting order today in CAO Lighting, Inc. v. General Electric Company, C.A. No. 20-681-GBW, D.I. 330 (Oral Order) (D. Del. Sept. 20, 2022). CAO is one of Judge Williams' new cases which is nearest to trial (currently its set for October 24) and it has several pending SJ motions from both sides.

Taking a page from Judge Connolly's playbook, Judge Williams ordered the parties to submit letters ranking their respective SJ motions, "with the understanding that once the Court denies summary judgment as to any single ground raised in [the party's] motion, the Court will not address any summary judgment grounds that were …

Our status report, your honor? We're all good.
Our status report, your honor? We're all good. Sincerely Media, Unsplash

As we've mentioned in the past, in D. Del. patent cases, the Court often sets deadlines for submission of a "status report" (or, sometimes, a "joint status report" or "interim status report").

These orders can be somewhat vague. The Court doesn't always request "a joint status report regarding xyz." Instead, at times, it will issue a generic request for a status report, like this:

ORAL ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, on or before 9/23/2022, the parties shall submit a joint status report. ORDERED by Judge Maryellen Noreika on 9/16/2022.

To which the natural human response is "a status report about what?" Usually, though, it's pretty …

Fire Extinguisher
Piotr Chrobot, Unsplash

An interesting transcript just hit the docket in CBV, Inc. v. ChanBond, LLC, C.A. No. 21-1456-GBW (D. Del.), a contract case, after the transcript restrictions expired. The hearing itself took place back in April, before Judge Noreika.

In the case, defendant ChanBond filed a letter seeking emergency relief after it inadvertently served a sealed filing on out-of-town counsel for another party, who allegedly took the position that he need not maintain the confidentiality of the document, either under the Court's order sealing the document or local rule 26.2 (which provides a confidentiality obligation prior to the entry of a protective order, as explained below).

Out-of-town counsel responded to the request for emergency …

Deal with it kitty, you're going to be famous
Deal with it kitty, you're going to be famous Go to Bogdan Farca's profile Bogdan Farca, Unsplash

Reader, I feel like we know each other, so I'm going to level with you. We are going to write a post about absolutely everything Judge Williams does for the next month or so.

New standing order? POST.

First trial? POST.

Pets a cute cat? 2 POSTS.

If you stop clicking? We'll just start juicing the headlines (Judge Williams DESTROYS cat!). This is the world we all live in now.

On a totally unrelated note, Judge Williams issued an opinion today continuing the trend of longer and longer IPR stays. The parties in Personal Genomics Taiwan, Inc. v. Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., No. 19-1810-GBW-MPT, had initially stipulated to a stay pending an IPR. That stay expired in February when the case was still assigned to Judge Stark. Two weeks later the defendant moved to stay pending appeal of the IPR (which had been only partially successful). Briefing closed right around the time the case was transferred ...

Quilt
Olga Ferina, Unsplash

Judge Williams has now posted his form scheduling orders on the District of Delaware website.

I took a look through his non-ANDA scheduling order, and it will be extremely familiar to Delaware practitioners. It mostly tracks Judge Noreika's form order.

Judge Williams' form order does, however, pull in portions from other Delaware judges' form scheduling orders. Here are some changes in Judge Williams' new form order as compared to Judge Noreika's form:

  • Discovery disputes and motions to amend or strike use language from Judge Stark's form scheduling order.
    • Parties sometimes get tripped up on this, and forget that motions to amend or strike have special rules—so keep that in mind if you have a Judge …

So Noble
So Noble Navi, Unsplash

The law can always surprise you. Sometimes this is a bad thing. For instance, I was surprised and saddened to learn that, in the city of Wilmington, you can only have a chicken if it is an emotional support animal who lives at least half of the year in your home. Unfortunately, Learned Claw is not yet house-trained.

Sometimes, though its a good surprise. The sort that you can wring a blog post out of if you can pad it with a personal anecdote (*coughs*).

For instance, I was surprised to learn that there was a dispute about the standard for reviewing one of the most common disputes in all of Delaware -- whether to strike contentions under the Pennypack factors.

The specific context at issue in the painfully long-running case of TQ Delta LLC v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, was an objection to a Special Master's Order. The underlying dispute was your usual Pennypack issue, with one party complaining that the other had disclosed a new DOE theory too late in the game, and the other arguing that the theory was not really new at all. The Special Master went through all of the usual factors and ultimately struck ...