A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for date: September 2022

Here's an AI-generated patentee dealing with the burden of proof on marking.
Here's an AI-generated patentee dealing with the burden of proof on marking. AI-Generated, displayed with permission

My co-blogger Nate wrote yesterday about Magistrate Judge Hall's discussion of prior art estoppel in Innovative Memory Systems Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc., No. 14-1480-RGA (D. Del. Sept. 29, 2022). That was actually just one issue the Court dealt with in a lengthy R&R and Order on a summary judgment and Daubert. I wanted to post about one of the other issues Judge Hall addressed in that opinion: patent marking.

Marking is an important and sometimes underrated issue. It's not uncommon, in patent cases, for the bulk of the damages to have accrued in the years prior to the plaintiff …

The law is littered with reasonable people, and none of them do us much good. We have the reasonable person exercising ordinary caution (negligence). There's the reasonable person who attaches importance to the existence or nonexistence of a fact in determining his choice of action (materiality). Relevant to this blog post, and pictured below, we have the "skilled researcher conducting a diligent search" (estoppel).

Cookie the Pom, Unsplash

For those who haven't encountered this one in a while, this hypothetical skilled researcher is the measuring stick we use to determine whether a given reference could have reasonable been raised in an IPR and thus, whether an accused infringer is estopped from raising it in the district court.

As measuring …

AI-generated image of a defendant relying on non-prior art documents as evidence of prior art
AI-generated image of a defendant relying on non-prior art documents as evidence of prior art Andrew E. Russell, displayed with permission

Judge Stark issued an oral order yesterday addressing a motion in limine in Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. v. Zenara Pharma Private Ltd., C.A. No. 19-1938-LPS (D. Del.).

According to the briefing, plaintiff sought to exclude two exhibits that were dated after the priority date of the patent.

The first was a 2005 "review article" published just months after the priority date. According to defendants' brief, "does not present original data" and instead "discusses the information known in the art before the priority date."

The second exhibit was published in 2021 and includes a "history of research …

Why did they play this song at my prom? I am not that old, and it is surprisingly hard to dance to
Honey Fangs, Unsplash

For the past year or so, we've been tracking Judge Andrews' new practice of rejecting filings that redact exhibits in their entirety with a docket entry like the below:

The redacted filings (D.I. 453 , 454 , and 458 ) are REJECTED because parts of them are redacted in their entirety. Absent a compelling reason, supported by a statement under oath by a party, redactions in their entirety are impermissible; redactions must be done so as to redact the least possible amount of the materials submitted. Failure to make a good faith attempt at such redactions may result in sanctions, the most common of which would be simply unsealing the entire filing. Redacting in its entirety …

Chart

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 …