A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for date: November 2022

If you're going to have to face an <a href='#' class='abbreviation' data-bs-toggle='tooltip' data-placement='top' title='Non-Practicing Entity'>NPE</a> patent suit anyway, C.D. Cal. is a nice place to go for hearings.
If you're going to have to face an NPE patent suit anyway, C.D. Cal. is a nice place to go for hearings. Venti Views, Unsplash

I heard over the holiday break that one of the Mavexar-related entities, Backertop Licensing LLC, has continued to file suits, this time in the Central District of California. I also heard that they did not disclose Mavexar as an entity with an interest in the case, despite a rule requiring them to do so.

Yep, That Looks Like Backertop

I checked PACER, and it indeed looks like an entity …

The Court has said in the past that "winning summary judgment in a patent case is like hitting a hole in one." Well, yesterday DePuy Synthes scored a hole in one, invalidating all asserted claims of one patent on SJ in RSB Spine, LLC v. DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc., C.A. No. 19-1515-RGA (D. Del. Nov. 22, 2022).

How Did They Do It?

Basically, they won it at claim construction, but couldn't end the case until summary judgment.

The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,984,234, covers a "base plate" that a surgeon can screw into two bones in a person's spinal cord to stabilize them.

The base plate screws into the bones (blue, below), and a …

Crissy Jarvis, Unsplash

An interesting opinion from Judge Thynge last week on case narrowing, and in particular, how to count invalidity arguments.

The defendant in Targus International LLC v. Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc.., C.A. No.20-464-RGA-MPT (D. Del. Nov. 18, 2022), had agreed to reduce the number of prior art "arguments" to 5. In its expert reports, however, they had counted reference "A in view of B", as well as "B in view of A" as a single argument. This lead to the inclusion of (what plaintiff counted as) more than 5 arguments. Plaintiff then moved to strike the extraneous arguments and Judge Thynge agreed, holding:

In its letter brief, Defendant maintains that it "never labeled any reference …

"Lamplight" isn't the worst name for a patent assertion entity. Riley Bourdon, Unsplash

Today brought yet another twist in the ongoing Mavexar saga. In one of the cases, a defendant—not the plaintiff—moved unopposed for a protective order to prevent the Mavexar-related LLC from producing the documents that the defendant sent to it (and that, presumably, the Mavexar-related LLC may have sent to Mavexar itself).

Specifically, the defendant moved for a protective order to "prevent the public filing of three categories of information that ABB expects to be provided by Plaintiff and its counsel in response to the Court’s Memorandum Order," including (1) documents related to sales and royalty rates, (2) communications related to the terms of the settlement agreement, and (3) the agreement itself.

As to those three categories, the defendant asked the Court to issue a protective order that protects the info from disclosure in both filings and in future hearings or ...

Stop
Markus Spiske, Unsplash

These Mavexar-related cases are developing so fast, we can hardly keep up!

We've talked about how Chief Judge Connolly issued an order directing certain of the Mavexar-related entities to produce documents, including materials related to their communications with Mavexar. We also discussed the Nimitz entities' petition for a writ of mandamus to stop enforcement of the order and to stop the Court's "judicial inquisition."

Yesterday, the Federal Circuit responded and stayed the order:

IT IS ORDERED THAT:
Defendants CNET Media, Inc., Bloomberg L.P.; BuzzFeed, Inc.; and Imagine Learning, Inc. are directed to respond to the petition no later than November 30, 2022, whether defendants fully defend, partly defend, or decline to defend the challenged order. …

AI-Generated, displayed with permission

Judge Andrews' policy of rejecting filings that redact exhibits in their entirety is well known to our readers. Judge Andrews has been persistent in the practice over the past year or so, issuing quite a few orders substantively identical to the below:

The redacted filings (D.I. 40 ) is REJECTED because parts of it are redacted in its 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 …

Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier
Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier Unknown

Yesterday, Nimitz Technologies LLC, one of the entities involved in the recent Mavexar hearings, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Federal Circuit to "review and reverse" the Court's most recent memorandum order in those cases, and to "direct[] the district court to terminate its judicial inquisition of the Petitioner."

If you recall from our post last week, the Court issued an order in three of the Mavexar-related cases directing Nimitz and two other plaintiffs to disclose a broad range of communications and documents, including things like retention agreements, bank account statements, and communications between the plaintiffs or their principals or attorneys and Mavexar.

Nimitz argues that the documents and communications …

"Sure our damages figure sounds big, but look how big this other number is!" AI-Generated, displayed with permission

This week, Judge Andrews issued an order on the six motions in limine that the parties filed in Sprint Communications Company, L.P. v. Mediacom Communications Corp., C.A. No. 17-1736-RGA (D. Del. Nov. 14, 2022).

The order is short and to the point, and doesn't identify what the MILs relate to. But if the docket shows that there are at least two MILs here worth mentioning, if only because they come up so often.

Prior Proceedings

The defendant first moved to exclude the outcomes of multiple prior cases, as well as pending cases against co-defendants. Plaintiff responded that the prior …

#Texas Troll
AI-Generated, displayed with permission

My wife runs a stationery business headquartered right here in the . . . state of Delaware. When she filled out the form to set up her LLC, she listed our address as the headquarters and herself as the person to be served with process.

The filing was rejected. When she called to figure out why, the good people at the division of corporations explained that they constantly have people trying to incorporate in Delaware (for reasons all parties involved would be hard-pressed to explain), but who don't want to pay the corporation trust company to act as a registered agent. So they list a P.O. box or just a random address and call it a …