A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: Congestion

Wilmington, <a href='#' class='abbreviation' data-bs-toggle='tooltip' data-placement='top' title='Delaware'>DE</a>
Andrew Russell, CC BY 2.0

Today we started seeing cases re-assigned to incoming Judge Williams. So far, we've seen re-assignments in cases from Chief Judge Connolly and Judge Noreika, including in a case that is set for trial next month. I've only seen one of our firm's vacant judgeship case re-assigned so far, but I would expect many or all of those cases to go as well—we'll see.

Judge Williams doesn't yet have a listing on the District of Delaware website, but we'll keep an eye out for that too, and we'll most likely have a post about his procedures.

UPDATE: Judge Williams' page is now …

Defendants lining up to file their motions to stay
Defendants lining up to file their motions to stay Rob Curran, Unsplash

When the Court instituted its vacant judgeship procedures following Judge Stark's elevation to the Federal Circuit, the implementing order included procedures to keep cases moving if the parties do not consent to a magistrate judge to hear the case.

For example, the order directs parties to hold a Rule 26(f) conference within seven days of notifying the Court that the parties would not consent to a magistrate judge:

The parties shall cooperate in good faith to move the case forward. To that end, within seven days of filing the notice that the parties would not consent to a Magistrate Judge, the parties shall hold a Rule 26(f) …

Schedule issues
Towfiqu barbhuiya

We've recently flagged Judge Noreika's evolving practice of sometimes requiring parties to seek leave before filing summary judgment or Daubert motions. It doesn't seem to happen in every case, and so far the Court has often granted leave for at least one summary judgment or Daubert motion in each case. But it's worth keeping in mind if you have a case before Judge Noreika.

Yesterday, we saw a new variation on Judge Noreika's previous orders on this issue. She specifically noted that the trial was a bench trial (it is an ANDA case):

ORAL ORDER re . . . Stipulation and Proposed Order - WHEREAS, the parties have submitted a proposed stipulation that includes, inter alia, new …

Looks like the sun is setting on Waco, TX
Looks like the sun is setting on Waco, TX Jed Owen, Unsplash

We're a day late on this, but it could be major news for Delaware patent litigators: the Western District of Texas is ending its practice of sending all patent cases filed in Waco to Judge Alan Albright.

Previously, all cases filed in Waco, TX were assigned to Judge Albright, a former patent litigator. He has favorable rules for resolving cases quickly and putting pressure on accused infringers, although I'm not sure that they are quite as tilted towards patentees as Law360 makes them out to be.

According to Law360, Judge Albright received 23% of all patent lawsuits in 2021. That's a lot!

We'll have to see …

Annual Report 2021
U.S. District Court

We wrote recently to report about the District of Delaware FBA's annual meeting, where the Court updated local practitioners about the state of the Court and upcoming changes. We promised an update when the Court issues its 2022 Annual Report.

Well, here is that update! The report is attached below in full. Some highlights include:

  • The report notes that the last five judges nominated to the District of Delaware took their oaths of office and entered duty within two weeks of confirmation by the Senate. The Senate confirmed Judge Williams on July 20, 2022. Doing the math, if history repeats itself, we should see Judge Williams start by Wednesday August 3, 2022. That's good news …

Checklist
Glenn Carstens-Peters, Unsplash

Today was the Federal Bar Association's annual luncheon, an annual event where the Chief Judges give updates on the status of Delaware's District and Bankruptcy courts.

This year's event was the first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID lockdowns. It was great to see everyone again in person!

Attendance was relatively low. Some speculated that this may be due to expiring FBA memberships. My theory is that there may have been an issue with the invitation e-mail (I never received it myself, and I'm a current FBA member).

In any case, I wanted to post some highlights and interesting facts from the speakers today, as we did for the virtual event last year:

  • The …

On Friday, former District of Delaware Chief Judge Stark authored what I believe is his first Federal Circuit opinion as a sitting Federal Circuit judge: In re A. Zeta S.R.L., No. 2022-1178, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 15992, at *1 (Fed. Cir. June 10, 2022) (affirming a PTAB trademark decision).

Note—before you e-mail to say I'm wrong!—Judge Stark has sat by designation at the Federal Circuit many times before, and has authored at least one Federal Circuit opinion as a district judge. See, e.g., Mortg. Grader, Inc. v. First Choice Loan Servs., 811 F.3d 1314 (Fed. Cir. 2016). But I think this is his first written opinion since his nomination.

Interestingly, ever since moving to the Federal Circuit, …

Peace Talks
Markus Winkler, Unsplash

This week, after a series of sealed letters from the parties in Evertz Microsystems Ltd. v. Lawo Inc., C.A. No. 19-302-MN-JLH (D. Del.) apparently indicating settlement is imminent, Judge Noreika issued the following order:

ORAL ORDER . . . Having reviewed the parties' letter stating that they have failed to settle the case and the parties' proposal that they engage in mediation with Judge Andrea L. Rocanelli "in the event settlement cannot be reached by close of business tomorrow," IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties' proposal is REJECTED. For weeks, the parties have represented to the Court that settlement is imminent. Trial is set to commence on June 6, 2022 …

Four
David Pisnoy, Unsplash

On Friday, Chief Judge Connolly issued an order in the lead-up to an ANDA bench trial compelling the plaintiff to reduce its number of asserted claims by 75% to 4 claims, or face consequences:

ORAL ORDER: WHEREAS, the parties filed the proposed pretrial order (D.I. 225) on May 10, 2022; WHEREAS, the bench trial in this case is 24 days away, and, according to the pretrial order, Plaintiffs are still asserting 15 claims across eight patents . . . ; and WHEREAS, Plaintiffs' assertion of 15 claims across eight patents at this juncture makes clear that Plaintiffs have yet to focus adequately on the relative strength of their various infringement claims, the limited resources of …