Ouch. This week in MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geräte Ges.m.b.H. v. Advanced Bionics LLC, C.A. No. 18-1530-JDW (D. Del. Oct. 30, 2023), Judge Wolson addressed a motion in limine to exclude testimony from both of the accused infringer's witnesses on their prior use defense.
The accused infringer didn't offer expert testimony at all on invalidity, according to the briefing. D.I. 399 at 3. Instead, it asserted a prior use defense in its contentions, presumably intending get it in through fact witness testimony.
The patentee first moved in limine to preclude the defense due to a lack of expert testimony. But the Court held that a party can present an invalidity defense without it—and compared the motion to an improper SJ motion:
The first part of AB’s Motion In Limine #1 is a summary judgment motion in disguise. MED-EL asserts invalidity in this case. If AB had a basis to argue that the absence of expert testimony dooms that claim, then it should have moved for summary judgment on the issue. It didn’t, and it can’t use an in limine motion to dispose of MED-EL’s claim. If AB believes that the lack of expert testimony means that MED-EL cannot meet its burden, then AB can seek relief under Rule 50 at the close of MED-EL’s case at trial.
In other words, offering no expert testimony could be OK. The accused infringer, however, also failed to ...