A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: Inventor

Today we highlight a decade-old opinion involving an inventor’s death, the reports of which were greatly exaggerated. The moral of the story: trust but verify. Do a Google search, even if you have it on good authority. Question your assumptions.

It's an oddball case that provides the perfect foil for Nate’s article yesterday involving the opposite fact-pattern—a dead expert. Here, an inventor thought expired was “not only alive, but also willing (‘indeed eager’)” to testify in the upcoming trial, scheduled only ten days away.

In an unusual mix-up, plaintiff relied on testimony from the plaintiff’s 30(b)(6) witness, a former high-ranking officer for plaintiff's company, who said that the inventor was deceased. Where'd he get that information? Several of plaintiff’s …

This case is not about pizza, but I am writing this post while hungry
shaian ramesht, Unsplash

Engineers move all of the time. They start at one company that makes pizza oven accessories and related widgets. They bring that company to the delicious heights of excellence, authoring patent after patent in their pursuit of the perfect crust. Then, having achieved all anyone could hope for, they move on to a competing pizza oven accessory conglomerate, to do it all over again.

That being the case, its surprising we don't see more disputes like the one in Signode Industrial Group LLC v. Polychem, LLC, C.A. No 22-519-VAC-CJB, D.I. 94 (D. Del. Aug. 10, 2022). Like our metaphorical Pizzaneer, Flavio Finzo worked for Signode for many years and was a named inventor on a couple patents in suit. After retiring he started a consulting firm that worked with Polychem to develop their competing product (something to do with straps, totally no pizza involved, I am just hungry).

Signode then moved for a protective order to prohibit the defendant from "eliciting or receiving" any confidential or privileged information from Mr. Finzo, alleging that several facts referenced in the answer could only have come from his confidential and/or privileged knowledge. Defendant agreed that they had not and would not elicit any privileged information, and agreed to treat any confidential information pursuant to the existing protective order. Judge Burke held that these concessions were ...