A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: IPR

Stay!
Stay! Taylor Kopel, Unsplash

Pre-institution stays can be tough to achieve, but they are sometimes granted. Even when denied, though, a pre-institution stay may have other benefits, including that the Court may be willing to offer guidance on what to do—and what may happen—if the IPR is instituted.

An order from Magistrate Judge Burke on Friday is a good example. In eBuddy Technologies B.V. v. LinkedIn Corporation, C.A. No. 20-1501-RGA-CJB (D. Del.), the defendant moved for a pre-institution stay pending IPR. Judge Buke denied it:

ORAL ORDER: The Court, having reviewed Defendant's motion to stay the case pending resolution of [un-instituted] inter partes review ("IPR") proceedings . . . , hereby ORDERS that the Motion is DENIED without prejudice to renew in light of the following: (1) For reasons it has previously expressed, the Court is not typically inclined to grant a stay in favor of IPR proceedings when a case has been moving forward for a while and when the PTAB has not yet determined whether to initiate review of any of the patents-in-suit. . . . .; (2) That outcome seems particularly ...

Today, we analyze the District of Delaware's propensity to grant stays pending IPR decisions, as compared to the Western District of Texas. Here are the big takeaways:

  • Prior to IPR institution, motions to stay are almost always denied in D. Del.;
  • Judge Albright of W.D. Tex. has denied 40% of motions (i.e. two motions) to stay pending instituted IPRs, but there is not much data available yet;
  • D. Del. has denied about 28% of motions (i.e. 16 out of 58) to stay pending instituted IPRs in the last four years;
  • D. Del. receives far more motions to stay pending IPR than W.D. Tex., and grants them just over half the time (~60% in the last 4 years, …

PTAB trailhead
PTAB trailhead Joshua Sukoff, Unsplash

During some research the other day, I came across the below order that Judge Noreika issued last summer.

A defendant had moved in limine to exclude three of the four asserted claims of a patent from trial, after it prevailed on those claims in an IPR. Easy motion, right?

No. Judge Noreika held that, under Federal Circuit precedent, collateral estoppel does not prevent plaintiff from asserting those claims at trial until the decision is final. And the decision is not final until the appeal is exhausted:

Federal Circuit case law suggests that an IPR decision does not have preclusive effect until that decision is either affirmed or the parties waive their appeal …

Stop Sign
Luke van Zyl, Unsplash

There are certain situations that come up over and over in patent cases. One of them is that a plaintiff will bring identical infringement suits against multiple defendants, and one of those defendants will then file an IPR or CBM proceeding before the patent office attacking the validity of the patents.

Under the America Invents Act, the filing party and any real party in interest are subject to estoppel. But unrelated defendants are not. The filing party will often move to stay the district court litigation. Generally speaking, parties with an instituted IPR or CBM review of all patents-in-suit often have pretty good chances of getting a stay.

So what happens when the defendants in …

This case is staying right where it is
This case is staying right where it is A funny thing you can have the chance to experience at the Elk Island National Park, Yann Allegre, Unsplash

We've discussed in the past how IPR stays are becoming increasingly common in the district. Judge Burke continued that trend last week in an order granting a stay pending IPR in what he termed a "tough call."

Defendants in Speyside Medical, LLC v. Medtronic CoreValve LLC, C.A. No. 20-361-LPS-CJB, D.I. 155 (D. Del. Sept. 30, 2021), filed IPR petitions against all 5 patents-in-suit, but the PTAB only instituted IPR's against 3 of the patents. Defendant then moved to stay the whole action and the plaintiff opposed. Both sides agreed that a partial stay was inefficient, and so Judge Burke treated the motion as an "all-or-nothing proposition."

Judge Burke began by noting that noting that the decision would be an easy one if the PTAB had instituted as to all of the patents-in-suit. Although this situation presented a closer call, given that the case would ultimately need to proceed as to at least 2 of the patents, Judge Burke granted the stay ...

alexander-mils-lCPhGxs7pww-unsplash.jpg
Girl holding American Dollar Bills, Alexander Mils, Unsplash

An interesting fees issue was decided earlier this week in a Report and Recommendation by Judge Hall—can a prevailing defendant recover attorney's fees under § 285 for work done on a successful IPR petition?

The answer, apparently, is no.

Given the prevalence of IPR petitions, I was somewhat surprised to see that there was no authority on the issue from either the Federal Circuit or Delaware. Judge Hall found the text of § 285 decisive:

The text of 35 U.S.C. § 285 says nothing about giving the district court the ability to award fees incurred by a prevailing party in a separate administrative proceeding. The statute simply states that “[t]he …

In a short ruling issued in Deere & Co. v. AGCO Corp., 18-827-CFC, Judge Connolly rejected the defendants' motion for additional claim construction after IPR. The defendants had asked the Court to conduct further claim construction proceedings on three groups of terms, to account for allegedly inconsistent positions taken by the plaintiff during IPR proceedings on 8 of the 11 asserted patents. Judge Connolly explained that he entertained the motion for more claim construction "based on Defendants' repeated and emphatic representations that Plaintiff Deere & Company maintained . . . positions on claim construction [during IPR] that were 'diametrically opposed' to and 'fundamentally inconsistent' with positions Deere took during claim construction before me."

Judge Connolly, however, did not agree . . .

Although the trend in D. Del. is to grant IPR stays post-institution, the inverse is also true: pre-institution have become much more difficult to obtain.

In an oral order denying a pre-institution stay last Thursday, Judge Burke took the opportunity to reiterate why these motions are generally denied:

[W]ith regard to the simplification factor, the Court (absent some unique circumstance not present here) does not see the wisdom in staying a case that is otherwise proceeding forward (with a schedule already in place), in favor of the occurrence of an event (grant of an IPR petition and subsequent institution of an IPR) that has not happened yet. The Court also notes that although, as a statistical …

Yesterday, Chief Judge Stark addressed whether "judicial estoppel" prevents a defendant from taking one position in an uninstituted IPR petition and asserting a contradictory position during claim construction in the district court:

[Plaintiff] Sequoia contends that [defendant] Red Hat is judicially estopped from arguing for a narrower construction than it proposed during the IPR . . . . Judicial estoppel is only appropriate when: (1) the party to be estopped is asserting a position that is irreconcilably inconsistent with one she previously asserted; (2) the party changed her position in bad faith, i.e., with an intent to play fast and loose with the court, and (3) the use of judicial estoppel is tailored to address the affront to the …

Arrows on Sign
Adrià Tormo, Unsplash

In another ruling from the In Re ChanBond litigation as it approaches trial, Judge Andrews today issued an in-depth opinion granting a motion in limine to exclude reference to prior expert testimony from a related IPR proceeding, on the grounds that the testimony is hearsay.

Plaintiff sought to admit the material as former testimony under FRE 804(b)(1), because it is helpful to its infringement case. The rule requires, however, that the former testimony was offered against the parties' predecessor who had "an opportunity and similar motive to develop it."

Here, Judge Andrews found that an IPR petitioner's motive in developing expert testimony to show invalidity is different from a defendant's motive developing its non-infringement position:

I …