A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: jury-trials

Chief Judge Stark on Friday scheduled the first post-COVID-19 jury trial that I've seen, in Guardant Health, Inc. v. Foundation Medicine, Inc., C.A. No. 17-1616-LPS-CJB, D.I. 487 (D. Del. Oct. 16, 2020). (The potential Judge Noreika trial I mentioned recently is not going forward).

The Court had offered the November 30 date late last month. The defendant objected to it due to a conflict. The defendant also argued that the jury pool will not be representative, lacking older jurors, and that holding a trial would go against CDC guidance.

The Court was not persuaded. It did, however, set the following restrictions:

  • No live witnesses: The Court accepted a proposal that since not all witnesses can testify …

Unsurprisingly, in light of COVID-19, recent signs indicate that the Court is all booked up for this year, and probably for a large part of next year.

Here, for example, is a Judge Stark order from yesterday:

ORAL ORDER: Having discussed with the parties on repeated occasions whether and when to schedule this patent infringement case for a jury trial (see, e.g., D.I. 474, 549, 583, 590, 591, 593, 596, 605, 607, 608, 610-15) and having found (unfortunately) no date that is reasonable and available to all parties and to the Court, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that trial in this matter is CONTINUED to a DATE TO BE DETERMINED, most likely in 2021 (and certainly NOT in 2020). IT …

Artist's Rendering of Delaware Courtroom in September
Artist's Rendering of Delaware Courtroom in September Jean Wimmerlin, Unsplash

Judge Andrews recently postponed another patent jury trial that had been scheduled for September 21, 2020.

The ruling in Baxalta Incorporated v. Bayer Healthcare LLC, C.A. No. 17-1316-RGA, D.I. 529 (D. Del. Aug 12, 2020) followed the submission of a joint status report where the plaintiffs suggested the case should go forward, citing prejudice to them if the case remains unresolved for the foreseeable future.

The defendant responded by pointing to the obvious difficulties of holding a trial when "no witness resides in Delaware" and lead counsel and their "entourages" are from out of state.

Judge Andrews notably stated that he believed it would be possible …

Just before the July 4 holiday, Chief Judge Stark provided some much-anticipated guidance regarding the reinstatement of jury trials in the District of Delaware after the current moratorium expires on July 31, 2020.

In a July 2, 2020 order in Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals L.P. v. Powder Springs Logistics, LLC, C.A. No. 17-1390-LPS-CJB, Judge Stark told the parties that he had spent "countless hours" meeting with experts and stakeholders about restarting jury trials in his capacity as Chief Judge, and that the Court was "undertaking extensive efforts to be ready to resume jury trials in August, if it is possible to do so safely." With that background, he outlined the details of how the jury trial in the Sunoco case will proceed on August 3, 2020.