A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: Litigation

Our status report, your honor? We're all good.
Our status report, your honor? We're all good. Sincerely Media, Unsplash

As we've mentioned in the past, in D. Del. patent cases, the Court often sets deadlines for submission of a "status report" (or, sometimes, a "joint status report" or "interim status report").

These orders can be somewhat vague. The Court doesn't always request "a joint status report regarding xyz." Instead, at times, it will issue a generic request for a status report, like this:

ORAL ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, on or before 9/23/2022, the parties shall submit a joint status report. ORDERED by Judge Maryellen Noreika on 9/16/2022.

To which the natural human response is "a status report about what?" Usually, though, it's pretty …

Freshly preserved arguments, ready to be set aside for the winter...
Freshly preserved arguments, ready to be set aside for the winter... Olia Gozha, Unsplash

Parties often try to expressly reserve, preserve, and/or avoid waiver of arguments or the right to seek relief, often in a paper filed or served on the deadline to make the argument or seek the relief. It may not always work—but it's not very costly to give it a shot, either.

Last week, in Aqua Connect, Inc. v. TeamViewer US, Inc., C.A. No. 18-01572-MN (D. Del.), Judge Noreika rejected an attempt by a plaintiff who prevailed at trial to avoid having to raise its arguments regarding post-trial interest during post trial briefing.

After plaintiff won a $5.7m verdict in a jury trial …

Clock
Akram Huseyn, Unsplash

The District of Delaware announced today that it is instituting a 5pm filing deadline for all documents other than initial pleadings. Chief Judge Connolly issued an order revising section (F) of the Court's CMECF Procedures (part of the Court's other local rules):

Effective September 1, 2022, section (F) of the Court's Revised Administrative Procedures Governing Filing and Service by Electronic Means shall be further revised as follows, to reflect a new filing and service deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time for all documents other than initial pleadings:
(F) Deadlines
Filing documents electronically does not in any way alter any filing deadlines. Aside from initial pleadings, all electronic transmissions of documents (including, but not limited to, motions, briefs, appendices, and discovery responses) must be completed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, in order to be considered timely filed and served that day. All electronic transmissions of initial pleadings must be completed prior to midnight Eastern Time, in order to be considered timely filed that day. When CM/ECF calculates a deadline, it will include intermediate weekends and holidays as prescribed in Fed.R.Civ.P. 6.

That's a lot of text. You may be wondering: did anything else change? No. The text is identical to the current version other than ...

Football
Dave Adamson, Unsplash

It happens all of the time: You've got arguments A, B, and C that you want to fit in your brief, but you don't have the space to address them all.

What to do? Cut the weaker arguments?

For most attorneys, the answer is: of course not! They move the lesser argument to a footnote in a hail-mary attempt to win if the better arguments fail.

Does it work? Not usually. Here in D. Del., judges have suggested that parties waive arguments when they present them only in cursory footnotes, and Judge Noreika recently noted that "courts traditionally do not consider arguments presented entirely in footnotes." Nw. Univ. v. Universal Robots A/S, C.A. No. …

This guy knows how to go to trial
This guy knows how to go to trial Henry Hustava

Just a blog service announcement: We'll be going on a bit of a blogging hiatus for the next week or two. Our firm handled a trial last week before Judge Andrews as local counsel, and we're set for three simultaneous trials this week before Judges Connolly, Andrews, and Noreika. Then we have yet another trial the week after, before visiting Judge Wolson.

If you're adding them up, that's five trials in three weeks as local counsel! So we're up to our necks in prep work, with about a dozen visiting co-counsel and staff using our offices as trial space, and we're going to have to slow down a bit on …

Clock
Tristan Colangelo, Unsplash

The District of Delaware sometimes requires the parties to file joint status reports, usually either at dates set in the scheduling order (e.g. an "interim status report") or following developments in the case that require more information, like a stipulated stay that has expired, or after a communication from the parties regarding a development in the case.

Typically, by convention, plaintiff handles the initial draft of these reports—but not always. Either way, one side will send a draft, and the other side will prove its position, sometimes reflexively opposing whatever is in the initial draft. The final report will often be split, with "Plaintiff's position" and "Defendant's position," although sometimes the parties will agree to a …

Science!
Hans Reniers, Unsplash

On Friday, Judge Andrews issued an opinion adopting a Special Master opinion, which held that certain pre-litigation testing documents were not covered by attorney privilege.

Pre-Litigation Testing Not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege If Not Provided to Attorneys

The Court found that the pre-litigation scientific testing was not covered by attorney-client privilege, even though they may have been done "at the direction of" a law firm, because the core purpose was for the client's understanding rather than for facilitating legal advice:

I do not think [plaintiff] First Quality has shown that the attorney-client privilege applies to any of the [relevant] disputed . . . documents. Plaintiff's position is that everything [the expert] Dr. Malburg did falls "well …

insung-yoon-w2JtIQQXoRU-unsplash.jpg
Alarm Clock, Insung Yoon, Unsplash

Delaware judges routinely refer motions to one of our four regular magistrate judges. This is no surprise in a court with such a busy docket, especially when so many of our cases are complex patent matters.

One question I'm frequently asked when a matter is referred to a magistrate judge is "how will this affect the decision time?" It's a sensible question, and one might imagine that a referral from a busy Article III judge to a magistrate judge might result in a quicker resolution. The answer, however, appears to be that magistrate judges take about the same amount of time to resolve issues as the Article III judges.

Looking at a commonly referred …

In a new standing order today, Judge Connolly announced a new procedure for SJ motions in patent cases. Going forward, he will require parties in all patent cases (current and future) to rank their summary judgment motions, and if any motion is denied, he will generally deny all lower-ranked motions as well:

1. A party that files more than one summary judgment motion shall number each motion to make clear the order the party wishes the Court to consider the motions in question. The first motion the party wishes the Court to consider shall be designated #1, the second motion shall be designated #2, and so on.
2. The Court will review the party’s summary judgment motions in the …

A peel can be a trap for the unwary.
A peel can be a trap for the unwary. Jake Nackos, Unsplash

I saw on the Civil Procedure & Federal Courts Blog that the Supreme Court adopted an amended FRAP 3 last week.

The new amendment is focused on getting rid of some pitfalls in the previous procedure for filing a notice of appeal.

The old rule required a party to file a notice of appeal identifying the "judgment, order, or part thereof" that it is appealing. As explained in the comments to the amendment (embedded below), some courts interpreted that language strictly to hold that a party who named a specific order waived their right to otherwise appeal the judgment:

Whether due to misunderstanding or a misguided attempt …