A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: magistrate-judges

A few days ago, Magistrate Judge Fallon denied a request to stay her discovery ruling pending the losing party's objections and review by the District Judge. Defendant SXM in Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., C.A. No. 17-184-JFB-SRF asked Judge Fallon to follow the parties' "agreed-upon practice" to stay discovery rulings pending objections, a practice the parties had apparently followed in two prior instances.

Or not.
Or not. Erik McLean, Unsplash

On October 7, Judge Fallon ordered that the plaintiff's experts should have access to defendant SXM's confidential information. About a week later, the parties submitted a letter setting forth their respective positions on whether the discovery ruling should be stayed.

Judge Fallon declined to stay her ruling. She noted that...

We have another entry in the ongoing saga of the adequacy of post-complaint knowledge for indirect and willful infringement.

Judge Andrews started his analysis by acknowledging his own conflicting decisions, noting that "I have certainly done my share to contribute to the disagreement, having been on both sides of the issue."

He ultimately concluded that:

  1. "[T]he plaintiff should be allowed to amend a complaint to allege knowledge since the filing of the original complaint."
  2. "In the usual case, if the plaintiff's original complaint were dismissed for failure to plead pre-suit knowledge [for indirect infringement], then the plaintiff's amended complaint would require only one additional paragraph in order to allege knowledge since the filing of the original complaint."
  3. "I will, …

This remote definitely can't decode compressed video streams by itself.
This remote definitely can't decode compressed video streams by itself. Glenn Carstens-Peters, Unsplash

Prosecution disclaimer can be tough to prove. Practiced prosecution counsel seem to know how to phrase things in such a way that a patent examiner understands them to be different from the claimed invention, but a later court may still find the opposite.

In an opinion today, Judge Andrews reversed a prosecution disclaimer finding by Magistrate Judge Fallon. The patent claims involves a "tethered digital butler" that can perform smartphone-like functions in a lower-cost way by using cheaper hardware that may be "tethered" to a desktop computer, which takes care of the heavy lifting.

Specifically, the claims discuss a "palm held remote," and the parties disputed …

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 …

Wilmington, <a href='#' class='abbreviation' data-toggle='tooltip' data-placement='top' title='Delaware'>DE</a>
Wilmington, DE Andrew Russell, CC BY 2.0

In the District of Delaware, the district court judges often refer substantive issues to the magistrate judges, even absent consent of the parties. This is one way that the judges manage the incredible load of the patent docket here.

When dealing with substantive referrals (not referrals for mediation/ADR), the Court uses an assignment system, where particular district court judges tend to refer cases and motions only to their assigned magistrate judges (with occasional exceptions).

The most recent announcement of magistrate judge assignments that I know of was made at a Federal Bar Association lunch back in September 2019:

  • Magistrate Judges Thynge …