So, my new year's resolution was not to write any more about the Mavexar hearings until we got something really juicy. Unfortunately, due to the holidays there hasn't been much else to write about these last few weeks. I made it almost 3 days though, which is a personal best for resolutions of this sort.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Mavexar hearings has been the general lack of participation from the opposing parties in the hearings, many of whom have already been dismissed. This unique state of affairs has left me to imagine what the papers might look like if a defendant really went to town on the issue.
As we noted last week, Following the Federal Circuit's denial of their mandamus petition, Nimitz failed to produce the documents ordered by the Court by the December 8th deadline. Judge Connolly responded by issuing an order for Nimitz to show cause why it should not be sanctioned for that failure.
Well, Nimitz Responded
On the deadline to respond to the show cause order, Nimitz filed a short (653 word) paper explaining why it had not produced the documents. The upshot is that it intends to seek rehearing of the denial of its mandamus petition:
Nimitz is filing a Combined Petition For Panel Rehearing …
Before we get too deep into the weeds on round 237 of the Mavexar saga, I wanted to propose a mascot. Something we can use on the site so that you can instantly spot one of these posts (you can also use the tags, of course). Having given it all the thought I am prepared to, I propose Mavexar the crab-monster.
Here he is happily greeting you and welcoming you to sit by his fire.
Andrew may have a competing vision, but for now, look for Crab Man!
A Missed Deadline
Following the Federal Circuit's denial of Nimitz's Mandamus petition last week, we saw our first action from Judge Connolly on these newly un-stayed cases. I had not recalled that, under his original order, the plaintiff was scheduled to produce the documents related to its relationship with Mavexar and IP Edge by December 8. As it happens, that was the same day the Federal Circuit lifted the stay.
Neither the Federal Circuit's preliminary stay order, nor its ultimate denial of the mandamus petition adjusted that deadline. Nor, apparently, did Nimitz request the District Court amend that deadline.
So the 8th came and went with no production of documents. Indeed, up through yesterday there is no mention of the submission on the docket, which ultimately led the Court to issue a brief order requiring Nimitz to "show cause as to why it should not be sanctioned for failure to comply with the November 10 Memorandum Order." Nimitz Technologies LLC v. CNET Media, Inc. C.A. No. 21-1247-CFC, D.I. 37 (D. Del. Dec. 14, 2022). The Court did note, however, it would ...
We've posted a lot about the Mavexarhearings. Earlier this month, two of the plaintiffs in cases that had hearings scheduled, Creekview IP LLC and Waverly Licensing LLC, filed nearly-identical petitions for mandamus.
The petitions are linked below. In each, the petitioner seeks to reverse Chief Judge Connolly's order scheduling an evidentiary hearing to investigate compliance with the Court's standing orders:
Petitioner respectfully requests that the Court issue a writ of mandamus reversing the Memorandum Order and ending the judicial inquisition of Petitioner.
The petitions argue that the Court lacked Article III standing, because the cases had been dismissed, that Chief Judge Connolly abuse his discretion in issuing the standing order, and that Congress has …
"produce to the Court" (1) their communications with Mavexar and IP Edge regarding (a) Nimitz's formation, acquisition of patents, and potential liability for asserting those patents in these cases, (b) the 328 patent, and (c) the initiation and settlement of the cases Nimitz filed in this Court; (2) retention letters and/or agreements between Nimitz and [plaintiff's attorney's] firm; (3) monthly bank statements for any and all bank accounts held by Nimitz for the time period during which it filed the 11 complaints …
The Federal Circuit made its second foray into the Mavexar (I think) saga on Friday when it ruled on a new petition for Mandamus is In re: Swirlate IP LLC.
The plaintiff in Swirlate filed a petition for mandamus on November 30, seeking to stop a scheduled December 6 hearing.
I should note at the outset the while the Swirlate case seems to mimic the M.O. of a Mavexar entity—a Texas LLC with a single managing partner with no apparent connection to the patent—the Court has not yet held a hearing on the issue, so we can't say conclusively that the matter is related. It was, however, scheduled for a hearing in December that that sole …
We mentioned the other day that Backertop Licensing LLC, one of the Mavexar-related LLCs, had filed two new cases in the Central District of California. We talked about how the C.D. Cal. requires disclosure of parties with a pecuniary interest, and how Backertop had not disclosed Mavexar.
Yesterday, the HTIA filed an amicus brief at the Federal Circuit that pointed this situation out (citing our post!):
In the past week alone, an entity that appears related to Mavexar (Backertop Licensing, LLC) filed suit without disclosing Mavexar’s financial interest, despite a local rule requiring disclosure of “all persons … and corporations … that may have a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the case.”
There has been somuchactivity in the Mavexar cases this week that it's hard to keep up. Over the last two days, various parties have requested leave to file a total of six amicus briefs in response to the Mavexar petition for a writ of mandamus in the Nimitz case, and the respondent filed their brief as well.
All of the briefs were great, and many repeat some of the same arguments. I thought it might be worthwhile to take a spin through them and mention a few notable or unique points in each.
We've talked about how Chief Judge Connolly has held multiplehearings in the Mavexar actions, examining the owners of several patent assertion LLCs and discovering that the real party in interest seems to be Mavexar LLC. The witnesses testified that Mavexar recruits people to serve as plaintiffs, but then runs the litigation themselves—including seemingly all substantive decisions, even settlement.
After the most recent hearings, Chief Judge Connolly issued a series of orders requiring production to the Court of various communications between the LLCs, their attorneys, and Mavexar. One of the entities involved, Nimitz, immediately filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to stop the Court's …
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