Just a heads up for anyone who might have been thinking of attending: Last week, Chief Judge Connolly canceled the November 30 hearing that the Court had set in some of the Mavexar-related cases, and stayed those cases pending the outcome of the petition for a writ of mandamus.
I heard over the holiday break that one of the Mavexar-related entities, Backertop Licensing LLC, has continued to file suits, this time in the Central District of California. I also heard that they did not disclose Mavexar as an entity with an interest in the case, despite a rule requiring them to do so.
Yep, That Looks Like Backertop
I checked PACER, and it indeed looks like an entity …
Today brought yet another twist in the ongoingMavexarsaga. In one of the cases, a defendant—not the plaintiff—moved unopposed for a protective order to prevent the Mavexar-related LLC from producing the documents that the defendant sent to it (and that, presumably, the Mavexar-related LLC may have sent to Mavexar itself).
Specifically, the defendant moved for a protective order to "prevent the public filing of three categories of information that ABB expects to be provided by Plaintiff and its counsel in response to the Court’s Memorandum Order," including (1) documents related to sales and royalty rates, (2) communications related to the terms of the settlement agreement, and (3) the agreement itself.
As to those three categories, the defendant asked the Court to issue a protective order that protects the info from disclosure in both filings and in future hearings or ...
These Mavexar-related cases are developing so fast, we can hardly keep up!
We've talked about how Chief Judge Connolly issued an order directing certain of the Mavexar-related entities to produce documents, including materials related to their communications with Mavexar. We also discussed the Nimitz entities' petition for a writ of mandamus to stop enforcement of the order and to stop the Court's "judicial inquisition."
Yesterday, the Federal Circuit responded and stayed the order:
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
Defendants CNET Media, Inc., Bloomberg L.P.; BuzzFeed, Inc.; and Imagine Learning, Inc. are directed to respond to the petition no later than November 30, 2022, whether defendants fully defend, partly defend, or decline to defend the challenged order. …
Yesterday, Nimitz Technologies LLC, one of the entities involved in the recentMavexarhearings, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Federal Circuit to "review and reverse" the Court's most recent memorandum order in those cases, and to "direct the district court to terminate its judicial inquisition of the Petitioner."
If you recall from our post last week, the Court issued an order in three of the Mavexar-related cases directing Nimitz and two other plaintiffs to disclose a broad range of communications and documents, including things like retention agreements, bank account statements, and communications between the plaintiffs or their principals or attorneys and Mavexar.
Nimitz argues that the documents and communications …
Shortly after today's hearing regarding compliance with Chief Judge Connolly's standing orders, the Court issued orders in each of the cases from the similar hearing last week, requiring production of a broad range of communications among the plaintiffs, Mavexar, and their attorneys.
The Court issued similar orders in each case, each setting forth the Court's concerns:
Whereas the testimony of witnesses and representations of counsel at the November 4, 2022 hearing give rise to concerns that include but are not limited to the accuracy of statements in filings made by [each plaintiff] with the Court and whether the real parties in interest are before the Court;
Chief Judge Connolly held another hearing today regarding compliance with his standing orders on litigation funding, this time exploring the relationship between NPE plaintiff Backertop Licensing LLC and MAVEXAR, the entity that is said to have created Backertop.
Last week's hearing involved testimony from a sales person and a restaurateur who owns a food truck, each of whom had been recruited by MAVEXAR to be the sole member of a patent assertion NPE, as an "investment" opportunity or a way to make "passive income."
I wanted to post a heads up that another hearing on that topic in the Backertop cases, C.A. Nos. 22-572 and 22-573, is set for Thursday 11/10 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 4b. So far, based on the docket, it looks like the hearing is likely to go forward.
Unlike Friday's hearing, tomorrow's involves only two related cases, and likely a single witness. But it may still be worth stopping in if you are regularly involved in these kinds of NPE cases.
A lot of people are interested in Chief Judge Connolly's Friday hearing about litigation funding. Here is a chart of this blog's traffic for its entire existence through this weekend:
And here is a chart for that same period of time, plus one day—the day we circulated the post about Friday’s hearing:
The Court clearly hit on an issue that people care about!
Why an Entity Like Mavexar Might Want to (Supposedly) Operate This Way
Watching some of the comments on yesterday's post, one of the questions that came up was why a patent assertion entity would be interested in giving away 5-10% of their settlement revenue to what seems to be a random person, in exchange for that person …
I flagged on Wednesday that Chief Judge Connolly planned to hold an evidentiary hearing today regarding compliance with his litigation funding and entity ownership orders in three cases. Well, I went, and it was one of the most remarkable hearings I've seen in a patent case.
The purpose of the hearing was to dig into whether the parties complied with Chief Judge Connolly's standing orders regarding litigation funding and entity ownership.
But the Court's statements at the hearing offered some insight into what motivated those orders in the first place: Chief Judge Connolly believes (as he has said before) that the District Court is not a "star chamber," and that the public has …
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