A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: MTC

Illustration of the stone wall plaintiff will face when they actually depose this person.
Illustration of the stone wall plaintiff will face when they actually depose this person. eberhard grossgasteiger, Unsplash

In The United States of America v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., C.A. No. 19-2103-MN (D. Del.), plaintiff moved to compel defendant to produce a 30(b)(6) witness on various topics, including on "[a]ll bases" for certain statements by defendant's CEO, including statements about a decision not to challenge the validity of certain patents.

As to two of those topics, the defendant argued in its responsive letter that the CEO's statements were "based entirely on communications and memoranda prepared by Gilead’s in-house counsel and outside counsel," which are privileged. The Court generally agreed:

[T]he Court definitely acknowledges Defendants' point[, ]i.e., …

Money
Pepi Stojanovski, Unsplash

It's a tough scenario: you think your opponent might have assigned away their patent rights, but you aren't exactly sure. And the only way you could know for sure is with information you don't have.

Most of the time in D. Del., disputes like this are addressed in a hearing transcript or an oral order. They don't make headlines, and they never hit Lexis or Westlaw, but they often provide helpful guidance for the future.

Yesterday, Judge Burke issued an oral order denying a request to compel a plaintiff to turn over its litigation funding documents. The defendants knew that the plaintiff had third-party litigation funding (and suspected that there might have been some assignment of …

I thought this was interesting. Last week Judge Burke granted a motion to compel a plaintiff's witness to respond on questions about the plaintiff's litigation financing arrangements.

Apparently plaintiff's attorneys instructed the witness not to answer at the deposition, but in the discovery dispute they only argued that the information is irrelevant, and did not raise privilege. Since relevance is not a valid justification for an instruction not to answer under FRCP 30, the Court permitted defendant to re-ask the question and held that plaintiff's witness must answer.

About Those Redacted Versions

I say plaintiff "apparently" objected only on reasonableness grounds because plaintiff never filed the redacted version of its sealed letter brief—a common problem.

If parties continue …