There were two litigation-funding related hearings set forth tomorrow in Chief Judge Connolly cases. Both were canceled today.
The first was in the Nimitz cases, C.A. Nos. 21-1362, 21-1855, and 22-413. As we discussed last week, the Court set this hearing after Nimitz failed to produce the broad formation- and funding-related discovery that the Court required from it.
Later last week, the plaintiff in that case produced the required documents. Today, the Court canceled the hearing so that it would have time to review the recent production:
ORAL ORDER: Whereas (1) on Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 4:23 p.m., Mr. Pazuniak submitted to the Court documents …
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 …
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 …
It seems there has been a lot of interest in Chief Judge Connolly's evidentiary hearings about compliance with his standing orders regarding disclosure of litigation funding and entity ownership, which are now scheduled in over 20 cases.
I've had a few questions about when the hearings are going forward, so here is an update.
Here Is When the Hearings Are Scheduled
Here is when the hearings are set for, at least as of today:
Friday, November 4, 2022, at 10 am in Courtroom 4B: Cases involving Mellaconic IP, Lamplight Licensing LLC, and Nimitz Technologies LLC are set for hearings regarding compliance with the Court's third-party litigation funding order. See C.A. Nos. 22-244, 22-541, 22-418, 22-1017, 21-1247, 21-1362, 21-1855, …
Chief Judge Connolly's standing order on Rule 7.1 statements requires disclosure of all individual or corporate owners of certain entities, going all of the way up the chain and including indirect owners:
[I]n all cases assigned to Judge Connolly where a party is a nongovemmental joint venture, limited liability corporation, partnership, or limited liability partnership, that the party must include in its disclosure statement filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1 the name of every owner, member, and partner of the party, proceeding up the chain of ownership until the name of every individual and corporation with a direct or indirect interest in the party has been identified.
Standing Order Regarding Disclosure Statements Required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1 (D. Del. April 18, 2022).
We wrote about one instance, in VLSI Technology LLC v. Intel Corporation, C.A. No. 19-426 (D. Del.), where the Court ordered the plaintiff to confirm compliance with its standing order, and stayed the case when the plaintiff filed an inadequate response.
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